Cord 812 SC Sportsman

1937 Cord 812 SC Sportsman

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is the ultimate iteration of the Cord 810/812. Introduced in 1936, the front-wheel-drive 810 was styled by Gordon Buehrig and featured an independent front suspension and a design like nothing else in the world at the time. The car was renamed the 812 for 1937, which was more-or-less an attempt to spruce up the fact that they had a lot of leftover 810s from the year before. Supercharging also became an option in 1937.

The supercharger bumped power from the 4.7-liter Lycoming V8 to 170 horsepower. Two different wheelbases were used in ’37, and four body styles were offered on the shorter of the two, including the $2,585 Sportsman two-door cabriolet. The supercharger bumped the price by another $2,000, which is insane. Imagine adding 77% of the car’s price back on as options. Oh wait, you can probably do that on a Porsche.

Reliability issues early in production really put a wet blanket over the initial enthusiasm for the model, which was originally envisioned as a “baby Duesenberg.” About 3,000 examples were built in total, only 64 of which were reportedly SC Sportsmans. This one is now going to sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $257,600.

May 2019 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We’ll start with Historics at Brooklands, who originally had an old Maxim fire truck in their catalog that mysteriously disappeared (from the catalog). The top sale was this 1968 Aston Martin DB6 Volante that brought $787,534.

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

The awesome (and purple) TVR Cerbera we featured sold for $20,648. Mark my words: when these are eligible for U.S. importation, these prices are going to go way up. Click here for more results from this sale.

Next up is Aste Bolaffi’s sale in Milan. If you ever wanted to own a Siata (that isn’t a Spring) but didn’t want to spend a ton of money, this was the place to be. The 1500 TS we featured sold for $25,774. The biggest money was paid for this 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT. It sold for $369,814. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Aste Bolaffi

We move to RM Sotheby’s in Auburn, Indiana for their spring sale at that location. The top automotive lot was this 1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Phaeton Sedan for $157,300.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Hupmobile Skylark we featured sold for $15,400 and the Haynes Touring went for only $10,560, a figure that made me nauseous, as do most of the results, as there were quite a few I would’ve stepped up to buy had I been there.

Onward to Bonhams in Greenwich. The top sale was $417,500 paid for this 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport Cabriolet by Pinin Farina.

Photo – Bonhams

The Dodge Brothers touring car we featured failed to sell, but the Arnolt-MG managed to bring $64,960, and the Stutz Roadster $44,800. Full results can be found here.

Finally, we move to Artcurial’s sale on June 17. Amid a pretty tough sell-through rate, this 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB stole the show at $2,175,046.

Photo – Artcurial

Speaking of a tough sell-through rate, the Alpine A310 we featured, along with a previously-featured Hommell coupe, failed to find new owners. The good news is that the CG 1300 sold for $64,454, and the BMW Z1 brought $41,626. The rest of the results can be found here.

November 2018 Auction Highlights

We start off our November rundown with Bonhams’ London-to-Brighton sale. The Darracq we featured was the top sale, bringing $779,115. Other big dollar cars included the very early Peugeot for $463,202, a previously-featured Schaudel for $156,891, $149,420 for the Liberia, and the Star that brought $113,559. We’ll give Most Interesting (of the few cars left that sold that we didn’t feature) to this 1903 De Dion-Bouton 8HP Two-Seater that sold for $70,974.

Photo – Bonhams

The 1902 Rambler brought $62,756 and the Wolseley sold for $89,652. Click here for final results.

On to France, for a sale from Osenat. The Chenard et Walcker we featured didn’t find a new home, but this 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 did, selling for $280,945. More results can be found here.

Photo – Osenat

Mecum’s second-to-last sale of the year was held in Las Vegas, and the Bugatti we featured from this sale took top honors, bringing $1,012,000, while the lilac Duesenberg sold for $770,000. On a related note, Most Interesting goes to this lilac 1930 Cord L-29 Cabriolet (with Woodlight headlights!). It sold for $203,500.

Photo – Mecum

A previously-featured V12 Cadillac failed to sell here… again – as did the Talbot-Lago that came from the same collection as the Duesey and Bugatti. The Black buggy brought $7,700, and, fun fact, you could buy 100 Black buggies for the same price as the Duesenberg! Complete results can be found here.

The Aguttes sale held in Lyon saw this 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 Coupe sell for $151,092 – the overall top sale.

Photo – Aguttes

Meanwhile, that crazy gullwing Alfa Romeo handily beat its pre-sale estimate, bringing $121,467. The Delahaye failed to sell, and more results can be found here.

Italian auction house Aste Bolaffi held a sale of classic cars in Turin in November. The sale included many scale models from Bertone and a handful of real cars as well. We didn’t feature anything (because it wasn’t on my radar), but the top sale was this 1999 Ferrari 456M for $77,602. Complete results can be found here.

