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trimacar

1937 Cord, a tale of two engines

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OK, so yes, this could just go in the ACD section, but thought it might be of more general interest.

 

Sometimes things happen that make you scratch your head while wondering what cosmic forces are at work.

 

I own a 1937 Cord phaeton, unrestored, which means it's not totally "original" as far as paint goes, but it's never been taken down to it's component parts.

 

A number of years back, I took it to the ACD Festival in Auburn.  While there, I had it "certified" by the ACD club, which basically means it's a real car, has genuine factory components, and is now documented in the Club's archives.

 

While having my Cord certified, it was pointed out that my car did not have the correct engine, but not to worry, a LOT of Cords have replacement engines.  The "factory" in Auburn was kept open (by another person, but that's a longer story) into the 1950's for ACD repair and refurbishment, and the thought is that my engine and transmission were changed out then.  My transmission has traces of red paint, which I was also told may be an indication of a 50's refurbishment.

 

So, by now you're asking, where is this story leading?  I'll make it simple.  The fellow in the ACD club who's in charge of the Certification project was a recipient of a few emails from me about another subject, and he casually mentioned "Oh, by the way, I have the engine out of your Cord..."     WHAT??  Yes, data plate on the car shows engine number FB 2035, I have that engine that was in a group of parts that I found.

 

So, let me make this clear.  I bought a Cord in 1985, with an engine that had been replaced at least 30 years prior to that, and here it is almost 40 years after I bought the car and YOU HAVE THE CORRECT ENGINE FOR IT?!?!  

 

I made a trip into the wilds of Pennsylvania today with a good friend of mine, and acquired the engine.  I have no plans to rebuild and install, although the block is in great condition, but just having it with the car means a lot to me.  Attached pictures of car data plate and engine number.

 

Am I blessed with some good luck, or what?   And don't say "what"....

IMG_1820.JPG

Photo 1.jpg

Photo 2.jpg

back view Cord in driveway.JPG

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That's an awesome find! I agree, don't mess with the car--just having the right engine is just as good for all intents and purposes. I'd be thrilled!

 

I know of at least one person who makes a living reuniting Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts with their original engines. Surely there are similar guys doing it for, say, Corvettes.

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Yes, I am thrilled, with plans to have the engine in the corner of my warehouse, and if the car ever gets sold, that goes with it.  The fellow who sold it to me was very good to deal with, he could have tried to hold me up, so to speak, but price was consistent with a sound Cord block, and he told me he's very happy it's been reunited with the car.....fun stuff!

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A friend of mine by the name of Galen Govier reconnects MoPar muscle car engines found with the rightful car. It is so cool to see a HEMI go back into the car it was built with.

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Just now, keiser31 said:

It is so cool to see a HEMI go back into the car it was built with.

Well, tain't no Hemi, and I'm not a fan of the whole "numbers matching" game, but this particular find has made me very happy!  This was numbers matching before there was big buck numbers matching!

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Maybe the engine that is in your Cord right now. Is the engine that used to be in Auburnseekers Cord.:lol:

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This is absolutely wonderful to read. thanks for sharing with us, and I am sure by doing so you made a lot of people smile.

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I was just about to ask him what the number is on his engine.  

The closest I found was an Auction out west had a few engines in it and one was about 3 units one way or the other of my car.  so it ended with a 3 and mine a 7 or something like that.  I don't have my number handy,  but that's just an example.  I highly doubt it,  but I would like to know.  

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Let me check, I don't have the car nor the documents at hand, I do seem to remember the engine number was a low one...will let you know...d

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Sheesh, picture reminds me of why I need to get serious about a diet.  Me on left, watching Jim get engine up in the air....

 

 

20190401_115959_HDR[2978].jpg

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I know. I know. APRIL FOOL  !         Congratulations on a find and a story never to happen again.                                                                                                                                    

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Nope, no April Fool, although that did occur to me.  I think last year I posted the 1938 Pierce Arrow catalog.

 

This is a better story and somewhat truer....

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I do LOVE stories like this!! (If it turns out to be April Fool, I will be VERY upset!)

Personally, I am totally disgusted with the whole "numbers matching" shtick. It is supposed to mean something, that the car is a real surviving original something or other. Yet there are restorers that specialize in taking rusted out hulks, keeping the firewall, doorjamb, some engine parts, and replacing EVERYTHING else. Then selling it as a "numbers matching car. Meaningless at that point. People go gaga over common '30s cars which 90 percent of them still have their original engines just because they were seldom ever changed! They go nuts about '10s and '20s cars claiming "NUMBERS MATCHING" for cars that had only one serial number ever! Or making the claim on cars that had two serial numbers, that never did match, even from the factory! With only a some exceptions, in some years, muscle cars, sports cars, full custom classics, where it does mean something, "numbers matching" is mostly marketing hoo-ha and buzz words.

