Here’s three vintage ads for the legendary Cord 810. I struggled to decide which one to put first, but then she got the better of me.
I could have used a dad like that.
If the other two don’t scream “upper crust” then this one positively does. The older gentleman who’s not ready to be old yet: “My daughter says she likes to dance with me at the night clubs”. Really? “Daughter” sounds to me like a euphemism for “mistress”.
I see that the ads show the supercharged 812. Hey, best foot forward!
These don’t quite rise to the level of Ned Jordan’s “Somewhere West of Laramie…”, but they’re entertaining to read nevertheless.
These ads appeared 13 or so years after “Somewhere west of Laramie”, but the copywriter clearly went to the Jordan school 🙂
The most beautiful car in the history of the automobile. And an interesting car to drive (yes, I have). I have to chuckle at the college graduate ad, junior has obviously just graduated from either Harvard or Yale.
As to having a father like that, I almost did. My dad’s carburetor man at the Chevrolet dealership had an 810 ‘roadster’ (cabriolet? well, single seat convertible anyway) from back in the days when they were just old cars, not desirable antiques. He was one of the original members of the A-C-D club, and my first antique car show was an A-C-D meet in Harrisburg, PA he took me to (this is where I got to drive the Duesenberg J). Years later, I got to drive his 810.
In the early 80’s, as he was getting old, he decided to sell the car. Dad was interested, until he heard the price. Something around $20-25,000.00 at the time (12 years earlier he had bought me my 1937 Buick for $400.00). Way too rich for dad’s blood, unfortunately.
At least I can say I went thru life having had a chance to own a Cord.
I think you may have hit upon the exact reason GM went an updated, modern version with the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado. It’s definitely possible to see the inspiration, if not the outright similarities.
I think I need a cigarette now.
Father and Graduate obviously never encountered Charlie Ryan and the Timberline Riders on the road. LoL
Pops still looks and dresses like a dignified, prosperous gentleman of his age. In the 1970s, he would had demonstrated his with-itness with a toupee, long sideburns, a lime-green polyester leisure suit, and a shirt open down to his navel.
Yes, that is correct sir. I’d like to purchase three Cords.
One for my mistress,
One for my son,
One for myself.
What’s that you say, something for my wife?
Harumph, harumph, let me get back to you on that.
SNL pointed out the folly of buying a car for one’s wife, just this past week.
Let’s wait a few years, I’ll get her a Graham Hollywood…
“Throbbing” – such a great word !
I wonder if “tumescent” would’ve been too scandalous for the time.
Or “thrust” — another great word.
“Her influence keeps us up and coming.” With such charms, who care what she drives.
The art in all three is unusually crude for the ’30s. The artist seems to have been trying for the Hirschfeld casual style but didn’t have the skill to get there.
“They know they can pass only because you permit it.” That’s how I roll!
And now the Yale graduate and Dad have passed on.
But she is still with us, still young and vital inside, betrayed by the fragile shell she inhabits. Her memories of Dad and the Yalie live on – faintly, but to her, that ’37 Cord, paint shining bright and brightwork just polished, is still on the road, west of Laramie.
Looking at this almost made my eyes sweat, thinking of how things used to be, as I watch my Dad (and to a lesser degree, my mom) succumb to the ravages of dementia. My prayers for anyone who has ageing parents similarly impacted!
I experienced it with a parent myself. Every man on that side of the family got it.
For once, I’m glad I’m adopted.
The three ads demonstrate the old cliche. You can sell an old man a young man’s car, but you can’t sell a young man an old man’s car. These three ads convey the youthful appeal of the car. The first two to actual young folks, the third to an active, mature gentleman who still thinks and acts young. I don’t think many young people besides the children of the rich, could afford a Cord, or have one purchased for their pleasure. Not to say that the Cord was an “old fuddy dudies” car, because it was quite rakish. But priced well above what any young person, aside from a celebrity, could afford. That’s why I have always considered the Corvette to be an old man’s car. Growing up I always found it appealing, but I only saw old, middle aged guys ( they must have been at least forty years old, the horror!) driving them.
I don’t recall ever seeing these before, and they are a treat. Think about how few people these ads spoke to back then. Most were lucky to be able to finance a new Chevrolet over 24 months, that is, if they were not still scruffing along in one of the bazillion Model Ts that were still rattling about.
Along those lines, I find it interesting that these ads were published in Time magazine, rather than in a magazine targeted more to the era’s extremely wealthy. Granted, I’m sure Time had a relatively well-off readership base at the time, but probably not too many prospective Cord buyers.
These ads would have been right at home in Vogue magazine.
Duesenberg print ads of this period would have a picture of an obviously wealthy man or woman. The only text was “He [or She] drives a Duesenberg.” They were what we’d call lifestyle ads today.
Legend has it the daughter of old oil money in Wellsville, NY (yes, that area was part of the original oil boom in the late 19th/early 20th century) received a Cord 810 convertible phaeton for a graduation gift. She kept the Cord her whole life and it’s now in the hand of her daughter..
Closest I ever came to being able to buy a Cord was during 1970, a ’36 Westchester sedan was offered for sale by a long-time collector for $2,500. It was drivable, presentable car, in British racing green with a brown vinyl interior.
This would have been the time when the decision whether to attend college or not. It was pointed out that once a college degree was earned, affording a Cord would be easier. Well, degree was earned but the appreciation in Cord valuations quickly outstripped my earning ability. Should have bought the Cord first! Analogous to eat your dessert first!
I don’t wish to cavil, but “I’m so glad you chose a Super-Charged Cord for your graduation present” does sorta say “upper crust” to me.
Son, I’m proud you chose a Cord.
…because honestly, it’s been tight since ’29. If this Roosevelt character gets in again… Son, I’m just glad you got over that big custom Lincoln. 😉
When Gene talked to Coleen about getting the’48 Tucker, she said “Okay, you can get the Tucker, but the Cord is mine now.” And they still are. Great friends, great cars.
Don’t have the Cord filed yet.
LRF, your connections to lots of sweet old barges is well overdue for a post here. You keep popping up with these tantalizing tidbits of stuff, quite a bit of it amazing stuff, like a damn Tucker!
So grab a kid or a nephew or niece or someone else’s or whatever else is necessary and get ’em to help you get it up here real soon, as your tales are far too interesting not to be shared. Btw, no-one gives a damn about writing or photo standards to hear good stories about any car here, let alone the ones you’ve been connected to.
On you go! Please.