Photo – Aste Bolaffi

Cord L-29 Cabriolet

1932 Cord L-29 Cabriolet

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 19-20, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

1929 was a great year of E.L. Cord – well, at least the start of it. His Cord Corporation owned the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg marques. And he took them all upmarket, selling some of the nicest automobiles America had yet known. But then the economy tanked and his little empire fizzled out.

The first Cord-branded automobile was the front-wheel drive L-29, the first mass-produced front-wheel drive passenger automobile sold in the U.S. They were powered by a 125 horsepower 5.3-liter straight-eight from an Auburn. It was definitely underpowered, seeing as it’s sister marque, Duesenberg, was using a 265 horsepower engine for their car. What it lacked for in speed (top end was about 80 mph), it made up for in gorgeous looks. The Cabriolet (in this color at that) is the best-looking factory L-29 variant. The only thing that could make it better would be the addition of those skinny Woodlite headlights.

Only about 20 L-29 Cabriolets were built out of a total L-29 production run of around 4,400 cars and this is thought to be the last Cabriolet built, as the L-29 was only in production between 1929 and 1932. This example was restored years ago, but it still looks nice and has been with its current owner in Arizona for the last 15 years. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $236,500.

July 2016 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We’re back with more highlights from July, beginning with Mecum in Harrisburg, PA. We featured a 1940 International Pickup that failed to meet its reserve with a high bid of $26,500. The top sale was this 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback for $220,000. Click here for full results.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

H&H Classics held a sale at Donington Park and this 1972 Jaguar E-Type Series 3 Coupe was the top sale at $54,550.

Photo - H&H Classics

Photo – H&H Classics

The Mini Scamp we featured failed to sell but you can see all of the results here.

And to continue the theme of unsold feature cars, the Arrows-Megatron we featured from Silverstone Auctions’ Competition Car Sale also failed to sell. The top seller was this massively-priced 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTR that sold for $654,660. Click here for more results.

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

On to RM Sotheby’s Motor City auction where our featured Duesenberg was far and away the top sale at $1,540,000. Second behind that was the Saleen S7 for $632,500. For our “Most Interesting,” we’ll go with this gorgeous 1930 Cord L-29 Cabriolet for $187,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Glas Isard we showed here on our site went for $24,200 and the Detroit Electric Brougham sold for $66,000. Click here for complete results. The last sale for this post is Brightwells’ Modern Classics sale. We weren’t able to feature anything from this sale, but the top seller was this 2002 Bentley Arnage R – one of our absolute favorite Bentleys. It sold for $25,890. Click here for more results.

Photo - Brightwells

Photo – Brightwells

September 2015 Auction Highlights

Classic car auctions are multiplying like gremlins. September is full of sales, so let’s get right to it, starting with Worldwide Auctioneers Auburn, Indiana sale where this 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 Dragonsnake was the top sale at $1,300,000.

Photo - Worldwide Auctioneers

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Our featured Jewell sold for $29,700 and complete results can be found here. Auctions America also held a sale in Auburn this month. Their top sale was our featured Duesenberg Murphy Convertible Coupe for $1,402,500. The other Duesenberg failed to sell. We’ll call this 1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Phaeton Sedan most interesting (or at least “prettiest”) for $137,500.

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Our featured Intermeccanica sold for $159,500 and a previously-featured Buddy Stewart Pickup sold for $20,350. Click here for full results.

RM’s London sale featured this 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione ‘Tour de France’ which sold for $7,330,400.

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Our feature cars all sold, with the Bugatti EB110 leading the way at $965,888. The Cisitalia was no slouch either, selling for $224,224. And the Ferves Ranger was apparently worth its weight in gold at $44,845. Click here for full results.

Bonhams Goodwood Revival sale was this month, and this 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible was the top seller at $1,702,210. Our featured Porsche 908 failed to sell.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Our other two feature cars both sold. The HRG-Maserati exceeded its estimate, bringing $132,027 and the Scarab F1 car went for $1,053,808. Full results can be found here. And finally, we’ll cover Brightwells’ September sale. We didn’t feature anything from here, but the top seller was this beautiful 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 Coupe for $164,505. Click here for full results.

Photo - Brightwells

Photo – Brightwells

March 2015 Auction Highlights

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance occurred in March, and with it, a slew of amazing sales, the first being Bonhams’ auction. The top sale was this much-ballyhooed (and rightfully so) 1930 Cord L-29 Town Car by Murphy for $1,760,000.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Of our feature cars, the top seller was the Stutz Super Bearcat for $1,012,000. The Templar Touring brought a more reasonable $60,500. Two cars failed to sell: the Thomas and the Wanderer.

The “French-Front” Oldsmobile sold for $94,600 and the 1911 EMF went for $242,000. And last but not least, the Wills Sainte Claire sold for $151,250. Click here for full results.

