1937 Cord Westchester 812
288 cid, Lycoming V-8, 125 bhp

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Originally conceived as a “baby” Duesenberg, the Cord 810/812 were built with technical innovations unavailable on any other car of its’ time.

Its styling centered around a huge coffin-nosed hood with an integrated grill of horizontal louvers. The flared front fenders were over-sized and incorporated automotive industry’s first disappearing headlights.

The all steel, unitized construction featured minimal trim, suicide doors with concealed hinges, sharply angled split windshield, and a roomy interior.

Mechanically it featured a Lycoming V-8 rated at 125 horsepower and front wheel drive. It was also available with a Switzer-Cummins centrifical super charger that would boost that to 170 hp. The super charged version would do 110 mph and hit 60 in 11-13 seconds, making it one of the fastest prewar production cars.

Despite its great looks and innovative power train, the 812 was plagued by production problems. Both the transmission and drive train had persistent troubles. Many cars also leaked badly whenever it rained. Many of the 810/812’s innovations have become common place on today’s automobile.


  • Front wheel drive, 4-speed, electrically activated, transaxle transmission; Supercharged model available at 170 bhp
  • Classic aero-dynamic, “Art Deco” styling; Listed as one of the world’s most beautiful cars; <3,000 produced; Price new: $2,445