That is my disgruntled opinion.

 

All that said. I love it when an antique car can defy the odds and get its original engine back!

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Not an April Fools joke, I have been following this story on the Pierce Arrow Society’s website for a while now. I think David has to be the most lucky guy around, that probably has worse odds than hitting a lottery....

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The odds that David's car would ever be in the same zip code as its original engine are astronomical so it's great to see that they are a matched pair once again.

Congrats, Dave!

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4 hours ago, George Smolinski said:

Proverbial needle in a haystack. Do we only get to see one photo? Will you please post a couple more of the car?

Will do, at the risk of boring some people.  The car came out of Georgia in the 1960's, I don't have any idea where it was before that.

When I had it certified at the ACD Meet, the team noticed red paint on the transmission.  Someone mentioned they thought the '50's work done at the factory identified rebuilt transmissions that way.

For those who may not know, when the ACD factory in Auburn closed in 1937, it was bought by a gentleman (in 1938) named Dallas Winslow.  He was a master of buying defunct companies, then selling the assets to make lots of money.

The ACD factory and showroom in Auburn, however, had a different fate. There were so many parts there, and such a beautiful showroom, that it was kept open to service Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg automobiles.  So, in the early 1950's, say, a person could bring their worn-out and tired Cord to the factory, have rebuilt engine and trans installed, new paint, new upholstery....

I believe this is what happened to my car, although it did not have upholstery installed, as the original was in decent condition.  At that point, the original engine began it's decades long path back into my hands.

 

The paint is peeling, the leather is cracking.  I drove the car for years doing little maintenance, and it caught up to me when the water pump failed last year.  The car is now being serviced mechanically (brakes, fuel, radiator, etc.) and should be back on the road this summer.

8_20_11 2.JPG

ACD meet 2011 pic 1.jpg

ACD meet.jpg

August 2013 Cord in front of house.jpg

back view Cord in driveway.JPG

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2 minutes ago, zepher said:

The odds that David's car would ever be in the same zip code as its original engine are astronomical so it's great to see that they are a matched pair once again.

Congrats, Dave!

The other funny part of this, to me, is that the engine was only 3 hours away....it could just as easily been on the West coast, which would have made acquisition quite a feat!

 

I'll also say that the fellow who had the engine, which was in a large collection of Cord parts he bought, was very fair to me on price, when he knew how badly I wanted it.  I'm grateful to him for making a good deal on it.

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Congratulations David, it's like Christmas in March! How times have changed, there was a time that you probably wouldn't have made the effort.

 

Case in point, and since the story involves David, it's not exactly like stealing his thread. Several years ago David and I communicated about this story so he verified it.

 

It was thirty five, or more years ago that David, while he lived in Louisiana, I believe, sold a 1934 V12 Silver Arrow to a friend of mine in the Seattle area. I'll just refer to him as Walt, since he's pretty guarded when it comes to having his name splashed about. Walt, and another good friend Paul, decided to make an adventure out of getting the car home by driving it back the Washington state. Paul and his brother own a successful restoration shop in the Seattle area, and he is one of the best mechanics that I know. By all accounts the trip back was uneventful, unless you count the snow that they encounter in Colorado.

 

The car was bought, with the knowledge that it didn't have it's original engine. It really wasn't a big deal back then, but how things have changed!

 

Fast forward twenty five years. Walt still owned (owns) the car. We were out on a HCCA tour when we stopped at the home of another well known collector. There in the middle of his shop building, on display was a Pierce Arrow V12. A quick check determined that this engine was in fact the original engine from Walt's Silver Arrow. Even with providence lighting the way, Walt was not sure that he wanted to make the effort at reuniting car and engine.

 

Marty, the owner of the engine said that he had bought the engine with some other spare parts for his 1934 Pierce V12 coupe. He believed that he purchased it in Louisiana or eastern Texas. I don't remember when he said that he bought it. I asked Marty recently if Walt had ever pursued the purchase the engine. He said that I believe that he had, since he no longer had it, but couldn't remember to whom he sold it. It is the only appropriate end to a story like this. 

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Great story David, I enjoyed reading that and also nice to see that one hobbyist can still help another without just trying to wring the last nickel out of the transaction, Todd C 

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8 hours ago, Mark Wetherbee said:

David has to be the most lucky guy around, that probably has worse odds than hitting a lottery....

 David’s not just lucky.......  he’s got wonderful good looks and charming personality to go along with everything else!

 

 

 Gonna to sell me that other motor cheap now ? 🤪

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