Motor City

26 July 2014

Lot 159

1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Phaeton

To be auctioned on Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sold for $132,000

  • Chassis no. 812 31643 H
  • Engine no. FC 2133
  • Body no. C 91 439


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

  • An original supercharged example
  • ACD Club Certified Category One
  • Intriguing Hawaiian and enthusiast history
  • Well known among ACD Club members
  • Ideal for ACD tours and CCCA CARavans


The Duesenberg Model J became available with a supercharger in 1932. Three years later, the eight-cylinder Auburn could also be had with a blower. All that was left was to fit the engine to the new Cord of 1936, and a year later, as the 810 evolved into the 812 and production was fully underway, Auburn Automobile Company’s most flamboyant line received supercharged power as a popular $415 option on all models.

Lycoming began with the 810’s stock V-8 engine, revising the design with a modified firing order, lowered compression ratio, more extreme cam grind, and a unique, larger Stromberg AA-25 carburetor. The engine exhaled through a functional four-pipe chrome side exhaust, which was an identifying mark of all supercharged Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg products and was believed to have been added to the Cord by stylist Alex Tremulis, later of Tucker fame, and engineered into being by none other than August Duesenberg.

The supercharged Cord had a factory-quoted power output of 170 horsepower, although Lycoming employees later recounted numbers as high as 195. The factory sent two properly equipped Beverly sedans to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where, driven by Ab Jenkins and Billy Winn, they recorded the highest average speed over a 24-year period at the Brickyard, over 80 mph, and captured the famous Stevens Trophy. That record would stand until 1954.

The four-passenger Phaeton presented here was originally equipped with supercharged engine FC 2133, which is identified as an original blown unit by its “FC” prefix. This is confirmed by the original firewall tag, which is still installed on the car. According to Cord historian Ron Irwin, the original engine has since been replaced with another supercharged engine, FC 2500, which has been re-stamped with the original engine’s number. It is certified with this change as a Category One car, C-193, by the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club.

The car’s history has been traced back as early as 1955, when an original registration, included in the file, places it in the care of Mrs. Samuel T. Pruit, of Honolulu, Hawaii. It has since enjoyed many years of ownership by Midwestern enthusiasts, including well-known Cord guru J.K. Howell. Henry Noffke acquired the car around 1980 and spent the next decade restoring it to original condition.

This Cord, finished in the classic and factory-correct color combination of Cigarette Cream over red leather upholstery, debuted at the ACD Club’s National Reunion in 1991 and was an award winner there the following year. The restoration has been well maintained since, for many years in the ownership of collector Willard Brunkow and most recently in the care of the current owner.

The car is accompanied by a collection of documentation, including the aforementioned Hawaiian registration, a small photo album of the restoration, and comprehensive files of restoration documentation, which include receipts, parts lists, and correspondence between Mr. Noffke and enthusiasts. Also included with the car are reprints of the owner’s manual, factory service bulletins, a service handbook, and the “Cord Approved Accessories” for 1937, as well as the ACD certification paperwork.

This well-documented Cord, which is known to enthusiasts, is ready for a new caretaker who appreciates its timeless style and power.

Addendum

Please note that a thorough inspection of this car has been carried out and the results of the deficiencies found are contained on a list available in the Auction Office at the Access the Knowledge desk.

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

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, USA

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

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

rmyers@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

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

Vinnie Mandzak

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+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more