Arizona

19-20 January 2017

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Lot 268

1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Phaeton

  • Serial no. 812 32013 H
  • Engine no. FC 2773
  • Body no. C 91 588

Sold for $220,000


170 bhp, 288 cu. in. supercharged L-head V-8 engine, four-speed pre-selector manual transmission, independent front suspension, rear semi-elliptical leaf-spring suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 125 in.

  • An exceptional, authentic example of an automotive design legend
  • Factory-supercharged, with its original engine
  • Formerly owned by Jack Humbert and John McMullen
  • Award-winning restoration, beautifully maintained


Identifying an original supercharged Cord is possible through its serial number, usually a five-digit number beginning with three, as well as the tables published in historian Josh B. Malks’ well-known tomes, Cord 810/812: The Timeless Classic and Cord Complete, and by Ron Irwin in the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club Newsletter in 1984. The phaeton offered here, 812 32013 H, is identified in all sources as an original supercharged example, and the engine still fitted today, number FC 2773, is the original supercharged engine, installed in this car in 1937.

The car’s ownership history is known back to 1966, when it was owned by an ACD Club member in the Detroit area. It was subsequently acquired the following year by Jack Humbert, longtime chief designer for Pontiac, and an avid admirer of the Cord’s design.

As recounted in the September/October 1988 issue of Torque magazine, the car underwent a painstaking 20-year restoration effort, begun by Mr. Humbert and continued in the ownership of his wife, Smitty, following her husband’s untimely passing. The work was performed by Markley’s Garage and by Bill Bizer, both well-known craftsmen, to an exceptionally high standard of authenticity, fit, and finish. In its time, this was widely regarded as being the country’s best-restored Cord phaeton, as evidenced by its two 100-point scores in Classic Car Club of America Grand National judging.

Subsequently, in 1996, the award-winning Cord became part of John McMullen’s renowned collection in Lapeer, Michigan, where it was much beloved, well maintained, and often shown for over a decade. In 2000, it was judged Best in Class at the renowned Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance, followed by a special award at the EyesOn Design show in 2006.

In 2007, the Cord joined the collection of the current owner, a longtime Cord enthusiast, and has remained in his care since. The owner prides himself on the maintenance of his cars, something important to consider in any Cord, and that this one has been “kept up” to an extremely high standard, both inside and out. Its finishes are described as still being in beautiful order, and it remains as attractive to display at any event, in keeping with how Jack Humbert and John McMullen maintained it.

An authentic, correct, and beautiful supercharged Cord that ticks all of the proverbial boxes, this treasured automobile deserves its next home in one of this country’s great collections.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

Cameron Smyth

csmyth@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 212 894 1981
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more