Though Oklahoman Glenn Pray purchased all the assets of the defunct Cord and Auburn automobile companies – including the rights to use both names as well as their leftover parts inventories – he later said he probably should have bought just the names and left the rest to save himself years of hassle. Now, more than 50 years later, the Pray family has put the rights to the Cord name up for sale again, once more raising the possibility of a resurrection of the influential marque.
When E.L. Cord decided to get out of the car business in August 1937 and take up real estate in California, he sold his stake of the Cord Corporation – the holding company that controlled Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg and Checker automobiles, along with American Airways, Stinson Aircraft, and several other companies – to a group of investors operating as the Aviation and Transportation Corporation. ATCO, in turn, shut down car manufacture at Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg and sold the Auburn and Cord assets, including the rights to the Auburn and Cord names, to Dallas Winslow, a businessman who had become rich and famous by buying up the assets of other, smaller defunct automobile companies including Flint, Briscoe, Stearns-Knight, Peerless, Franklin, Wills St. Clair, Haynes, and dozens more. He got all but the tooling and dies, which Norman DeVaux bought and in turn marketed to Hupp and Graham.
Winslow apparently had little interest in the Cord and Auburn names and trademarks. Instead, he spent the next 20 years marketing, selling, and in some cases reproducing parts for those cars. Pray, on the other hand, saw the potential in the defunct marques, and so approached Winslow in 1960 to inquire about what Winslow had been calling the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Company. On a shop teacher’s salary, he managed to put together the $75,000 deal and then move 350 tons of parts and the operations of the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Company to a former pickle factory in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Interestingly enough, Pray told his biographer, Josh Malks, that he later discovered that neither the Cord nor Auburn names were registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office; Winslow had let them expire while he owned the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Company. Pray ended up spending $500 each to re-register the names – Cord in 1963 and Auburn in 1966. “If I’d known that all I had to do was spend $1,000, I’d have had me the Cord and Auburn names and wouldn’t have had to drag all that stuff down here.”
While Pray was happy enough to sell parts to Auburn and Cord collectors and restorers, he really wanted to put the Cord and Auburn automobiles back into production, something he needed both names to do. In August 1964 he succeeded with the former, basing a downsized (8/10-scale, as its name would later declare), Buehrig-designed, Royalite-bodied version of the Cord 810 on a custom chassis using a Corvair drivetrain under the hood to provide front-wheel drive. Production of what would prove to be one of the world’s first continuation cars stalled after about 100 were built and after Pray left the Cord Automobile Company, but he somehow retained the Cord name through the ordeal.
Though he never again tried to resurrect the Cord name, Pray did make sure to keep the trademarks registered afterward, both to continue selling Cord-branded reproduction parts and to license the Cord name to other companies like Mattel and Hallmark. While Pray, through the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Company, sold off the Auburn name and trademark in 2005 for $500,000, he held on to the Cord trademarks until his death in 2011, and now his family has decided to part with them.
According to Doug Pray, Glenn’s son and current president of Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Company, the two trademarks, USPTO registration numbers 2936082 and 2234293, are both current, though one is set to expire next April (the other was renewed a couple years ago). They also come with about half a dozen licensing contracts for the Cord name already in place. “We will continue to run the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Company – we have no desire to sell that – but we don’t plan on manufacturing new Cords, so we’ve decided to sell the trademarks,” Doug Pray said. No parts, drawings, or blueprints will accompany the sale of the trademarks.
Given the $500,000 sale of the Auburn trademarks and what he heard was the $1 million sale of the Duesenberg trademarks in recent years, Doug Pray said he’s looking to get about $750,000 for the Cord trademarks. The family is hoping to negotiate a private sale, but if the trademarks haven’t sold by late next month, they will go up for grabs at the Leake Collector Car Show and Auction in Dallas in November.
Article courtesy of Hemmings Daily, written by Daniel Strohl.
If there’s a rock-and-roll equivalent of the 1957 Chevy Bel Air, it’s got to be Bob Seger. Like the iconic American automobile, the Michigan native never seems to go out of style, despite the ever-changing trends in the music industry. Next month, Seger returns with a new release called Ride Out (his first in eight years), and the first single, “Detroit Made,” pays tribute to both Detroit and its automotive all-stars.
Filmed primarily at the Woodward Dream Cruise, “Detroit Made” also features ample footage of the Motor City. There are the obligatory ruin scenes of the Packard plant and the Michigan Central Station, tempered with shots of the world’s best-known bronze fist (a tribute to boxer Joe Louis), PJ’s Lager House and the Fillmore Theater to remind viewers that Detroit is still alive and kicking.