Next up is newly re-branded RM Sotheby’s and their Amelia Island sale, where the top seller was out featured Ferrari 400 Superamerica for $6,380,000. Other million dollar feature cars included the 427 S/C Cobra for $2,117,500, the Jaguar XJR-9 for $2,145,000, and a previously-featured Duesenberg that proves a paint job can go a long way. It sold for $1,155,000.

Another previously-featured car that showed up at this sale is the 1932 Marmon HCM Prototype. It brought $429,000. I’m going to call out this 1952 Kurtis 4000 that finished 5th at the 1952 Indy 500 as most-interesting non-feature car. It sold for $495,000.

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

On a related note, the Miller 91 brought $770,000.  And the beautiful Stutz DV-32 sold for $522,500. Check out full results here.

The third Amelia Island sale (well, second if you’re going by the calendar… third in our rundown) is Gooding & Company’s sale. The top seller was a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 that has been in the same family for 40 years. It brought $3,300,000.

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

The top seller of our feature cars would’ve been the Maserati 200 SI, but it failed to sell (as did the Duesenberg from this sale). Instead, it is the AAR-Toyota Eagle for $660,000. The March-Cosworth went for $231,000 and the first Lotus ever sold to a customer sold for $247,500. Check out full results here.

Bonhams had another sale in March, in Goodwood. The top sale was our featured Frazer Nash Le Mans Coupe for $695,854. The other Frazer Nash failed to sell. Interesting cars included this 1961 Fiat-Abarth 1000 Bialbero Record Monza by Zagato for $94,089.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The H.R.G. Le Mans sold for $243,444. And the Audi Quattro Rally car sold for $368,210. Click here for full results.

And finally, Osenat’s March sale, in which our featured Aryathis failed to sell. The top sale was this 1939 Citroen Traction Avant 15/6 Cabriolet for $661,435. Click here for full results.

Photo - Osenat

Photo – Osenat

Car Guy History – The 1940 Census

The government was nice enough to put the 1940 Census online. Well I had some free time at work (sshhh! don’t tell anyone!) and spent some time paging through various areas (after finding my relatives), mainly in and around L.A. to find how much money some movie stars’ homes were worth during the Golden Age of Hollywood. I found about 60 interesting people.

Well I came across some interesting folks along the way – many movie stars and directors and producers and writers. But also some people from the world of cars. I’ve been meaning to share this for well over a year now, so here we go. Also, because these photos are so big, loading them all in one post keeps crashing the site, so I’ll do one person per post.

E.L. Cord

Cord census

Errett Lobban Cord was born in 1894 and became an automotive titan around 1930. But the Depression took his empire away and so he moved to California where he made his second fortune in radio and television. On the census he lists himself as an investor in real estate.

The address is 500a Doheny Rd, Beverly Hills, California. The house he lived in (valued at $200,000 in 1940) no longer stands as a $5 million home was built there in 1985. Cord resided there with his wife and two daughters. He also had a servant and a parlor maid. Cord relocated to Nevada in the 1940s and died there in 1974.

March 2013 Auction Round-Up

The first auction that happened in March was Bonham’s Oxford sale. Top sale went to this 1968 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Re-Creation that was converted from an original 1968 Ferrari 365GT. It sold for $382,700. A real 250 GT would’ve brought much more.

Other interesting cars included this 1975 Lotus Elan +2S 103/5 Coupe, which for $15,600, seems like a bargain for a Lotus Elan.

Our feature cars both sold. First, the 1922 Benjamin cyclecar brought $29,500. And the Charron Charronette sold for $12,150. Other cool cars included this 1927 McLaughlin-Buick Model 28.496 Master Six Tourer. It sold for $90,200.

This 1989 Royale Sabre Roadster was a throwback car built in the U.K. in the early 1990s based around a late 1980s Ford. It’s definitely interesting for $5,200.

And finally, this 1918 De Dion-Bouton Model HD 15CV 2.9-Litre Charabanc may not have been too expensive. It also wasn’t the cheapest car at the sale. But for the sheer number of doors on this thing, it qualifies as interesting. It could’ve been yours for $13,800. Click here for full results.

Next up was Gooding’s sale at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The top sale there was this 1928 Bentley 4.25-Litre Semi-Le Mans Tourer for $2,750,000.

Among our four feature cars, only the Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante failed to sell. Of the two Duesenbergs, the Model JN brought $594,000 and the Model J brought $462,000. One interesting car was this 1938 H.R.G. Airline Coupe with coachwork by A. Crofts. It sold for $253,000.

The rest of our highlights are all million-dollar cars, most of them Ferraris. At the low end, a 1969 365 GTC brought $1,072,500.

Then there was the 1966 275 GTS for $1,127,500 followed by a 1995 F50 for $1,375,000 (second below).

