1937 Cord 812 "Sportsman" Convertible Coupe
Serial Number: 1478F • Engine Number: FB1884 • Body Number: C92 - 215 • Stub Frame Number: 1679
This Cord Convertible Coupe was built in August of 1936 and sold as a Model 812 in 1937. It was one of just 130 standard Convertible Coupes built by Cord, during the life of the company. Dubbed the "Sportsman," these 2 passenger Cabriolets were among the rarest models of an already rare marque.
After passing from the original owner, in 1943 two young soldiers on their way to war traded this car to Kenneth Hembough of Jacksonville, Illinois for a 1941 Chrysler, which the young men felt had more room for their gear on a cross country journey. Mr. Hembough kept the Cord for the next 27 years. Originally a red car with red leather interior, during the 1960's Mr. Hembough painted the car black and installed a white vinyl interior. He then sold it in 1970 to a Dr. Culbreth in Charlotte, North Carolina. During the 1970's the Cord passed to John Sheu in Valnese, North Carolina and in 1979 to Richard Gianini in Portland, Oregon. In 1986 it was purchased by Bill Moreland of Portland who set out on a full concours quality restoration, which he did not live to complete.
After his passing, Mr. Moreland's wife continued working on the restoration until it passed to the current owner in 2013. After 28 years, the complete restoration has been recently completed. To list everything done to this car is nearly impossible. Suffice to say, every component has been removed, restored or replaced. All wood in the body was refabricated in solid oak. The original Lycoming engine was rebuilt, as was the Bendix gearshift, transmission, the front-wheel-drive and all mechanical components.
The car has a total of less than 10 miles since restoration.
The stunning Gordon Buehrig-designed body was stripped to bare metal. No Bondo or filler was used in the restoration. It has been refinished in correct Rich Maroon color with a parchment leather interior. The panel fit and finish of this car is outstanding. Please see photos and video.
While not A-C-D Certified, it will be a straight-forward process should the new owner so desire. All records and documents are included with the car. This is a numbers-matching, authentic 1937 Cord 812 Cabriolet, that is a known car among Cord collectors.
I have personally driven this car. Although I was not around to drive one in 1937, I would say it operates as good as new. The engine is silky smooth with plenty of power. The Bendix vacuum transmission shifts well and the front-wheel drive system operates as it should. In just my short test-drive and time shooting the photos and video for this listing, I was overwhelmed with the attention this car brings from the public. When you tell someone this is a 1937 car, they look at you with disbelief. One can only imagine that 78 years ago this must have truly seemed like something from another world. All tribute to the timeless design of Gordon Buehrig and the workers at Cord.
This is certainly one of the finest 812 Sportsmans available today.