First Cord

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11 Jul 2003 01:05 #469 by Cordoroy
Cordoroy created the topic: First Cord
Now that I've taken the first step toward Cord ownership by subscribing to the magazine, and joining the chat group, I need some advice. I need an almost daily driver and I don't want to end up with a SASCO model. What should I expect to pay, and is the Cord made in 1970 considered a worthwhile vehicle. Roy from Long Island NY.

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  • Bill Hummel
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11 Jul 2003 13:28 #473 by Bill Hummel
Bill Hummel replied the topic: Daily driver
The Cords made in 1970 were literally 810's. They were 8/10th's size. They are easy to spot as the width is about the same, but the length is shorter. They were made by Glenn Pray in Broken Arrow, OK.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You either like them or you don't. Glenn Pray is a wonderful guy. He is one of the men responsible for keeping Cord and Auburn cars alive. Many of the parts on my car came from Glenn Pray, including my engine-turned instrument panel!



There are very few full-sized Cord replicas made out of fiberglass. I didn't think there were any until I saw one or two on eBay. These can be quite expensive and I understand that replicas are hard to resell.

Personally, I would hold out for a real Cord that you can love and fix up. If you are a good mechanic, or know one, then a real Cord is an excellent driver. Just ask any of the Cord owners in our Club!

My Cord 810 is a very good driver. I can go 100 mph in mine. Mine is what is known as a conversion. In the 60's and 70's, there were a number of articles published on how to keep old Cords running. The idea was to convert them to rear-wheel drive and to do what is called a front-end clip.

The Cord 810's were uni-body construction and had a stub-frame from the firewall forward. The idea was that a dealer would be able to easily swap out an entire front-end of a Cord in case of engine or transmission failure. In reality, this was not easy to do, but it was possible!

My Cord has the front end of a 53 Cadillac (I think) and it has an Olds 455 big block engine in it. Mine was destined to become a hotrod. I am rapidly (everything is relative you know) restoring it to original specifications.

The purists among us don't care for conversions. I think the only reason they let me in the Auburn parade is because I knew E.L. Cord pretty well.

Personally, I like my conversion. My first Cord was a show car and I was scared to drive it. It was too expensive and I never turned the engine on once. I lent it to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg museum. Here it is:



20 years later I sold it and swore I would not buy another one. Well, I was wrong. This one came to me in a very roundabout way that I can only consider fate. A conversion is worth less than a 100% complete Cord. I purchased this one for about the same price as a replica and now I have a real Cord!



All car projects have to start somewhere. Some are rusted out hulks, others like this are showstoppers and can carry me safely to the liquor store on weekends! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> My only regret is that I never drove my first Cord. If I had just driven it one time, I would have been a member of this Club 20 years ago ....

Here is a site where you can see my reclamation project. My goal is to return the car to original specs. My last challange will be under the hood!

http://www.cordhaven.com

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12 Jul 2003 14:45 #478 by Cordoroy
Cordoroy replied the topic: First Cord
Bill, thanks for the info. I thought there were other Cords built in the 70's that had disappearing headlights etc, and looked exactly like the original conv, and were not the Sasco or Pray models.

Your car looks beautiful. If I may ask, what would I expect to pay for a convertible conversion like yours. (if I could find one).

Roy

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  • balinwire
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15 Jul 2003 00:50 #488 by balinwire
balinwire replied the topic: 1st Cord
Roy,

You mentioned you need a daily driver. There are a few considerations when purchasing a vehicle. Most importantly is that it does what you need. You mentioned the Samco and that would be great for looks and economy and relatively inexpensive next to an open original, plus in New York the glass fenders would hardly be bothered. Also parallel parking would be easy.

You need a daily driver, nix an original. They are great but don?t idle to well in traffic as the transmission gears are lubed by a pump that only flows when the car is rolling.
I would not rush into a purchase but when you find the right car you will know.

I have wished for years that was a completely glass sedan body kit. A total hot rod or racecar can be admired for what it is. As long as someone has a vision and brings something into running condition. Not at the cost of damaging an original car as so many fine examples of Fords and Chevy?s that have had engine transplants.

Original cars are wonderful and I would certainly consider one, but there may be more maintenance issues. They are rewarding in other ways such as preserving history. They are just really old and have the utmost care.

There may be no other way to keep a Cord running than to engine swap as there are no Lycoming engines in abundance. I would hate to consider the thought but it is always in my mind if I threw a rod and totaled the motor but don?t let me jinx myself by mentioning disaster. There were many owners who installed different power plants and that?s what is generally done to keep them alive. Beats the other option! I would sure rather admire how did they get that to work and there are many fine years of motoring left. Mine has the block repaired as most did.

I would get a car to your taste, not the required norm. Buy a car for you, not considering the economics. Sometimes it is more expensive to fix a bad car than to get good from the go. Price swings will be certain as the market is fickle. There is just a limited supply, as there has been since the inception, with a high demand.

When there is a market demand the consumer usually is delivered new products they like. Detroit has never been very exciting in design in years and really hasn?t used cues of retro until lately such as the new Thunderbird and the new 53 grilles on the new Chevy offering. Those new lines are not as extreme as any used on a Cord.

If the automakers used 37 810 fender cues and similar body patterns on a 2008 and put it on display it would rock the showrooms as did the originals.

All in all don?t worry if the gauges are not perfect, just find a solid car that suits you, any car made out of a coffin with some fenders and a license tag hung on has GOT to be cool.

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15 Jul 2003 06:26 #489 by Bill Hummel
Bill Hummel replied the topic: I see a shopping list being formed as we speak!

balinwire wrote: All in all don?t worry if the gauges are not perfect ...


Did you say gauges? I have some extra gauges and they work! Put me on your list of potential suppliers.

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28 Jul 2003 22:52 #555 by PushnFords
PushnFords replied the topic: Cord Replicas
The first replicas were called 810 as already stated because they were 8/10th the size of a original. These had retractable headlights, Corvair engine, and generally looked closer to the original than any other replicas made.

After that company went out of business another group manufactured cars. There were 13 or so made with the same body molds as the 8/10 and then the body was widened. After that they were set on Chrysler and Ford drivetrains. I've heard about 383, 440 Mopar and 289, 302, and 428 Ford engines being used. Evidently one even had a 426 Hemi! These cars are farther way from the look of a original. The headlights do not retract and it is pretty expensive to modify them so they do. These are SAMCO (note the M) replicas. I've seem them selling for $7-10,000 for good condition cars and a headlight modification job could easily run $3K. The 8/10ths cars bring more as they are more original looking and more desirable.

As far as originals, I recently saw a sedan being advertised that ran and drove (not sure how well) for $25K. Unless you are a mechanic and enjoy tinkering with cars to keep them running a replica would probably be best. The original Cord would not like stop and go trafic because of the issues Balinwire stated but will easily go 80mph on the open road. Unless you want to do the work yourself, you'd be money ahead to buy a completed car that is close to the condition you'll be happy with. It is extremely time consuming to restore '60s and '70s cars......much less one 30-40 years older!

Derek

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