Restored In The 70s: 1937 Cord Roadster


Fun fact: I used to live in Worcester, Mass., which is a fairly ordinary New England city: old and struggling to survive, still reeling from the disappearance of manufacturing jobs all those years ago. There are some bright spots of new developments in the downtown, but high-flying it is not. Nevertheless, a beautiful supercharged 1937 Cord here on craigslist is available in Massachusett’s second largest city for a cool $159,900.


This highly-sought after art deco roadster was restored in the 1970s and has been hidden away in a private collection ever since. Or perhaps it wasn’t exactly hidden, but used sparingly in parades and car meets. It’d be a shame for that supercharged mill not to get some exercise, but given how exquisite the engine bay is, I wouldn’t be surprised if this Cord really hasn’t been used all that much.


The leather interior remains in excellent condition. Assuming it also was restored in the 1970s, it still looks like new. I’m not a Cord expert, but the attention to detail looks quite good, and I’m curious if the roadster has been re-restored since that time. If not, the long-term storage has clearly been done carefully, though one of the photos shows the Cord residing in a fairly nondescript garage bay.


The swoopy Cord bodywork is still stunning today, and this one looks phenomenal in this shade of pastel yellow paint. The exposed exhaust pipes are perhaps the best part about the car, both for the looks and the indication to the power stowed under the hood. While it’s not a rusty, dusty discovery, it does sound as if the Cord has been kept under wraps for many years, and is now ready for new ownership. Anyone play the lotto tonight?


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  1. redwagon

    play the lotto – bah – this is pocket change.

    serious coin. wonder what the decision making process was like deciding to post a supercharged cord on craigslist rather than an auction, or approaching a vintage car dealer.

    lovely even after all these years.

    • David Frank David Frank Member

      Craigslist seems the perfect place to list this car. A vintage car dealer would immediately recognize this car for what it is, or is not. No respectable auction house would list this car as it is described or likely not at all. There might be an uninformed buyer on eBay with deep pockets, but in the larger audience on eBay serious collectors would recognize it for what it is. This is more like what you’d expect from Craigslist, so it’s a perfect place to list it. For a more realistic price, this would be a cool car to own, whatever it is.

  2. Hollywoodcarguy

    Hi Guys

    I am pretty sure you may have missed the “Custom Roadster” in the description.
    This is looks to be a cut car that someone has made a some time. Still cool looking but the price is kind of high for what might be a custom “chop” car.

  3. Bingo

    ABSOLUTLY BEAUTIFUL. I’ve loved these for all of my 45 years on this earth.

  4. grant

    This. Unobtainable for me, but a source of great joy. Thank you.

  5. Dan h

    So nice to see actual exhaust pipes coming through the front instead of the usual fake ones so common on kit cars!

  6. Larry Brantingham

    Look at the engine compartment pictures. If this is a kit car, then they’ve gone to an awful lot of trouble to use an original Lycoming V8.

  7. Chas

    This is not an original Cord guys!
    The Supercharged 812 Beverly sedan and the more desireable cabriolet roadsters were beautiful cars, but this one has been seriously modified with the cut down door sills and the trunk lid. While still very pleasant to look at, this does not have the value of an original Cord.

    • Chas

      Oops, I meant to say Phaeton roadsters.

  8. Ken Nelson Member

    You’re right Chas, this is not an original – we have a real one, supercharged, show up often at our Sat. cars & BS session here in Ca., and it’s owned by the son of a historic figure in the annals of Silicon Valley who helped create the “chip” industry. It’s a gorgeous cream yellow, better looking that this one, and is paired with a wonderful black Auburn roadster in the home garage, which the son often brings in lieu of the Cord.

    The rear end of this one reminds me of the 3/4 scale Cords made of Cycolac ABS. I’ve forgotten what they called those things……

    • Chas

      The late 1960’s or early 1970’s 8/10 scale Cords were produced by Glenn Pray.

  9. ccrvtt

    Glenn Pray started a replicar company and produced what I believe was called the “810” Cord – an 8/10ths scale version. Very cool, but definitely not the real deal.

  10. DRV

    This is no fake or kit…it’s a shortened one though. I really like how much smaller and roadster like it is. It will never be worth what the original was, but I like it.

  11. roselandpete

    So if this is not an original, what would an original go for?

  12. DRV

    Hmmmm…the modern gas door and key escutcheons are kinda weird though. Who would do all of the other details and drop it on those?

