19-20 January 2017
1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Phaeton
- Serial no. 812 32013 H
- Engine no. FC 2773
- Body no. C 91 588
Sold for $220,000
- 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.
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