Lest you think that Seger is just using the city to sell records (or in this day and age, downloads), the 69-year-old singer has a (very nice) house in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan, which could be called an “outer suburb” of Detroit.
“Detroit Made” was written by John Hiatt, and fans of Seger’s traditional guitar-driven rock and roll won’t be disappointed. The song doesn’t break any new ground, musically or lyrically, but we bet it will sound great pumping through the speakers of an Impala SS convertible, a Mustang fastback, or, of course, a Buick Electra 225.
Article courtesy of Hemmings Daily, written by Kurt Ernst.
In the 1950s, Americans were in the midst of an industrial growth spurt that brought along an intrigue of anything new with advanced technology. American automakers were only too happy to bring the latest gadgets and designs to the public in hopes of generating higher sales.
Dodge's Firearrow represented the future of automobiles. Photos from rmauctions.com
The Chrysler corporation jumped onboard by developing their own dream cars, making sure that each of their marques had their own futuristic concept cars for the public. In 1953, Dodge presented it’s first concept car special, the Firearrow. Designed by Chrysler’s legendary design chief Virgil Exner and built by Ghia of Turin, Italy, the concept car ended up being a group of four one-off concept cars.
The first Dodge Firearrow was a sleek roadster, and while it looked as if it could burn up the highways, it was only a mockup with no running gear. The public responded to the concept car however and Dodge built an actual running prototype, the Firearrow II.
Dodge trimmed the concept with all the latest gadgets.
The Firearrow III was the next car in the evolution of the sporty convertible that preceded the final version, the Firearrow IV. The last Firearrow was a convertible with folding top, windows and fully designed and engineered to be translated into series production. Sadly, Chrysler made the decision to not proceed into production and these cars are but a footnote in automotive history.
A 1954 Firearrow III was sold on Friday, January 16, 2009 for $880,000 by RM Auctions. In 2007, a Firearrow IV sold at auction for $1.1 million.
Powered by a legendary HEMI, the exterior styling was unlike anything from Dodge previously.
Article courtesy of Street Legal TV, written by Bobby Kimbrough.
With so many amazing vehicles in the industry, it takes a lot for one to stand out enough to take a title like America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod, given by the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association. But just last weekend, Kevin and Angie Bischoff’s ’36 Dodge took that very title at the 28th West Coast National in Pleasanton, California.
A hot rod builder by trade, Kevin Bischoff started in on the project of making “an ugly car beautiful” 13 years ago, with the result being this completely custom ’36 Dodge known as Rampage. Working out of his shop, Kevin’s Restoration of Vancouver, Washington, Bischoff and his team chopped the car’s roof by two inches, took over five inches off the trunk back and added five inches to the bottom of the doors.
Bischoff also narrowed the grille shell and laid it back one and a half inches and laid the trunk and rear window forward. Adding to the car’s unique design are molded fenders and running boards.
Topping off the street rod’s unique look is a coat of House of Kolor Apple Red paint, which flows effortlessly into the cabin of the vehicle. Inside, you’ll find a reworked stock dash displaying gauges from Classic Instruments, a Billet Specialties steering wheel, leather-trimmed seats with stitching by B&R Auto Upholstery and a matching leather-booted Lokar shifter.
Sitting atop a Morrison air spring chassis with a Thunderbird steering rack, Rampage is powered by a GM 350 ci engine highly disguised with components like custom Hedman headers and Chrylser HEMI valve covers.
This is backed by a manual transmission and a 9-inch rearend, while 5-spoke Billet Specialties Magnitude wheels and Wilwood brakes take care of the final push of power to the pavement.
In order to take the title of America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod for 2014, Rampage had to beat out four other amazing contenders, including Justin and Randy Semadini’s ’34 Dodge, Larry Carter’s ’33 Ford, Dave Hall’s ’39 Ford, and Janeen Dinkard’s ’40 Chevy.
Because of their title win, the Bischoffs have received travel accommodations to display their car at the 17th Southwest Nationals in Scottsdale, Arizona November 14th through the 16th. There, the car will join 11 other vehicles in the Goodguys Top 12 Cars of the Year display.
Congratulations goes out to the Bischoffs for receiving this coveted award and we can’t wait to see the car on display in Arizona in a couple months!
Article courtesy of Rod Authority, written by Lindsey Fisher.