Special Car Store

Distant Memories - On Your Own a Cord

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Glendale AZ, March 11-14 2020 - Mecum Auctions Glendale 2020 seems like a long time ago already - the last trip to an automotive event. By that Ides of March the world table started tilting slowly downhill. We debated whether to even make the trip from the coast - the kind Mecum folks said it was full steam ahead so we powered over the desert to get to Arizona. 

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The crowd seemed down on the virus warnings, but nice cars were still moving and popping big dollars. Little did we know this would be the last event of its kind for a while. Little did we know how much we underappreciated the constant firehose supply of automobile shows, exhibits, auctions and the like coming across our pike; and how soon we would miss them. 

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One of the best problems to ever have in those "old days" was having too many cars to attend to. I could look over any old car for half an hour gathering kinship, knowledge and feelings. Large classic vehicle gatherings however, are an assault on the senses - an overdose of goodness that can't ever be fully digested. Given more than one thousand five hundred Mecum-quality automobiles in and around a giant Arizona sports arena, one doesn't even know where to start looking. 

1971 McLaren M8E/F Can-Am Race Car

Best break down the viewing plan - do the math. Let's say we have 750 minutes over 2 days - that gives us a cool 30 seconds per car. Then we have to factor in double time to avoid all the pesky Buyer people getting in the way - can't spoil a picture of a great lot with a "plumber's butt" sticking out of the hood. 

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Only after the prints come in from the photo store does it sink in that maybe we could have spent a lot more time looking at certain lots of the auction. A photograph is a gift that keeps on giving but same time a regretful telling archive of woulda-shoulda-coulda-probably-didn't. 

1937 Cord B12 Supercharged Sportsman Convertible Coupe

Poring through last year's Monterey Car Week photos, I tagged this fantastic yellow 1937 Cord 812 at Mecum Auctions as one of the regrets. I gave her all of the 30 seconds allotted, but not much more. There are few fleeting moments when the sea of people parts long enough to get that "clutter-free" shot of just the car. While waiting for the elusive perfect moment, one eye and brain half is following crowd's ebb and flow; scouting the next empty car space to frame. No time to stop and smell the leather, most times. 

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Sitting alone, any Cord could capture all of my consciousness with its massive hood, light-concealing fenders, wrapping grill and incredibly gorgeous exhaust - and we haven't seen the back end yet. Indirectly, everything for me changed in 1937 - the year my father was born. It would be 60 or more years from date of manufacture before I laid eyes on one - nobody had one within 2,000 miles of where I grew up. Apologies for the pun, but the past future automobile struck a Cord in me in that present. 

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While surviving only a few years in actual commercial operation, the Cord automobiles and brand have come to represent a part of what was and is great about America (a place that has always been great). While almost none of us can have one, we can all agree every day that we would if we could. Same page in the head and place in the heart, and that's a start. 

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Nothing brings us TOGETHER more than automobiles. That's why they were invented; to move people; why they call them 'mobiles. CV-19 has done a number on our togetherness, and things just aren't going to be the same as they used to be for a long time. It's time to adapt. Time to stick together when we can't be together - and wait patiently and safely for that eventuality. 

Though we'll never likely own a Cord, we can all afford a new accord.

by Randy Berg