Cord 812 Supercharged Beverly Sedan

In designing the Cord 810 in 1935, Gordon Buehrig had created one of the most revolutionary American cars.

He even patented his ‘new, original and ornamental design’. Its front resembles an (American) coffin, earning it the nickname ‘coffin nose’. The grille was often compared to a radio. The headlights were retractable, adapted from Stinson aircraft landing lights. The lights were retracted mechanically by turning two little cranks, one on each side of the dashboard, which were attached to a cable.

The Cord 810 was the first American car to combine front-wheel drive with independent front suspension. It had an electrically controlled transmission with an overdrive in fourth gear. The car was nevertheless developed too hastily, which resulted in mechanical problems.

Sales were disappointing. Although a supercharged version, the 812, was introduced a little later, it could not save the company from closure in 1937. The groundbreaking bodywork was sold to Graham and Hupmobile, who went on to produce similar cars, albeit without the retractable headlights.

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