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