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1936 Cord 810 Cabriolet

The 1936 Cord 810 was a sharp break from traditional automotive styling, with equally innovative mechanicals.  Envisioned as a sporty middle ground between the massive Duesenberg and the traditional Auburn, the debut of the “New Cord” at the November 1935 New York Auto Show was remarkable, with photos showing the joyful madness of the crowd. Many individuals reportedly stood on roofs of other cars, just to catch a glimpse.

  • 288-cu. in. L-head V-8 engine,
  • 125 HP,
  • four-speed pre-selector manual transmission,
  • independent front suspension,
  • rear semi-elliptic suspension with leaf springs and
  • four-wheel hydraulic brakes,
  • 125” wheelbase

AMIG 1936 Cord 810 2 eng
For an industry in which “totally new” was a worn-out catchphrase, the Cord 810 was truly radical. The Gordon Buehrig design boasted previously unheard-of advancements, such as unitary construction, an underslung floor, completely hidden door hinges and no running boards. Sleek and low, it was known as the “coffin nose” Cord because it lacked a traditional upright radiator. With front-wheel drive and a four-speed transmission (shifting was accomplished by pressing a European-style pre-selector switch on the steering column), it was a glimpse into the future of automotive design.

 

Cord ads sang the praises of the new car’s power, handling prowess and graceful beauty. Buyers initially responded in droves, but it was all for naught — production delays and the Depression doomed the Cord after only two short years of production. Of the four original body styles, the most treasured and sought-after is the two-passenger cabriolet, known to many enthusiasts as the “Sportsman.”

 

Cord 810 2

The Cabriolet photographed today was acquired in 1971 by its present owner — a long-term Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club member — and it held the honor of being his first ACD antique car. The car was found behind an old gas station in North Portland.

 

It was restored over a period of several years with the assistance of respected Cord specialists in the Pacific Northwest including, most prominently, the late Wayne Weihermiller, whose skill with the Cord’s notoriously finicky transmission was legendary. Weihermiller carefully rebuilt the transmission and the instrumentation.

Cord 810 1
The car was also fitted with improved front axle U-joints that were developed by LeeRoy Richardson, allowing it to be comfortably and reliably driven for long distances. The Richardson conversion is fully accepted by Cord enthusiasts as a welcome improvement in safety and reliability and are a highly desirable feature.

 

The car’s details are authentic throughout. The older restoration holds up nicely. The vehicle features an original bronze windshield frame (which is highly preferable to later re-castings), a correct accessory ashtray and an original, working radio.
AMIG 1936 Cord 810 1

Although the original engine (FB 1742) was changed out years ago, the original serial number tag remains on the car. Most importantly, because a correct 810 engine was installed, the substitution does not affect the ability to submit it for ACD Club certification by the new owner. The car is listed as an authentic cabriolet in both of Josh B. Malks’ standard references on the model: Cord Complete and The Timeless Classic.

 

The owner notes that the car is a strong driver, still shifts well after some recent sorting and recently completed a 150-mile tour. This car has only been shown at a few local events and concours over the years, making it an ideal ACD Club or CCCA tour car.  A high-quality 810 like this would assuredly be welcomed into nearly any classic car event. It demonstrates the best of early design and engineering.

 

 

1973 Porsche 911S Coupe

Early Porsche 911 ’s embody a combination that is rare among collector cars today. They have both unparalleled driveability and usability, especially when compared with other cars of the same vintage, but are also fully connected to an earlier era. There is a certain wholeness, cohesiveness, and agility that is only evident when they are driven, and it is no surprise that they have a fanatical following. They are simply a blast to drive, with the advantage of solid investment potential.

1973 Porsche - Front passenger side

  • 2.4 liter,
  • 6 cylinder,
  • horizontally opposed air-cooled boxer engine,
  • 190 HP,
  • 915-5 speed manual gearbox,
  • Bosch fuel injection,
  • independent front suspension on transverse links,
  • rear independent suspension on lateral links and transverse,
  • torsion bars,
  • 89.3” wheelbase

 

The 911S was introduced as a better equipped and more powerful version of the standard 911. It featured engine modifications that resulted in 30 extra horsepower, and in addition, the chassis was modified and bigger brakes were installed. An extra five pounds were saved from each corner of the car by using Fuchs alloy wheels. 911S models for 1973 gained a discreet spoiler under the front bumper to improve high-speed stability. With the cars weighing only 2,315 pounds, these are often regarded as the best classic mainstream 911’s ever, as well as holding the crown for being the longest running production sports car ever.

