Minimize   Registry of Cords in Southern Africa

Year Model Drive Chassis No Engine No Body Body No Colour History Registration References
1930 L-29       Murphy Dual Cowl Phaeton    Two-tone cream 1 of 7 built to this style. Found abandoned and decaying in a farm shed in Stellenbosch after a 7 year search. Rescued by Dr. Frank Hayward, a Johannesburg Dentist with a passion for American cars, who had been told the car was a Duesenberg. The car had been used by the farm owner to drive guests to the top of a nearby hill, which had a view over the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. By the time Frank acquired the car it had broken spokes and there had been a fire in the back seat. Dr. Hayward carried out a 10 year restoration,which was completed in 1973. The car was painted green when discovered, but had originally been painted two-tone cream, which are the colours Dr. Hayward repainted the car. Used on an extensive tour of America in 1973, where the car won first place in the L29 section of the concours judging of the ACD Club annual reunion in Auburn Indiana, also the winning car in the 15th International Rally in South Africa. Thought to have been built for the film star, Wallace Berry. Owned by Dr. Hayward until the early 2000s, when the car returned to America, where it is owned by Dick Greene. LWW-993-T, TJ-191929   
? ?             Possibly an unrestored Cord in Pretoria - Believed to be part of an estate    
? ?       Coupe     Owned by Bill Denny in 1962, fitted with a Chrysler engine.   Car Nov 1962
? ?       Coupe     Noted in the Eastern Province/Border region in 1962   Car Nov 1962
 1936 810  RHD 1154 S FB 2698 "Armchair" Beverly Sedan