Two similar million dollar Ferraris – see if you can tell the difference (for $750,000). First, a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 for $1,650,000 (first below). Then, a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose Alloy for $2,365,000. They look identical but aren’t (obviously).

Our featured Fiat 8V Supersonic brought $1,760,000. The final million dollar car was this 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Derby Speedster with coachwork by Brewster. It brought $1,980,000. Full results can be found here.

Then we move on to RM Auctions’ sale also held at Amelia Island. The top sale was out featured Duesenberg SJ by Walker-LaGrande for $4,510,000. Our featured Pegaso was the only one of our feature cars that failed to sell. As is normally the case, the million-dollar club featured a few Ferraris including a 1965 275 GTB (below) for $1,375,000 and a 1952 225 Sport Tuboscocca by Vignale for $1,237,500.

The only other million dollar cars were our featured Lozier, which more than doubled the lower end of its estimate and sold for $1,100,000. The other was this 1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria by Rollston which sold for $1,512,500.

Interesting sales were highlighted by this gorgeous 1947 Delahaye 135 MS Coupe by Langenthal that I so desperately wanted to feature but ran out of time. It sold for $330,000.

A couple of our older feature cars were the Derham Tourster Duesenberg for $825,000. And the beautiful Hispano-Suiza Transformable Torpedo brought $495,000. This 1929 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8A Convertible Sedan by Floyd-Derham sold for $473,000.

The three oldest cars we featured all sold. First, the Tribelhorn Electric brought $77,000. The unrestored Locomobile sold for $176,000. And the big, brilliant Austin Touring car sold for $379,500 – shy of its estimate. There were a trio of rare Cord L-29s at this sale and these two were very interesting. First, this 1930 L-29 Sport Cabriolet by Voll & Ruhrbeck sold for $990,000.

Then there was this 1929 L-29 Town Car by d’Ieteren Freres that sold for $154,000. Our featured Marmon Two-Door Prototype sold for $407,000. Check out full results here.

Now on to Osenat’s auction, where the top sale was a 1936 Cord 810 Sportsman convertible, of which there was no reasonably good picture I could snag. It sold for $129,000. Both of our feature cars sold. The Darracq-Italiana brought $32,985 while the the Voisin Flatbed Prototype sold for $23,220. The other most interesting car was another Voisin prototype, a 1956 Biscooter C31 Prototype with bodywork I haven’t seen before. It brought $25,800. Check out full results here.

And finally, Auctions America’s Ft. Lauderdale sale. Our featured Ron Fellows Edition Corvette sold for $52,800. Our featured Baldwin Motion Phase III Corvette brought $136,400. The 1977 Panther DeVille did not sell. Top sale went to a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL that sold for $880,000, which sounds like a new high sale for Auctions America.

Our other feature car, the Lexus LFA, sold for $319,000. Other cool cars included this 1960 Chevrolet Nomad for $26,400.

And finally, this 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Factory Lightweight sold for $106,700. Check out full results here.

Cord L-29 Special Coupe

1929 Cord L-29 Special Coupe by The Hayes Body Corporation

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2012

Simply the most beautiful L-29 I have ever seen – LaGrande Speedster included. The body was designed by Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky and built by the Hayes Body Corporation of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I’ve been sitting here staring at the car for some time and I think it all comes down to the windows. They have an almost teardrop shape to them.

Revolutionary in design, the Cord L-29 made front-wheel drive a viable option for stylish, low-slung cars. They were the first to offer such a configuration and they did it with style. Unfortunately, performance couldn’t quite match the looks that went with it. The L-29 had a  4.9 liter inline eight-cylinder engine making only 125 horsepower – which, compared to most common automobiles of the time this was a lot (the Ford Model T had gone out of production two years earlier with a 20 horsepower engine). But for cars in its price range, it was lacking – especially since it weighed almost 2.5 tons and was only capable of a little more than 75 mph.

But that’s no matter, because in 2012 you aren’t buying a Cord L-29 to set land speed records. You’re buying them for their indelible sense of style and what they represent – the flair of the last days of a bygone era. The Roaring Twenties were crashing to a halt and E.L. Cord was introducing new lines of fabulous automobiles that only a select few could afford. It was a losing proposition but he hung in there as long as he could and this is the fantastic result of his passion.

This car cost about $20,000 to build in 1929. Upon completion, it toured Europe and won awards. In 1941 it was acquired by famed designer Brooks Stevens (for the outrageous sum of $1). It was restored under Stevens cars in the 1980s and was sold in the early 1990s and passed hands once again about four years ago. There is only one of these and it has known ownership history from new. Don’t miss your chance.

Cord L-29s are always pretty, but this one takes it to another level. RM did not publish an estimate for this car, so look for it to bring a sizable chunk of change. For the complete catalog description click here and to see more of what RM has waiting to be sold at Amelia Island, click here.

Update: Sold $2,420,000.