1936 Cord 810 Sportsman - $199,900
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Doors fit well, the clamshell hood opens and closes properly, and it has that intangible feeling of quality that only cars that have never been disassembled can offer.

ACD Certified Category 1. Serial number 2387F, Engine FC3131, Unit 1387, Body C92 131, Supercharger V 1283. Formerly owned by ACD president Paul Bryant. Older restoration with brand new top and radials. Rare Cord that’s wonderful for touring.

Yes, we know there were no supercharged Cords in 1936—this one apparently had the supercharger and attendant side pipes installed sometime in the 1950s. It did not stop it from being certified by the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club, as it still has its original driveline and bodywork. We don’t believe it has ever been disassembled for a full restoration, as the underside is pretty original and a bit grungy. It was probably painted in the 1970s, the interior is quite a bit newer, and the tan canvas top is brand new, installed at significant expense by noted trimmer Ralph Farinacci (it’s so new we didn’t want to risk folding it for photos). The paint is a wonderful shade of burgundy that suits the sporting Sportsman just fine, and even though it’s probably 50 years old it still has a nice shine to it. There’s some checking and a few touch-ups, but nothing that detracts from the spectacular look of the sleek Cord. Doors fit well, the clamshell hood opens and closes properly, and it has that intangible feeling of quality that only cars that have never been disassembled can offer. There’s not a lot of chrome on an 810, but the brightwork that is in place remains in overall very good condition with no notable issues. Even the side pipes are correct pieces and really add to the sporty look of Cord’s 2-seat convertible. From any angle, this is a gorgeous car.

We believe the tan leather interior is more recent than the paint work, offering extremely clean hides, correct brown carpets for contrast, and pleated door panels that are authentically styled. A big 3-spoke steering wheel with horn ring makes the front-wheel-drive Cord surprisingly easy to handle and the engine-turned dash is probably the most beautiful instrument panel of the 1930s. The critical gauges are operational—speedo, tach, oil pressure, ammeter, fuel gauge (although we don’t trust its accuracy), with the liquid-filled temperature gauge being offline. The radio head is missing, sent out for rebuilding and misplaced by the rebuilder but we are in search of a replacement, but the rest of the hardware is in beautiful condition. Of course there’s the delicate pre-selector transmission lever on the side of the steering column and if you’re a first-time Cord driver it’ll take some acclimation, but the overall system is pretty easy to use. Twin cranks on the ends of the dashboard operate the pop-up headlights and each seat is adjustable independently so anyone can get comfortable in the Cord. There’s also a battery cut-off switch at the base of the driver’s seat (the battery is right underneath the seat), which is always a good idea. There’s a bit of storage behind the seat, including the spare tire, as well as access to the nicely upholstered trunk, which is big enough for all your overnight bags on a long tour.

Cord’s 288 cubic inch V8 is not a finicky engine and this one starts quickly and easily and idles nicely even when it’s cold. The Startix system has been disabled and there’s a simply pushbutton under the dash, making starting the engine a simple procedure—turn the key, press the button, go. The supercharger was reportedly installed in the 1950s and probably adds a few horsepower because this Cord is pretty peppy on the road. There’s nice low-end torque to get it off the line and thanks to the well-chosen gears in the transmission, it’s a comfortable 65 MPH cruiser. Thanks to a recent service, this one isn’t finicky at all and drives quite well once you’ve mastered the pre-select part of the transmission operation. Like all Cords, there are a few quirks (like a fourth gear that doesn’t show up until everything is fully warmed up) but we have no real complaints about how this one goes down the road. And like many of its siblings, the more you use it, the better it will get—keeping all those solenoids and relays and actuators limber and moving is critical to keeping a Cord healthy. Drive it! Braking is confident with 4-wheel drums, and as I mentioned, the steering is quite light despite all the weight being over the front wheels. The underside is a bit grungy but shows no rust or rot or other structural issues, and if this were our car to keep, we’d leave it alone—perfection means you won’t drive it. Instead, this one is always ready to hit the road and doesn’t sweat the small stuff. There’s an electric fuel pump that’s surely part of why this one is so easy to start, and a newer muffler gives it a nice V8 burble that we find very appealing. Finally, new 225/75/16 Diamondback wide whitewall radials have just been installed and they look and handle fantastic.

Documentation includes certification booklets from the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club documenting the car’s status across several decades of enjoyment.

We just watched another Sportsman sell at the ACD Labor Day Festival for nearly $400,000 and we’re not surprised. It’s easily the most dramatic car of the 1930s and the ground-breaking technology makes it a great choice for the vintage tech fan. Add in the best road manners of any pre-war American car and fantastic club support, and you have an A-list celebrity that’s probably worth every penny. This car has lived its life with experienced collectors, including a former ACD Club president, making it a nicely-sorted driver that’s ready to tour anywhere. Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1936 Cord 810 Sportsman
Price: $199,900
Stock Number: 120080
Odometer Reading: 12,735
VIN: 2387F
Engine: 288 cubic inch supercharged V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual pre-select
Gear Ratio: 4.3
Wheelbase: 125 inches
Wheels: 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 225/75/16 Diamondback wide whitewall radials
Exterior Color: Burgundy
Interior Color: Tan leather
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