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How does the Graham Hollywood compare to the Cord 810 in driving?


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  • Peter Gariepy changed the title to How does the Graham Hollywood compare to the Cord 810 in driving?

Not being a Cord person I've heard that "There Day" was before the Constant Velocity Joints  and they used a double universal type joint.  I do remember hearing a click-click- click from  the front axle on the one's I seen in Parades.  I am looking forward to  hearing the experts opinion's.

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I haven't driven a Hupp or Graham, but I'll go out on a limb and suggest that they probably don't drive anything like a Cord. The fact that they're shaped the same means nothing as the hardware underneath is COMPLETELY different.

 

That said, I think the Graham Hollywood is an awesome car and deserves to be enjoyed on its own merits rather than as a consolation prize.

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FWD, 125" and 132" wb versus RWD 115" wb

125hp 288 ci, L-Head V8 vs 93/120 218 ci L-Head 6 cylinder

$1,995-$3,575 versus $968-$1,065

Apples vs Oranges

Other than the bodies, the overall design theme and both were last ditch, hail Mary efforts by their respective companies to survive as an automaker, different animals each which should be appreciated on its own merits and place in automotive history.

Edited by 58L-Y8
corrected syntax errors, added spec's & prices (see edit history)
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I suggest you look up specs of both cars. I don't know specs myself but as I recall the cord is very heavy and longer wheelbase than the Hollywood. I'd say about a foot longer and at least a half ton heavier. All the extra weight is in the drivetrain between the dash & front axle  Cord has a lower profile too. Cord has Independent front suspension and I believe (?) hollywood has straight axle ? The Cord & it's transmission is kind of awkward to handle in slow traffic.  I think the Hollywood might be a bit more limber. 

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Wheelbase on the cord it’s 5 inches longer than the graham. The entire 5 inches in the hood.

 

As someone who loves both cars, they are still completely different. Super charge cord is good for 70 miles an hour on the highway no problem

 

Supercharged Graham, feels like it’s going to blow apart at 60 miles an hour.

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To start with I have never driven or even sat in either car. This is all hearsay of being around old cars for 60 years. The Cord was well thought of in its day as a good handling fast car but expensive to keep in repair. The Graham used the Cord body with an adaptation of the existing Graham chassis, engine and suspension. This was the typical solid front and rear axle, leaf spring suspension, flathead six cylinder and manual 3 speed transmission of the mid thirties. I would expect it to run and drive like a Dodge, Studebaker, or other typical medium priced car of the time.

I would be tempted to buy the Graham if any were around because I like the unusual and they were not only unusual but fairly good looking as well. So far as I know, only a few hundred or a thousand were made and parts would be a problem, but most mechanical parts interchange with other Grahams and body parts with Cord so it might not be too hopeless.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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19 hours ago, alsancle said:

Wheelbase on the cord it’s 5 inches longer than the graham. The entire 5 inches in the hood.

 

As someone who loves both cars, they are still completely different. Super charge cord is good for 70 miles an hour on the highway no problem

 

Supercharged Graham, feels like it’s going to blow apart at 60 miles an hour.

I take exception to the remark about the Graham. I owned one several years ago. Although it wasn’t in excellent condition, it would roll on at 65-70mph with power to spare. It was the supercharger that made the difference.  Zeke
 

 

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10 minutes ago, zeke01 said:

I take exception to the remark about the Graham. I owned one several years ago. Although it wasn’t in excellent condition, it would roll on at 65-70mph with power to spare. It was the supercharger that made the difference.  Zeke
 

 

I assume you installed a high speed rear end, or overdrive? Also how did you reinforce the front fenders? I would be interested to know, as I need to do mine.

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A nicely restored Cord 810/812 (no “it’s good enough”) with everything rebuilt correctly drives beautifully.  Plenty of power, easy to shift and steer, nice ride.  Hard to find a late thirties car which drives and handles better, and I’ve driven quite a few non-Cords.

 

A worn out Cord drives with heavy steering and clicking of the axles in turns.

 

I’ve driven the former and own the latter.

 

I can’t speak to the Graham….

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The Cord was built backwards, that is they put the engine behind the transmission so you have to change gears backwards. You put it in gear first then use the clutch. Oh come on you Cord guys, that's funny.

