5-6 October 2017

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Lot 252

1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Cabriolet

  • Serial no. 812 32023 F
  • Engine no. FC 3232
  • Body no. C 92 260

Sold for $412,500

  • One of only about 30 remaining authentic factory-supercharged Cord cabriolets
  • Formerly the personal car of Cord expert Lee Richardson
  • An excellent example with numerous accepted, reversible improvements
  • Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club Certified Category 1 (C-268)

The most desirable of all the famous Cords is the 812 cabriolet with the optional supercharged engine. Just 64 original examples were produced, and the 30 or so remaining authentic, documented survivors are fiercely sought after by collectors and enthusiasts.

According to its ACD Club Certification documents, this particular cabriolet was first registered in the state of Illinois; the Certification paperwork contains rubbings of the original serial number plate, confirming this to have been born a supercharged car. It was later acquired in 1950 by Lee Gutterson of Pasadena, California, who was its owner for the next three years.

Lee Richardson of Carefree, Arizona, purchased the Cord in 1969. A highly skilled and talented engineer who was an early Imagineer for Disney, Mr. Richardson had been a Cord enthusiast since his boyhood. Convinced of the brilliance of its design and engineering, he went to work developing “fixes” for some of the Cord’s well-known eccentricities, many of which were later adopted for many well-driven 810s and 812s. This included the now widely accepted “Richardson joint” conversion to the fault-prone front wheel CV joints, which substitutes modified Oldsmobile Toronado components.

Mr. Richardson owned and enjoyed this cabriolet for 27 years. During that time he modified it with his Richardson front axle joints, as well as a 12-volt electrical system, discreetly fitted electric fuel pump and electric cut-off switch, and an electric radiator fan – as well as, amusingly, power operation for the headlights. All of these are easily reversible modifications. At some point the original engine was replaced with another correct supercharged engine, FC 3232, which is still installed today.

The car was sold in 1997 to another well-known ACD Club member, the late Hal Bjorklund of Colorado, who had it refinished in the factory color of Rich Maroon with a tan leather interior and tan cloth top, as it is presented today. It later passed through the ownership of Jerry Peterson and another caretaker on the West Coast, before joining the collection of its current Cord enthusiast owner five years ago.

Well maintained and enjoyed for decades, this authentic, original supercharged cabriolet would be a highlight addition to any ACD fan’s collection.


Please note that this car's history has been confirmed back to 1941, and that it was one of the earliest genuine supercharged cabriolets registered with the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club.

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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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