5-6 October 2017

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Lot 135

1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Phaeton

  • Serial no. 812 32269 H
  • Engine no. FC 2984
  • Body no. C 91 630

Sold for $211,750

  • Factory-supercharged example with its original engine
  • Former long-term California enthusiast ownership
  • Award-winning older restoration in beautiful factory-correct colors
  • ACD Club Certified Category One (C-219)

The Duesenberg Model J had become available with a supercharger in 1932. Three years later, the eight-cylinder Auburn could also be had with a blower. All that was left was to fit the engine to the new Cord of 1936. A year later, as the 810 evolved into the 812 with production fully underway, Auburn Automobile Company’s most flamboyant line received supercharged power as a popular $415 option on all models.

Lycoming began with the 810’s stock V-8 engine, revising the design with a modified firing order, lowered compression ratio, more extreme camshaft grind, and a unique, larger Stromberg AA-25 carburetor. The engine exhaled through a functional chrome side exhaust, an identifying mark of all supercharged Auburn products that was believed to have been added to the Cord by stylist Alex Tremulis, later of Tucker fame, and was engineered into being by none other than August Duesenberg.

The supercharged Cord had a factory-quoted power output of 170 hp, although Lycoming employees later recounted numbers as high as 195. The factory sent two properly equipped Beverly Sedans to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where, driven by Ab Jenkins and Billy Winn, they recorded the highest average speed over a 24-hour period ever achieved at the Brickyard—over 80 mph—and captured the famous Stevens Trophy. That record would stand until 1954. Make no mistake, these were fast cars, with power and flexibility that was as much ahead of its time as the Cord’s famous Gordon Buehrig styling.

The four-passenger phaeton shown here is one of 688 factory-supercharged Cords built, and it retains its original “FC” engine, as verified by both the 810/812 chassis listing in Josh B. Malks’ Cord Complete and its ACD Club Category One certification. It was acquired in 1967 by the late Gary Dubnoff, an enthusiast in northern California who had joined the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club and inquired as to purchasing a car in the Club’s newsletter. Soon after, he purchased this 812, and it remained a favored possession for the remaining 46 years of his life.

The Cord was beautifully restored some years ago, with great attention to authenticity and correctness throughout, including proper fittings, finishes, and wiring under the hood. The body is finished in Geneva Blue, a correct factory color, with the interior a wonderful contrast in bright red leather in the proper pattern and a tan canvas top overhead.

Following the completion of the restoration, the car was an award winner at the ACD Club’s West Coast Meet in 1987. It was regularly maintained for decades and has continued to be well looked after in its present owner’s collection.

This car is being offered to a new, good home, where it is certain to continue to be a special point of pride, whether it is parked as a trophy in the garage or motoring down the road in true Art Deco fashion.

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


+1 864 313 6844
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


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
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


+1 203 912 7168
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


+1 415 302 2247
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


+1 617 513 0388
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


+1 954 566 2209
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


+1 519 352 4575
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


+1 310 559 4575
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


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

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


+1 805 231 6410
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


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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


+1 519 352 4575
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


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
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


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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


+1 519 784 9300
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


+1 310 559 4575
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


+31 653 84 19 60
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