Resurrecting Glamour: The 1970 Cord Royale SAMCO Shatters the Myth of Forgotten Beauty - 159

For most hardcore car enthusiasts out there and others less intense in their passion, the name Gordon Buehrig speaks volumes. The car designer has been one of the major figures of the first decades of last century and, even if history hasn’t been kind with most of the models he drew, his legacy still endures, as seen in the car we’re now here to talk about.

Buehrig was associated during his long career with products wearing the logos of Duesenberg, Auburn, or Studebaker, but it was at Auburn though where he found his calling, one that materialized in the form of the Cord 810/812. 

These insanely beautiful machines were made a long time ago, and they brought with them a number of innovative firsts, including enclosed headlights and the front-wheel-drive with an independent front suspension.

These innovations, along with the beautiful design of the Cord, were not enough to save the company from going under and making a mess of things. Not even a later attempt by Buehrig to save the Cord nameplate wasn’t destined to succeed, even if itl managed to produce this thing here.


Back in the 1960s, Buehrig, aided by a bunch of others, set up the so-called Sports Automobile Manufacturing Company, or SAMCO, with the goal of taking the Cord and turning it into two distinct models, Warrior and Royale. Set apart by the different lengths of the wheelbase, both would have been powered by Ford of Chrysler V8s.

Despite the big plans, the Cord failed once more, and we are only left with the cars made by SAMCO from 1968 to 1970. The one we have here, a Royale, is part of that lot, and it is going under the Mecum hammer later this month in Monterey, hoping to fetch as much as $85,000.

The red and black beauty is powered by a Chrysler 440ci engine (7.2-liter) running an automatic transmission, is equipped with air conditioning and power windows, and rides on Cragar wheels.

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