1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Convertible

The story of the genesis of the Pontiac GTO is well known, and several of the players went on to become quite famous in their own right. The brainchild of Russell Gee, an engine specialist, Bill Collins, a chassis engineer, and Chief Engineer John Z. DeLorean, they basically figured out a way to keep a performance image for Pontiac despite the GM ban on factory supported racing. All the pieces were there – a great 389 V8 from the full-sized Catalina, a sporty Tempest platform, and permission from Pete Estes to proceed on a limited basis. Even the name screamed performance, a moniker boldly chosen by DeLorean himself. His team skirted the GM powertrain directives by making the GTO package merely an option for the Tempest, and the results speak for themselves. By 1966, Pontiac sold 96,946 GTOs, and Pontiac ruled the new muscle car segment.

1970 Pontiac GTO Judge convertible1

1968 saw a major redesign of the A body platform, creating a more fastback profile and featuring the first of the unique Endura bumpers. With sales success by all of the GM divisions with muscle cars in ’68, Pontiac first began to plan a budget GTO muscle car for 1969. Fortunately for us, those plans changed to create “The Judge” as a full on street rocket. The name was inspired by the huge popularity of Rowan and Martin’s “Laugh In” television show, and the “Here comes the Judge” skit popularized by the popular song and dance entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr. The Judge became the ultimate powerful street machine that fueled the new performance image for Pontiac. Jim Wanger’s innovative marketing appealed to a hip, young audience, and the GTO Judge was the king of the street and the strip.

1970 Pontiac GTO Judge convertible2

In 1970, the styling of the Judge was cutting edge, with four rounded headlamps horizontally inset into the Endura bumper without bezels. Of the 40,149 GTO’s sold, 3,197 were Judge models, and just 168 of those were convertibles. The options list for The Judge continued to grow, but for 1970, rear anti-roll bars and variable ratio power steering became standard equipment. For the 1970 production year, the Ram Air III, 400 ci engines were the largest available, and with 366 bhp, the ’70 Ram Air III cars were every bit as fast as the 1971 455 ci powered cars. Today, the ’69 and ’70 Judges are far more desirable to collectors, due to GM’s lowering of the compression ratios on all their cars in 1971 in preparation for the unleaded fuels mandated in the US.

1970 Pontiac GTO Judge convertible engine

In many ways, the 1970 GTO Judge represents the last of the true muscle car era, while incorporating some of the luxury features that the buying public was obviously demanding. Soon, emission controls and the oil embargos would limit the demand for true performance cars, and as insurance companies began to surcharge the owners of performance cars, buyer demand shifted from brute power to a more luxurious style of vehicle. As quickly as it arrived, the muscle car era was on its way out.

1970 Pontiac GTO Judge convertible interior

GTOs are fast, powerful, and fun. In particular, the 4-speed convertible Judge models lead the way in value appreciation among all muscle cars. Their wild paint schemes and aggressive styling represent the best of the era, and owning a great Judge convertible should be on every car guy’s bucket list.

 

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop Coupe

Chevrolet first applied the Bel Air nameplate to their premium line of sedans and hardtops in 1950. They pioneered a line of practical, well-equipped vehicles that would go on to become a huge part of Chevrolet’s success in the 50’s. Today, all of the “Tri-Five” Chevys are highly sought after – and none more than the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air.

1955 Chevy Bel Air

    Specs:

  • 265 ci V-8 engine
  • 162 HP
  • Powerglide automatic transmission
  • ball-joint front suspension
  • rear semi-elliptic leaf springs with coil shocks
  • 115” wheelbase

 

For 1955, Chevrolet‘s full-size model received all new styling and power. It was called the “Hot One” in GM’s advertising campaign. Chevrolet’s styling was crisp, clean and incorporated a Ferrari-inspired grille. Bel Airs came with features never found on cars in the lower models ranges, such as interior carpet, chrome headliner bands on hardtops, chrome spears on front fenders, stainless steel window moldings, and full wheel covers. With it’s lower, wider body and wrap-around windshield, it was America’s most popular car in 1955, and remains a collectible icon with undeniable appeal today.

1955 Chevy Bel Air

Under the hood, the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air gained a V8 engine option that would go on to define Chevrolet for many years. The new 265 cu in (4,340 cc) V8 featured a modern, overhead valve high compression head, aluminum pistons, and a long stroke design that was so good, it remained in production in various forms for decades. It was smooth, powerful, and easy to service, and the venerable “small-block” remains a legendary design. Mated to an updated wider chassis with ball-joint front suspension, open “Hotchkiss” drive, and tubeless tires as standard equipment, the exciting Bel Air was a hit right from the start. With modern styling, new-found power, and a popular price-point, the design team at Chevrolet definitely hit a home run.

1955 Chevy Bel Air

“Tri-Five” Chevrolets with a V-8 and Powerglide automatic transmission have proven to be smooth, reliable performers, and this car is no exception. It reaches highway speeds with ease, rides smoothly, and with it’s eye-catching two-tone paint and tons of chrome, they make a wonderful addition to any collection of 50’s cars.

Bob DeKorne, National Accounts, Heacock Classic Car Insurance