5-6 October 2017

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Lot 165

1937 Cord 812 Cabriolet

  • Serial no. 812 1256 F
  • Engine no. FB 1459
  • Body no. C 92 129

Sold for $134,750

  • An authentic, very original example with its original engine
  • Well-known ownership history since new
  • High-quality older cosmetic restoration
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

Cord found itself with a number of unsold 1936 models at the end of that model year; these cars were subsequently renumbered and sold as 1937 812s. This cabriolet was among those renumbered cars, and thus has many distinctive, correct features of earlier cabriolets, such as seat sideboards. Further, it retains its original factory serial number and body number tags, and its original engine, having been well preserved by only six owners since 1937.

The car was delivered new to Monte Barton, a well-known early jazz trombonist and songwriter in San Francisco, and remained in his ownership until 1971. Originally finished in dark Cool Orchard Green, it was refinished in its current dark red by the second owner, who sold it in September 1974 to William L. Beck of Napoleon, Ohio. The fourth owner, Morton Feldman, sold the car in 1976 to Glenn Allen of West Bloomfield, Michigan, who would maintain it for the next 18 years. During this time he added the popular supercharged-style side exhaust, as the factory was known to occasionally do at customer request, as well as a 12-volt electrical system, rebuilt Zeppa front axle joints, and a fuel pump. Alfonzo Vacchiano acquired the car from Mr. Allen in October 1994, and would maintain it for another 18 years, before its current owner, a longtime and knowledgeable Cord collector, purchased the 812 in 2011.

Aside from the repaint and side exhaust the car has never received a full restoration, only been well-cared-for since new, and retains its original brass windshield frame. It remains very solid and in fine driver-quality condition throughout.

Accompanying the car are the records of both the current owner, only the sixth caretaker since new, and the two previous long-term owners, both of whom were meticulous record-keepers who preserved every single invoice back to the 1970s. In addition, the car is accompanied by copies of various compositions on which Monte Barton contributed and performed, other Barton family history, and additional ownership history compiled by the consignor.

This is a splendid 812 in every way, with its history still richly evident. It is a jazzy automobile – appropriate for an automobile that likely saw many of this country’s most happening nightspots back in the late 1930s and 1940s.

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


+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


+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


+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


+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


+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


+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


+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


+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


+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


+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


+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


+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


+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


+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


+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


+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


+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