 

The Hollywood was built in 1940 and 41 and just about any 1940 car can cruise easily at 60-70 MPH on modern highways. The Hollywood was a six but had a turbocharger option. I don't have any experience with the Hollywood but I have driven a 34 Graham SC 8 and it is an impressive performer, especially for a 34 car. The 34 can be driven at 70. Graham built more SC cars than any other manufacturer before WWII, including ACD combined. However, you don't see many driven today. 

Edited by jdome
fat fingers (see edit history)
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I have the 1941 Supercharged Graham Hollywood and my friend has the Cord --- The Graham drives better and both cars have been completely restored.  Keep in mind that is driving them with today's cars as comps and the Graham drives more like today's cars.  The Cord, you can tell you are in an older car  even though it was advanced for it's day and drove better I am sure than period cars it was sold against.

 

Photo is my Graham being delivered a few weeks ago - will have to get a pic of my friend's Cord

image6.jpeg

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I've driven both, and the Cord far outweighs the Graham. Even a supercharged Graham has absolutely no performance. Here today, here tomorrow kind of acceleration. The Cord is an absolute pleasure to drive. Freeway speeds and faster.

 

If a Cord "feels like an old car," it probably didn't get the mechanical restoration it deserved. As for Graham, I've driven two. One was low-mileage  and one wasn't, but both good running cars. They both pretty much had the same poor performance. Many would agree with me that the supercharger also ads little if any discernible difference in performance.

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On 8/12/2022 at 7:26 PM, DFeeney said:

Not being a Cord person I've heard that "There Day" was before the Constant Velocity Joints  and they used a double universal type joint.  I do remember hearing a click-click- click from  the front axle on the one's I seen in Parades.  I am looking forward to  hearing the experts opinion's.

I think you need to do a little more research on a Cord's front joints than a click, click in a parade. The Cord automobile was the first front wheel drive to use constant velocity joints. In fact, they looked similar to the outboard joints on the Oldsmobile Toronado and all other cars that have front wheel drive today. They have some real good exhibits of such at the Aubern, Cord, Duesenberg Museum in Indiana.

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We have an identical Cord and Graham Hollywood,  both convertible coupes.    I can tell you down to the cotter pins where the differences are.   The supercharged Cord engine develops almost 50 more horsepower and the fourth gear is a factory overdrive.    The Cord 812 held stock car records that were not broken until the 1950s.    

 

The production Graham Hollywood was based on the Westchester Cord body dies.   Rear fenders, doors, etc all interchange between the cars.    The front clips are specific to each car.   The floor in the Graham is cut for a semi-crude transmission tunnel that the Cord doesn't need.    As I said before the wheelbase on the Cord is 5" longer,  which is all in the hood.

 

I'm a fan of both cars,  but you can get a decent driving Hollywood for about 1/2 the money of the equivalent non supercharged Cord.    Probably about 1/3 the money of a Supercharged car.

 

Both the Graham Club (GOCI) and the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club (ACD) are active, with supportive members and meets.


There were a thousand less (approx 2k to 3k) Hupp/Hollywoods built than 810/812 Cords.    Initial retail price of the Hollywood was about 1/2 that of what the Cord was:  $1,100 to $2,200.

July 18 Thumb Drive 2 303.jpg

photo(7).JPG

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  • 5 weeks later...
6 hours ago, Graham Man said:

image.png.9946b9f4cb0a0fe6eba8413bda933bee.png

 

Graham had optional overdrive in 1940, Supercharged Hollywood was 217.8 CID, 124HP

 

image.png.ba7d4422b372eb1e64bfd33647bcf378.png

 

We have two GOCI members who drive their bone stock overdrive Hollywood's all over the county, one boasts over 35K miles in the last few years.

 

image.png.b6c90a88fb6e11ce66cd5e65dc209155.png

 

991125679_Picture024.jpg.6c3f988bf9fa05368d9591892fe0c493.jpg

 

 

Could you post a picture of the overdrive unit? You learn something new every day, but I have never seen or heard of an overdrive unit in the 1940 Hollywood. I think it would be awesome if there was such a thing. Especially a factory unit.

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On 8/15/2022 at 8:41 AM, West Peterson said:

If a Cord "feels like an old car," it probably didn't get the mechanical restoration it deserved.

There's the key to this whole discussion.