C 90 210

  A fairly rare 1936 RHD "Armchair" Beverly manufactured in the first month of Cord production. Owned in Dec 1991 by Mr Saunders in South Africa and kept in a garage for 20 years. Mr Saunders senior has passed on and the Saunders family is considering making the car available for sale & restoration (March 2012)   ACD Historian
1936   /37? 810 RHD 1577 A FB 494 / FB 1035? Westchester Sedan   Black, restored white then Metallic Pink Not originally built as a supercharged car. Owned by Bill Denny having been found derelict in Bill Rae's yard in Pietermaritzburg. Also owned by Leo Du Bois. (see pics). Acquired by Arthur Mechin of Johannesburg in the 60's after he spotted it from the air whilst flying from Rand Airport. Sold to Mr. Peter Henman-Laufer of California after Arthur passed away in 1974, who has the car on loan to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, where it is still on display. Currently fitted with the wrong serial plate NP-751, TSN-1937 ACD Historian, Tony Mechin (Arthur's son), Car Nov 1962
? 812       Sportsman Coupe   Black Owned by Mr. Henry Bessenger in 1971, exported to the UK or USA around 10 years ago - Possibly 812, 31694 F, Eng. FC 2279, Body C 92 273 TBV-259  
? 812 RHD CDL     Beverly Sedan     Owned by Bertie Bester in Stellenbosch, fitted with studebaker rear windows - Could be 812 3???? S, S/C Beverly owned 1972 by Peter Michaels, CT or 812 2273 S, FB 2207 C96 429 with 1971 Ford motor & CDL owned by Henry Bessinger in 1971. Bought by the Franschhoek Motor Museum in 2008.    
1936   LHD     Phaeton   Red This was a 1936 Phaeton imported into SA by Henry Bessenger. The car, which was in a poor condition, was restored for Henry by Rudi Exner in the 1990s. The car then went to England and was repatriated to South Africa where it was owned by Bertie Bester in Stellenbosch. It is now part of the collection at the Franschhoek Motor Museum. (See SA Cord pics)    
? 812       Sportsman Coupe     Owned by Mario Massacurati, who owned the Eagle Racing Stable in Cape Town, in 1939. Whererabouts unknown   Classic Car Africa 5/1
? 812             4.7-litre supercharged Cord, raced by E.W. Van Coller in the 1948 Crusader 100 held on the Rand Airport Road, outside Germiston. Thought to be the Sportsman now owned by Ced Pearce. TO-1069? Classic Car Africa 5/1
1936 810 RHD CDL 2563 A FB 1032 Westchester Sedan with Pleated Leather C901357   Once owned by Mr. Leo Du Bois* who owned many cords over the years. A rare Westchester with Pleated leather interior, believed to be one of about 35 manufactured. Basics acquired by Ray Exton from Ced Pearce, who had owned the car for over 25 years. Restored with CDL (see restoration pics)    
1937 812 RHD CDL 32184 F FC 2903 Sportsman Coupe C 92 283 Off-white, was possibly black once. Maroon leather upholstery Acquired by Alf Harris in the late 1950's or early 1960's from a backyard in Kensington Johannesburg. At that stage it had already been butchered into rear wheel drive and bore number plates indicating it had been previously licenced in Pietermaritzburg, but it was apparently never owned by Du Bois ( who owned a number of Cords) in Natal. Alf intended fitting a flathead Ford motor but never got around to it before his untimely passing. The car was then sold to Barry Futter, who did attempt to buy parts in the US to convert it back to original status, but he too died around 1980 before he did any work on the car. He left a note addressed to Ced Pearce requesting that he buy the car from his widow and restore it properly. Ced was unable to locate enough parts to rebuild it with original Cord parts, and eventually decided to leave it RWD, using a Camaro 350 FI motor and running gear but made it appear original as possible externally. NP-2582, KMV-244-GP  
1936 810 RHD CDL     Westchester Sedan   Auburn Red Old 327 Once owned by Rudi Exner - basics bought by Mike Otto with CDL & re-built by him. Later acquired by Waldie Greyvensteyn Museum in Bloemfontein, bought by the Franschhoek Motor Museum in 2008. OB-572  
1937 812 S/C   32485 F FC 3237 Sportsman Coupe C 92 304 Cigarette cream, maroon leather Said to have been a demonstration model. Owned by Frank Hayward since 1968 having been acquired from Mr DuBois in Natal, at which stage the car had been partly converted to rear wheel drive. Restored for Frank Hayward by Rudi Exner in 1972, including repairing the under body modifications. The original supercharged engine has been replaced with engine FC 2399. Offered for sale by Frank in 1990s, acquired by Dr. Fay Culbreth in North Carolina, by 2001 the car had a new owner before being acquired by Shawn Merriman in 2004.  TJ-81237, LWW-992-T  
