Title: “The Enigmatic Tale of Amelia Earhart’s Cord: Where Aviation Meets Automotive Excellence”
In the annals of history, the name Amelia Earhart resonates with courage, adventure, and the enduring allure of the skies. Her record-breaking aviation feats have captivated generations, but little did we know about the fascinating link between this intrepid aviator and the legendary Cord automobile. Join us as we embark on a journey to unravel the enigmatic story that intertwines Earhart’s pioneering spirit with the luxurious world of Cord.
On September 20, 1936, a momentous photograph was captured, featuring Amelia Earhart striking a pose in front of a Cord convertible and a Lockheed Electra aircraft, both of which would eventually vanish without a trace. While Earhart and Lockheed remain shrouded in mystery, the Cord resurfaced, adding an intriguing layer to the narrative.
The Cord 810, later known as the 812, debuted in the late 1935, defying conventional automotive design. While most cars of that era relied on body-on-frame construction and rear-wheel power from a front-mounted engine, the Cord broke the mold with its unitary structure and front-wheel drive setup. This innovative combination bestowed the 810 with a breathtakingly sleek and low-slung appearance.
But Cord’s allure extended beyond its striking aesthetics. It boasted cutting-edge features such as hidden headlights, retractable aircraft-inspired landing lights, and front-opening doors with concealed hinges—an uncommon sight in those times. The chromed grille was replaced by elegant horizontal louvers, further enhancing its distinctive appeal.
Designed by stylist Gordon Buehrig, who had previously left his mark on iconic automobiles like the Le Mans and Duesenberg Model J, the Cord represented his boldest endeavor yet. Its groundbreaking design pushed boundaries and captured the imagination of automotive enthusiasts worldwide.
The journey to rediscover Earhart’s Cord was not without its challenges. Neglected over the years, the car faced numerous setbacks, including parts being swapped with another Cord owned by the collector who purchased it in the 1950s. The whereabouts of the Cord and its components remained as much of a puzzle as Earhart’s disappearance.
Through painstaking research and dedication, the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place. Roy Foster, a Texan collector who had been searching for Earhart’s Cord for years, acquired a Cord 812 compatible with Earhart’s car in 1992. This acquisition brought Foster one step closer to his goal. Eventually, Foster’s path crossed with Jack Boyd Smith Jr., who became instrumental in the car’s restoration journey.
Under the guidance of restoration manager Jason Stoller, the Earhart Cord underwent meticulous restoration, with every detail carefully documented to ensure historical accuracy. LaVine Restorations, in collaboration with the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club and the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, left no stone unturned in their quest to restore the Cord to its former glory.
The restoration process involved arduous research, with over 10,000 hours dedicated to ensuring every detail of Earhart’s Cord was accurately recreated. The car’s remarkable authenticity was further confirmed by its exceptional performance at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival, where it scored an astonishing 1002 points out of 1000—an achievement that seemed mathematically impossible.
Amelia Earhart’s Cord serves as a testament to the intersection of aviation and automotive excellence. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the Cord represents a time capsule of an era where innovation and artistry converged. It is a symbol of Earhart’s unyielding spirit, reminding us of her boundless determination to push boundaries both in the air and on the open road.