The Legendary Cord Brand Is For Sale

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Cord is one of those iconic automobile brands that seems to come from a mythical era of the past; they don't quite seem of the world we know today. The legendary Cord 810 gave us pop-up headlights, was a FWD pioneer, and is considered one of the most beautiful cars ever. Now you can own the name!

Yes, Leake Auctions is putting the Cord trademark up for bid — actually even more than just the name:

Leake Auction Company is proud to announce a rare opportunity to purchase and own one of the most revered names in the world of American classic automobiles, the trademark, licensing and manufacturing rights to the CORD Automobile.


So, if you have the cash and want to start making Cords again, this is your chance. In fact, that's exactly what happened in the early '60s when Glenn Pray bought the Cord name from the original Cord-Auburn-Dusenberg company.

Pray actually managed to realize his dream of modern Cords, though in a pretty novel way. Pray rebirther the legendary Coffin-nosed Cord 810, but built it with a modern (for the 1960s) drivetrain and modern materials. At 80% scale. Cleverly, he called this sub scale Cord the Cord 8/10.


The original Cord used a FWD setup similar to a Citroën Traction Avant — longitudinal engine behind a front-mounted differential driving the front wheels. There weren't really any drivetrains made in the US that used that format at that time, so they hit on a clever solution: take a Corvair engine and drivetrain and stick it in the front.


The Corvair had the layout they needed, just rear mounted. Stick the whole assembly up front and blammo, new Cord. Plus, it had the added advantage of not needing to find a radiator to fit that coffin-hood's shape.

The 8/10 was made of an interesting "synthetic steel" from US Rubber, the strength of which was proven by driving an 8/10 right into a brick wall.


The reborn cord only lasted until 1967, so we've been without a Cord nameplate for quite a while. Personally, I think Mitsubishi should buy the name for a new US-market luxury line. I think a Mirage with a coffin-nose front end would be just the thing to capture that market of dentists who want to stand out from all those Lexuses and Infinitis.


Here, Mitsubishi — this quick sketch will get you started. I bet you can fit at least two of those little three-cylinders up front there. Just call Leake Auctions at 800.722.9942 when you're ready to buy. My commission is negotiable.