My Cords

Josh Malks'

Cord History, Chapter 3

Cord History

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3

September 1936

The model number of the 1937 Cord was changed from 810 to 812. (About 150 810s were renumbered as 812s, and sold as 1937 models. Try that today!) Very minor changes were made, mostly small mechanical improvements

October 1936

Two additions to the line had been in preparation for months --- a supercharger option aimed at the sporting set and a long-wheelbase "custom" series for the monied classes. These were now put into production.

November 1936

The virtually unchanged Cord was again a standout at the auto shows. The external exhaust pipes on supercharged models, a last-minute innovation by Tremulis and Augie Duesenberg, were a particular sensation.

December 1936 -
May 1937

Cords fascinated the public, but they didn't buy them. Sales continued to dwindle, as the dealership base melted away.

June 1937

A supercharged Cord Beverly sedan driven by Ab Jenkins garnered the Stevens Challenge Trophy at the Indianapolis Speedway. Two cars started; one finished. And it wasn't the one the public thought it was!

July 1937

Ab Jenkins, Augie Duesenberg and crew left for the Bonneville Salt Flats in an attempt to set more publicity-generating speed records. Endless rains delayed them.

August 1937

Errett Cord, who had sold his Auburn stock a year earlier, now sold his holdings in the Cord Corporation and retired a millionaire to California.
The new owners immediately shut down unprofitable divisions. Auburn stopped car production.
The few Cords still on the production line were completed by a skeleton crew and sold cheaply to dealers. 

September 1937

The Cord racing team ignored the fact that production had ceased a month earlier. Ab Jenkins and his Cord set American stock car speed records that would stand for seventeen years --- the flying mile at 107.66, and 24 hours at 101.76!

3000 Cords 810 and 812 had been built in nineteen months; Auburn would build no more. Reorganized as Auburn-Central (later American-Central, still later American Kitchens) the same lines that produced Cords poured out kitchen cabinets, Jeep bodies, bomber parts,, dishwashers and other materiel until the company finally closed its doors in 1975. Auburn didn't go out of business in 1937. It just stopped making Cords.

July 1938

Auburn was in receivership.
Norman DeVaux bought the Cord body dies and leftover stampings.

August 1938 - July 1940

First Hupp, then Hupp and Graham combined, attempted to produce a saleable car using the Cord dies. Both failed, producing a total of about 2,200 cars.