Cut-Rate Cord

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06 Dec 2005 23:00 #4104 by balinwire
balinwire created the topic: Cut-Rate Cord


tester Maurer (with his '37 Cord) expected to buy a Ford, not a Cord.

Cut-Rate Cord Was The Deal of a Lifetime
By Lester Maurer, Denison, Texas

It was the Depression, and the dealer was desperate?he sold a $3,000 car for a song.

IN 1937, 1 was making $15 a week playing in a dance band, yet I managed to buy a brand-new Cord?one of the most luxurious cars of the day.

I'd wanted a new car fur some time and had saved $600, 1 lived in Savanna. Illinois, 100 miles from Chicago, and headed there to see what $600 would buy.

As luck had it. I walked into an Auburn dealership.
The Auburn Automobile Company of Auburn. Indiana built the Duesenberg, the Cord and the Auburn?all deluxe cars selling for thousands of dollars.

During the Depression, however, those cars weren't fact, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy.

A beautiful four-door Cord caught my eye. It was soft gray with gorgeous light gray wool broadcloth upholstery. It also had an amazing semi-automatic one-finger shift on the steering column and a dashboard full of dials.

A Pricey Proposition?

That Cord was priced over $3,000, but the dealer was desperate?he offered it to me for $600!

But let me tell you, this country boy was too scared to drive that beautiful new car through downtown Chicago.

An employee of the dealership drove me to the edge of town and rode back into the city on the "El", leaving me on my own with the open highway before me.

At home, I was the talk of the town. Few had ever seen such a luxurious car, and no one could figure out how a young single man making $15 a week could afford it.

On trips to out-of-town appearances, someone always wanted lo ride with me. And why not? The Cord rode beautifully, and in spite of its weight and powerful engine, it still got 15 miles to the gallon.

Of course, a young man has to see how his car performs. One time I tested the front-wheel drive, turning a rain-soaked corner at 35 miles per hour. The car didn't slide a bit,
That Cord Cruised

Another time, out on the highway, I found the Cord would do 110 miles per hour. (The dumb things young people do!)

In the summer of 1938,1 started dating- a young lady. Betty just knew I had to be rich to own a car like that! Actually, compared to a lot of people in those days. I was rich.

The big Cord was a comfortable place for us to sit and listen to the radio. Occasionally we sat too long in her driveway and ran down the battery? then I'd have to walk home.

One night I proposed to Betty in the Cord. We were married later that year and kept the Cord until 1940. when we realized that if it ever needed repairs, we'd never be able to afford them.

We traded it "even up" for a straight-eight Buick. which we drove through the war.

I'll always regret that we didn't just
buy the Buick and park the Cord.

But then, who knew a Cord would be worth
close to $100.000 today?

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