Wednesday, August 19, 2009

1936 Cord Model 810 Westchester Sedan

This is a 1936 Cord Model 810 Westchester Sedan. The Cord was one of the most ahead-of-its-time cars ever built. It was also available as a Sportsman Phaeton convertible.

The 1936 Cord 810 originated with the earlier Cord L-29, which was made from 1929-1932. The L-29 was one of the first front wheel drive cars, but was not particularly successful, and Errett Lobban Cord, who also controlled Auburn and Duesenberg, ended the Cord brand. In 1933, Gordon Buehrig designed a new car that was originally intended to fill the gap between Auburn and Duesenberg. It was originally designed as a rear wheel drive Auburn, but was modified into a Cord using the front wheel drive developed for the L-29.

The 1936 Cord 810 featured a 125-horsepower V8 engine, a four-speed pre-selector transmission, unibody construction and styling with no running boards, a rear-hinged hood, hidden headlights, hinges and fuel filler, little chrome and a wraparound "venetian-blind" grille.

Unfortunately, a late introduction and high prices kept the Cord 810 from being successful. For 1937, it became the 812, and a supercharged 170-horsepower version was offered, as was a version of the sedan on a longer wheelbase, but sales wasn't any better, and production ended after a total of 2,320 cars over the two years.

The Cord 810 and 812 are sought after by collectors, due to their low production numbers and distinctive styling. Sedans in good condition can be worth $70,000 and up, and convertibles can be worth over $100,000.

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