1937 812 S/C RHD 10166 B FB 2598 Deluxe Custom Berline 132" Wheel Base C 103 142 Black - Maroon wool cloth interior with grey piping This car was first owned by Mrs. Leuchars, wife ofone of the directors of Hunt, Leucahrs and Hepburn Ltd., a large timber company which still has dorestry interests in South Africa. It was apparently the only Right-Hand-Drive Deluxe Custom Berline built (with vanity type rear dashboard), and the last Berline built by Cord. Bobby Johnson, author of "Early Motoring in South Africa", now living in the Cape clearly rememberes the Black car being unloaded from a crate outside agents Roy Evans & Co. in Johannesburg, when new. Sometime just post WWII, it was in the hands of a Mr. Fuchs in Johannesburg, who eventually saw restoration started on the car by Ced Pearce, but unfortunately passed away before restoration was completed. Mr Fuch's brother "Honest Sam" Fuchs told of problems experienced with the front spring hanger bolt breaking, a common Cord malady. After Mr. Fuchs death, the car passed through an number of hands including George Cannell, who for some reason fitted Buick rear fenders to the car, and made it rear wheel drive with an unknown make of engine.     
                The car was acquired by Henry Bessinger and then by Ced Pearce just before Henry departed for the UK. Ced spent 12 years finding enough parts to restore it to original, including Cord engine and transmission. Having had many layers of paint over the years it was about to be painted maroon, when Bobby Johnson told Ced of seeing the car being delivered new and that it was definitely black. As far as it is known, it is the only original supercharged Cord running in South Africa at present. It has been an absolute swine to get right, but no detail was spared - the original AM radio and chauffer-passenger intercom work.    
1937 812 S/C RHD 310224 S FC 2899 Custom Beverly 132" Wheel Base C 105 288 Mint cream Long wheelbase car, fitted with Magnifigue headlamps. Owned in the 1940s by L.C. Elliot, later acquired by Alf Harris who sold the car to Rudi Exner in the mid 1960s. Rudi tidied up the car and rebuilt the engine. Sold to Mike Roumanoff in about 1985. Third overall in the 1990 Milligan and first in Concours for the most elegant car. Regularly used on Vintage Car Rallies. Said to have been owned by W. Buch in 1991. JGW-675-T, TJ-60266 Car July 1990, CCA Oct 9199
1937 812 RHD CDL 2273 S FB 2207 Beverly Sedan C 96 368 Cream, was Gold Originally owned by Matt Brender. CDL in the 40's. Restored and owned by Mike Otto 1998 who bought the car from Ced Pearce. was TV-1936 now 812-CRD-GP  
1937 812     FB 2604 Westchester Sedan C 90 1517 White with red upholstery grey doors & roof lining Sold new to an owner in Cape Town, South Africa, driven to Rhodesia in 1947. Discovered in a backyard in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia by Mike Gill, in 1965, as a rusted out wreck and acquired for 15 Pounds. Covered many of thousands of kilometres in Southern Africa, including the 1969 National Rally to Lorenco Marques. Restored to 95% original condition. Still with Mike in Zimbabwe (2005). Said to be manufactured in 1937 but a Westchester, not a Beverley. was RSF-1937 now 290 144Y  
1935 Corburn       One of a kind half Auburn half Cord     Originally a 1936 RHD Auburn 852 Supercharged Boat tail Speedster, one of only 300 built. Imported into South Africa by Roy Evans (whol was possibly a car dealer) in the 1930s. Entered in the 2nd SA Grand Prix in 1936, where the front end was extensively damaged in a crash. It was then re-built by someone into what was dubbed the "Corburn", as it was fitted with Cord front mudguards, bonnet, grille, and instruments. Acquired by Leo DuBois around 1953, then by Henry Bessinger in the 70's and restored by Rudi Exner. Rudi found an Auburn bonnet from someone in Rhodesia who was also restoring an Auburn. Henry made an agreement with Lord Montague at Beaulieu to take measurements of the Beaulieu Auburn in exchange for a spare headlight glass. These measurements were then used by a very skilled Portuguese metalworker in SA, who Rudi used for sheet metal work, who fabricated the mudguards to original specs. Henry held onto the car for around 25 years and sold it to someone in the UK who now keeps it in France. The Cord front end was acquired by Ced Pearce who sold it on to an Amercan collector in the 1990's 744-TJ, TBV-176 AM6/1, CCA5/?-6/1
Notes re body numbers Miscellaneous Notes 
C 90 - Sedan with fastback 1) *Mr Leo Dubois owned many Cords - including the one that went to Beaulieu, Frank Hayward's Sportsman my 810 
C 92 - Convertible coupe 2) George Cannell owned many Cords at one time or another - many of which were modified. 
C96 - Sedan with bustletrunk 3) Due to the small number of Cords left in the country and the unavailability of spares, most of the cars re-built in South Africa 
C 103 - Custome Berline 132" WB have been restored with parts of various Cords or converted to CDL (Changed Drive Line)
C 105 - Custom Berline 135" WB or Custom Beverley 132" WB 

Note: My heartfelt thanks to Wayne Kennerley in the UK for a great deal of this valuable information, as well as input from Mike Otto, Ced Pearce, Henry Bessinger and the ACD Historian.

(Register Updated 19 Mar 2012)


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