1965 Cord 8/10 Sportsman
Cord factory built car; Corvair power plant; a genuine 'continuation Cord' from the ACD factory
This 1964 Cord is just that, a proper Cord and not some replica or kit car - a genuine Cord Sportsman made at the Cord factory in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The car was the brainchild of Glen Pray, the then owner of the A-C-D Company (Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg). A fascinating character, he purchased the original company and associated rights in 1960 and produced a number of designs over the years. He was also the subject of several books, including ‘Glen Pray. The Man Who Brought Legends To Life’ and ‘Glen Pray – The Untold Stories’.
Part of the deal included a mass of associated spare parts, for cars dating back to the 1930s. He was able to supply these as a business and keep numerous Auburns and Cords on the road when they otherwise would have been lost.
One of his ambitions was to build new cars. He launched the Sportsman, an 8/10th scale version of the stunning Buehrig-designed coffin-nose Cord Phaeton. He was able to use a number of parts from his original stock, mounted on a new chassis which was powered by the flat-6 Corvair air-cooled motor mounted up front, driving the front wheels.
The bodywork mimicked the Cord Phaeton closely, but Pray chose a brand-new ABS thermoplastic for the bodywork call ‘Royalite’ patented by UniRoyal. This is NOT fibreglass. Royalite is still in common usage on boats, canoes, aircraft and cars and is light, extremely strong and long lasting.
He managed to produce 97 examples before the finances of making such low volumes of cars got the better of him. His successors in the business managed a further 13, before changing the design (for the worse).
The problem was that they cost the same as an E-Type Jaguar and twice the price of a TR or MGB so it was always going to be an uphill struggle to make a business of it.
In a nice twist of fate, Pray’s son now owns the company name and is still running the business restoring cars and suppling cars from the A-C-D concern.
This particular Cord Sportsman was imported from the USA in late 1989 and was UK registered in August 1990. It has changed hands a few times since, the owner purchasing it on a whim 18 months ago, although he has now decided that it is probably one car too many.
It is fitted with a normally-aspirated 2.7-litre Chevrolet Corvair flat-6 which has a single 4-barrel Holly carburettor. These motors are light, powerful and extremely reliable, finding favour in a number of light-aircraft designs. Parts are also cheap and plentiful.
We are told that the chassis has faired well and is solid and sound and the body, being ABS is also solid and bright. There are a few areas of chrome and paintwork which could be improved, although it is all going to last a lifetime.
Twin stainless exhausts are fitted and the interior is complete but could do with a little tidying here and there, but nothing major.
The vendor has added magnetic wireless lights for the side, brake and indicators front and rear, which can be unclipped if so desired, but they do add piece of mind.
Described by Pray as a ‘Second Generation’ Cord, this is a most unusual beast and likely to be the only one in the UK. An equivalent Cord Phaeton from the 1930s is going to set you back well over £150,000, making this interesting factory-built car look something of a bargain – and probably just as much fun!
For more information – contact [email protected]
* All charges are subject to VAT