1937 Cord 812 Phaeton Convertible
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288.6 c.i.d. V-8 125 hp/110 lb-ft
Original engine
Exterior color
Palm Beach Tan
Interior color
Deep Maroon
Vehicle history

1937 Cord 812 Phaeton Convertible Owned by Amelia Earhart

National Historic Vehicle Register No. 33

Amelia Earhart acquired this Cord 812 Phaeton less than a year before she, navigator Fred Noonan and her Lockheed 10E Electra disappeared over the South Pacific in 1937. In September 1936, Earhart was famously photographed standing with the Cord and the airplane she would ultimately take on her final flight.

Earhart was well known for her affection for automobiles throughout her life. Her first sports car was a 1923 Kissel Gold Bug that she took on a cross country road trip with her mother, stopping at various National Parks along the way. In the early 1930s, she worked as a spokesperson for Terraplane, helping launch the brand’s aviation themed car line.

Her husband, George Putnam, sold the Cord shortly after Earhart’s disappearance and the Phaeton passed through a number of owners throughout the decades. It was eventually disassembled and split up across the country. After decades of research, travel, and acquiring the original components, in 2004, the car’s body, frame, and engine were finally reunited by collector Ray Foster who sold it to its current owner, The JBS Collection. In 2018, The JBS Collection commissioned noted marque experts LaVine Restorations, Inc., to return the car to its original specifications with a restoration that has captured numerous awards.

NHVR No. 33

Paint and exterior
The car features Palm Beach Tan paint and has been restored by marque experts, LaVine Restorations, Inc.
Upholstery and interior
This vehicle’s interior has been restored featuring Deep Maroon leather upholstery. The steering wheel features a “suicide knob” as originally equipped by Earhart.
The Cord features a longitudinally-mounted, naturally-aspirated flathead V-8 engine that produces 125 horsepower, manufactured by Lycoming.
This vehicle was originally used by Amelia Earhart and was the last car she owned. It is now owned and exhibited by the JBS Collection.
Wheels and tires
The car features 16-inch steel wheels with 6.50-16 bias ply tires.
Hydraulic drum brakes.
The Cord features a 4-speed transmission, driving the front wheels. It is actuated by a Bendix “Electric Hand” shifter.