 

I upholstered and topped the Cord phaeton which was owned by the late Bill Pettit of Louisa, Virginia, who later lived in Florida.  The car had been mechanically restored by an expert, one who'd worked on Cords for years.  I don't have his name on the tip of my tongue but long time Cord guys know of him, he also lived in Florida.

 

The Cord drove like a dream, easy shift, smooth clutch, light steering....of the couple hundred early cars I've driven in my life, probably in the top 2 or 3 best on the road.  In no way did it feel like an old car.

 

As I often state, it's about doing a complete restoration to original factory specifications, and not leaving something alone because "it's good enough".  It's a shame more people don't get to drive a car that's really been restored correctly, it changes your perception of what the cars were when new.  Had they been "dogs" they never would have sold.  If they'd been hard to start (as people who bash 6 volt systems claim) they wouldn't have sold.  The list goes on....

 

 

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27 minutes ago, trimacar said:

As I often state, it's about doing a complete restoration to original factory specifications, and not leaving something alone because "it's good enough".  It's a shame more people don't get to drive a car that's really been restored correctly, it changes your perception of what the cars were when new.  Had they been "dogs" they never would have sold.  If they'd been hard to start (as people who bash 6 volt systems claim) they wouldn't have sold.  The list goes on....

Thank you David , I couldn't have said/stated this any better then what you just did. Most judgements currently and for the past 4 or 5 decades are made on cars "not sorted well" as my British friends have stated over the years. Or are being driven by people who are really not "tuned in " to how a car of that era should/could drive., but think they are because they are experts. They are comparing it to a car 40 years newer !

Walt

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To me, cars that were "not sorted well" were early examples of all-new cars that were rushed into production without proper testing, and poor fit & finish.  This would include the Studebaker Avanti, Chrysler's 'M' body Aspen & Volare, and GM's fwd 'X' body cars.  Proof of this is delayed introductions in the case of the Avanti and the Aspen/Volare, and tons of recalls also in the case of the Aspen/Volare and the 'X' body cars.  The Avanti had a pile of Service Bulletins for adjustments and remedies for incidents that happened in the field, and no doubt the Aspen/Volare and X-cars did as well.

 

I wasn't around when the Cord and Graham Hollywoods were brand new in the showroom, but did the first Cords and Graham Hollywoods have the same start-up production issues as the later ones I mentioned when they were first on the market?  Not sure if Popular Science had their Owner's Reports that far back, but those articles could provide a clue what they were like when they were new.

 

Craig

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Craig, to clarify a bit the "not sorted well" this to me includes "restored' cars that were totally restored  by people who do not know all the complexity of every system.  One example : Franklin air cooled cars run so much hotter then the same year water cooled cars , thus some adjustments have to be made to them so they run well at operating speed not when cold to start and then just get a bit warm like water cooled cars. ( adjusting the valves clearance comes to mind ) I have worked on lots of pre war cars BUT not on anything with FWD like a Cord. That was what I meant about " being well sorted" at least in the current topic about a Cord vs a Graham Hollywood or even a Hupp Skylark....................

Edited by Walt G (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Walt G said:

Craig, to clarify a bit the "not sorted well" this to me includes "restored' cars that were totally restored  by people who do not know all the complexity of every system.  One example : Franklin air cooled cars run so much hotter then the same year water cooled cars , thus some adjustments have to be made to them so they run well at operating speed not when cold to start and then just get a bit warm like water cooled cars. ( adjusting the valves clearance comes to mind ) I have worked on lots of pre war cars BUT not on anything with FWD like a Cord. That was what I meant about " being well sorted" at least in the current topic about a Cord vs a Graham Hollywood or even a Hupp Skylark....................

 

Agree. Too many restorations out there a just shiny examples, without any attention paid to their mechanical systems. Then, when someone tries to do a "comparison test" between two cars, and one (or both) of them has not been sorted out during its restoration, there will be a false conclusion.

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4 hours ago, Walt G said:

Craig, to clarify a bit the "not sorted well" this to me includes "restored' cars that were totally restored  by people who do not know all the complexity of every system.  

Some restorers insist on correcting the original deficiencies a 'not well sorted' car may had at the start over originality.  For example, Avantis are known to run hot.  Many restorers have added electric cooling fans to assist in keeping the engine cool, especially when the a/c is on to make it practical.    And I believe there are more than a few 1942 Lincolns that have had the original 305 V12 swapped for a 292 because they are less troublesome.   

 

Craig

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