Amelia Island

10-11 March 2017

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Lot 249

1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Cabriolet

  • Serial no. 812 31762 F
  • Engine no. FC 2575
  • Body no. C 92 270

Sold for $302,500


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

  • The finest restored supercharged 812 ‘Sportsman’ in existence
  • Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club National Reunion Best of Show winner
  • Two-time Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Best in Class winner
  • Formerly the personal car of and restored by marque specialist Tom Dudley
  • ACD Club Certified Category One (C-392)


Known history of this Cord cabriolet begins with Mark Blaisdell of New York, from whom it was acquired in 1995 by Tom Dudley of Howell, Michigan. A longtime, active Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club member and passionate Cord enthusiast, Mr. Dudley has restored numerous award-winning examples for himself and other enthusiasts, and he is known for his superb craftsmanship and attention to detail. This particular cabriolet, as his personal car, he endeavored to make the absolute best that it could be, including exhaustive research with other Cord authorities into the fit, finish, and specifications of every last component.

Identification of the car as a 1937 model allowed for preservation of that year’s distinctive features, such as the notched wheel housings, dashboard defroster plates, and tubular cowl braces. Further distinctive and correct features, including the locking glove box, small oval rear window, and the woven wire hood screens, not always faithfully researched by other restorers, were all accurately recreated.

While the car’s body was undoubtedly a true cabriolet, its identity, as well as its original engine and stub frame, had unfortunately been lost. Accordingly, the car was given a proper supercharged 812 serial number, stamped on a new firewall plate and corresponding with the number of its replacement stub frame, and a body number that is not shared with any other extant cabriolet. A replacement factory-supercharged engine and transmission were acquired separately, rebuilt, and installed. Records in the ACD Club’s Certification file for the car show the attention to detail, including correspondence with Cord authorities Ron Irwin and Don Mates, as correct parts and componentry were acquired from all over the country.

The restored Rich Maroon Cord made its debut at the ACD Club’s National Reunion in 2007, the most prestigious nationwide competition for these cars. At the Reunion it was inspected by the Club’s Certification team, and was subsequently entered into judging. Reportedly the only flaw found by the judges was the use of rubber, rather than metal, valve stem covers! By the end of the weekend it had spectacularly triumphed, winning not only the Gordon Buehrig Trophy for Best 810/812 Cord, but also the Harold Ames Trophy for Best of Show. Several months later it was approved for the Club’s Category One Certification.

Having accomplished the most prestigious award possible with the car in its first time out, Mr. Dudley elected to sell the Cord thereafter, and it was acquired by the current owner, a longtime enthusiast, in whose care it has been maintained to the same extremely high standard. It has also continued its winning ways with Best in Class at the Amelia Island Concours in both 2009 and 2015 and at the Ault Park Concours in 2014, as well as the President’s Choice Award at the 2015 Lake Mirror Classic.

Restored to a standard that few examples of the fabled ‘Sportsman’ have ever achieved, this is undoubtedly the highest-quality restored Cord cabriolet yet offered. It will continue to be a star for a fortunate new owner.

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

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

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