  13. Chas

    An original restored Cord model 812 supercharged Phaeton could probably be purchased for between $100,000 and $150,000. The Cord model 812 supercharged closed four door sedan could be purchased for considerably less, probably under $100,000.
    The less desirable Cord model 810 sedan which is not supercharged could be purchased for $50,000 or less, especially the less attractive “bustle back” model, which has a larger, but much less attractive, rear trunk area.
    Cords are really interesting automobiles. Cord designed one of the first American front wheel drive cars with their much more gorgeous 1929 Cord Model L29, which was available as a beautiful luxurious and extremely long Coupe or Roadster. The L29 model is much more valuable.
    The 1936/1937 Cord model 810 and 812 sedans and roadsters had all sorts of Innovations including one of the first cars to eliminate the running boards, one of the first cars to have hidden headlights, and to have a fuel filler hidden behind a small access panel door.
    Also the front wheel drive transmission was shifted by an intricate electrical solenoid system operated by a tiny gated shifter switch on a stock mounted off the steering column. The interior dashboard incorporated a gorgeous machine turned panel which was flanked by many aircraft style guages and controls gauges, as well as the two hand cranks which were used to open or retract the hidden headlights.

  14. tbenvie

    Aren’t those doors the “Darrin” style? Seems a lot of cars had them-Packards for sure.

  15. Dolphin Member

    The recent median price actually paid for Cord 812 Phaetons at auction was $120K, and the high price paid was $177,140, so Chas’ estimates are right.

    The seller is wrong about this car’s price of $160K being more than $100K below the average selling price for these cars.

    Given the mods that Chas described I think this car would be worth way less than the $160K asking, and likely less than the $120K median recent auction price for these Cords.

    The usual advice applies: Listen to what the seller says, then do your own research.

  16. jeff guzaitis
    • David Wilk Member

      Great catch Jeff. This tells you everything you need to know about this car.

  17. onebugatti

    All of $35’000 if you can stand the laughs at the real car shows. Better as a four door. The cut doors kill it. The VIN number tells all on what it WAS. There is no joy or value in wanna bees. If you are already thinking of $40K, why not go for a sedan.

  18. Fred W.

    I’ve spent 5 minutes going back and forth between the Barrett Jackson car and this one and can’t tell the difference. Are they the same car or am I missing something?

    • whippeteer

      Same car.

      • waynard

        Yes, I think so too.

    • barry ward

      same car

  19. 68 custom

    while it is quite nice to look at being a “custom” will certainly have an effect on it’s value. I do not see a blower under the hood I thought they were mounted at the front of the engine on these cars? anyone know for certain?

  20. Ken Nelson Member

    If it has the blower, it should be a large aluminum housing under the carb and on top of the intake manifold. Our coffee group attendee’s car has that arrangement as I recall. I thought it was quite unusual at the time as I’d never seen anything but Rootes scroll-type ones.

  21. PebbleBeachJudge

    Pipes on Cords don’t mean it has a supercharger. The side pipes was an option available for those wanting the Look only. Blowers cost about $10’000 if you can find one, the serial number would tell you all on this conversion.

  22. Ken Nelson Member

    Spoke with our real Cord owner this morning & he confirmed his has the large pancake-style blower between intake manifold & carb. This one has no blower. This morning he brought his Auburn roadster with its V-12. Was having a slight issue with his Startex – combined gen/starter – which was intermittently engaging the starter while engine was running. Fortunately all it did was give a very short buzz as pinion touched flywheel but didn’t engage.

  23. Dr. Wellington C. Morton

    It’s mising both the gas door lock and the Cummins-Switizer supercharger. The chopped doors, etc. make it only a driver and never a Concours car. Cord installed visable pipes on cars, in the end, to make them more attractive to market. Only 64 supercharged ‘cabirolets’ were built of the 2907 vehicle production. Only the serial number would reveal the true idenity: FC and five digits for a ‘SC’ model and all others were FB and four digits. A 90K car, at best.

  24. A.J.

    Looking at the cowl and windshield this was clearly a cut down sedan. 150k will get you a real and decent cabriolet or a really nice also real phaeton. This is a 35k oddity at most.

  25. Eric Culver

    Many thanks for this discussion, I have seen this ad pop up in Worcester Craigslist many times at “$159900” and wondered what the audience for this would be.
    Have also seen another “barn find:” for $26,000
    “This is a 1936 or 37 Cord 812 phaeton convertible body placed with good fitment onto a late 30’s Chrysler chassis , rear wheel drive and independent front suspension. Was fashioned into a hot rod of sorts in the 50’s. Non original Chrysler flat six engine is not seized. Hood has been stretched about 2.5 feet. Floors are rotted.”

    Never seen a Chrysler ‘flat six.’ : )

    • Chas

      He probably means a Chrysler flat HEAD six.

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