• Chris Summers
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10 Nov 2011 23:39 #21407 by Chris Summers
Chris Summers replied the topic:
Today I snagged a copy of "Bombshell" by David Snell, the only Harlow biography in my local library, and read the chapter on the Bern/Harlow marriage.

Bern had lusted for Harlow for some time. She finally agreed to marry him simply because she wanted to have kids. The license was applied for June 21, 1932, and they married July 2, 1932. No mention is made of a trip to Paris or a honeymoon of any kind. They apparently got married, went back to work, were miserable for two months, and Bern then shot himself September 5.

The important thing to notice is the dates. The Cord appeared in Paris with the apparently unmarried Mlme. Berne (with an "e") in June 1931, over a year before Bern (with no "e") married Jean Harlow. By the time Harlow and Bern married, the speedster had already been to New York, been to Paris, been to Toronto (where it was apparently in other hands), and seems to have been well on its way into history.

> The woman with the car was Mlme Berne. Even if this was a misspelling, "Mlme" indicates unmarried, and comparing photos clearly shows that the woman isn't Harlow. (Some resemblance, but not the same person.) The woman with the car is not Harlow.
> Harlow and Bern married a year after the car's appearance in Paris and by which time it was already in Toronto and on its way "elsewhere."
> Bern owned an L-29 touring car. As Josh said, they knew the difference back then.
> Ace (who seems to know his Harlow) claims Harlow never left the US.
> They apparently never had a real honeymoon much less a jaunt to Europe. How would they have time? They married, worked for two months, and then Bern died.

I think this evidence would convince a jury. Harlow and Bern never owned the car.

Chris Summers
ACD Club
Chandler-Cleveland Motor Club

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

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12 Nov 2011 05:59 #21416 by AceCollins
AceCollins replied the topic:
Good timeline work, I should have done that and never did. The death, maybe suicide, likely murder committed by Paul Bern's common law wife, was a tragic end to a very strange life. That former wife drowned herself the day after Bern's body was discovered.

I still wonder how the legend of Harlow and the Cord came about. I have gone through her will, the list of cars she owned during her life and photos of her with her cars (and as she was the most photographed person of her time there were a bunch of them), and except a series of photos of the star and an Auburn Boattail at an air show/race, Jean was never shown or mentioned with with an Auburn product.

1934 Auburn 652Y Four-Door Sedan
1936 Cord 810 Westchester

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  • Josh Malks
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12 Nov 2011 07:34 #21417 by Josh Malks
Josh Malks replied the topic:
We, the ACD Club, have accomplished what our mission demands of us -- correcting false history. The rest of our job is to diligently, but civilly, correct those who continue to purvey inaccuracies.

Thanks to Justin, Chris and Mike for a job well done.

Josh B. Malks
810 2087A
ACD Club Life Member
ACD Newsletter editor
Past president

Check out CORD COMPLETE at www.cordcomplete.com

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  • mikespeed35
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13 Nov 2011 17:44 #21424 by mikespeed35
mikespeed35 replied the topic:
Thanks Josh, But full credit should go to Chris and Justen. All I did was point out the Accelerator photo to Chris.
CORDially Mike

Mike Huffman

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13 Nov 2011 18:29 #21427 by Justin Kerns
Justin Kerns replied the topic:
Well I didn't do anything either except to summarize the timing of documented points in history. And I'm afraid we haven't accomplished much in the way of tracking the car beyond November of 1931, which was the purpose of the original post.

It appears that the car was always owned by Auburn Automobile Co. and not privately owned from its construction through the last known photos. Is it possible that, for whatever reason, the company dismantled the car and made no attempt to sell it as it was built? Is there any resource known for internal company records or correspondence that may discuss the intent or fate of the car in late 1931?

Does anyone know of an archive of photography from the New York Auto shows? I can't find anything online that goes that far back but surely it should have been photographed there.


1932 Auburn 12-160A Sedan

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14 Nov 2011 00:10 #21430 by RandyEma
RandyEma replied the topic:
Yes there are other photos existing some of which are at auto shows .Your time line is good but the information is old . And yes This car was built designed and shown by Auburn ie Roy Faulkner all over it is amazing that we can tell you who killed Cesar, but not who bought this car in late 1931 or early 1932. Randy

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