Meet the ‘Cursed Cord,’ the ultra-rare 1937 car owned by a man from the Lower Mainland
As Daryl Francoeur sits behind the wheel of a 1937 Cord 810, he knows it’s truly one-of-a-kind.
“This is the most rare car, and original intact car, we’ve ever seen,” Francoeur, co-owner of Abbotsford’s 360 Fabrications, said. “This car has been in storage for as many as 75 years.”
The car’s backstory is equally unique — its first two owners died before they ever had the chance to drive it.
The silver-coloured Cord was commissioned by Louisiana senator Huey Long, a controversial politician who believed he needed an armoured car to protect him from assassination.
The car, which Francoeur estimates weighs 3,500 lbs., has armoured plating in the doors and what appear to be spare tires on its sides.
“The wheels are actually not, per se, spare wheels,” Francoeur said. “They’re protecting the engine from bullets.”
It turned out Long’s concern for his safety was well-founded. He was shot and killed before he could use the car.
The car’s second owner, a naval officer, was killed in the Second World War before he could drive it.
The company that built the Cord didn’t last, although the car itself proved to be ahead of its time. The Cord 810 had front-wheel drive and an automatic transmission as well as features like pop-up headlights. Car and Driver once called Cord automobiles “the coolest car you never knew existed.”
The current owner of the so-called “Cursed Cord” is alive and well and living in the Lower Mainland and asked Francoeur to restore it to its original glory.
Curse or not, Francoeur thinks the owner is lucky to have it.
“It really is a piece of history,” he said.
The car will be on display at the Vancouver International Auto Show.
– With files from Squire Barnes
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