Letters from readers, July 1944

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Sir,

Thanks a million for the road test of the Cord ; it gave me a most peculiar feeling in my accelerator toe.

Now, to set enthusiasts looking around, I would like to add that these cars have been coming into this country since about 1927, all of which are left-hand drive up to the 1936 model. Prior to 1936 the engine was an eight in line with gearbox in the front of same, the hand-change was in the facia panel with a 3/4-in rod sliding in rollers, and carried to the front of the engine ; the chassis was nice and low, with knock-on wheels.

A rather interesting feature was the starting handle which was splined and, therefore, would last as long as the car (many have done 100,000 miles without serious trouble). Radiator design of this fwd Duesenberg-Cord was similar to the SS car.

It was rated over here as 28 hp, and was not supercharged until 1936, when the last of the Cords were made, although some were sold in 1937 and 1938, and for 1936 the Cord took on a different bodystyle with Venetian-type louvres, retractable headlamps, and electric vacuum remote-control gear-shift.

The engine was by now a V8 Lycoming, rated at 110 hp (39.2 RAC rating). The whole car was well ahead of its time, and about the middle of 1938 the Hupmobile was running around with the Cord body. Yes, the Hupp Brothers had purchased the Cord body dies (alas ! no more Cords), but the body design was not yet out of date, for in 1939 the Graham Automobile Corporation had fitted it to their product, and the 1942 Lincoln was a replica of it, so what next?

A few notes may prove useful, so I will quote the following : The car is made by the Auburn Automobile Company, of Auburn, Indiana, makers of Auburn cars and Duesenberg aero engines.

The supercharged Cord will barrel along at 110-120 mph. (160 mph is not beyond the capabilities of the unit, but not in standard form). The Lycoming engine dimensions are 31/2 x 33/4 in; it develops 125 hp at 3,500 rpm. Speeds, four forward, one reverse (ratios were quoted in the January issue of Motor Sport). Independent suspension to front wheels, centre control steering, double-action hydraulic shockers ; brakes are hydraulic (the Cord is noted for good brakes). Carburetter is 1 in Duplex downdraught type, cooling by pump and fan, radiator is made of copper. Fuel tank 20-gallon capacity (any Cord will do 20 mpg). The body is built with the frame as one unit. The ground clearance is 9 in, and the weight is 11/2 tons, or 21/4 tons for the Berline limousine.

The whole car is of very solid structure and deserves some praise. Many of these cars cost over £3,000, and they were worth every penny of it ; in my opinion the best ever made (that is, to take it on all its merits).

I am, Yours, etc,

Regd D Witthames,  Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.

P.S.—If any reader is interested I know of many Cords for sale ; six of these are in the same stable.

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