Ex-Amelia Earhart 1937 Cord 812 takes win at Chattanooga

Words: Nathan Chadwick | Pictures: Chattanooga Motor Festival

A 1937 Cord 812 Phaeton first owned by adventurer Amelia Earhart has won the Chattanooga Concours d’Elegance.

The car, now owned by Laura and Jack Boyd Smith Jr, is one of 1278 812s built in 1937, and still features its original colour scheme of Palm Beach Tan over red leather.

The concours marked the end of a fantastic week of automotive excitement. One of the most exciting was the Pace Grand Prix at the Bend, an invitational event for vintage and historic race cars held on a purpose-built street course along the banks of the Tennessee River. The course was lengthened for this year, and included an infield loop.

The week also afforded the chance to take part in the Canossa Fall Rally Chattanooga, an event for classic and modern luxury and performance cars. Operated as a road rally, it took drivers and navigators on a predetermined route over two days. Mecum also held a wide-ranging auction, with a 1968 Shelby GT500KR Convertible attracting the highest bid with $302,500.

Elsewhere, there was a chance to enjoy the best of what the car club enthusiasts had on offer, plus panel discussions with the likes of Chip Foose, Lyn St James, Ken Gross, Linda Vaughn, Brian Redman and Wayne Carini all taking to the stage. There was plenty to keep car lovers occupied, but true gems came out to play for the concours on Sunday.

Ferraris were a popular choice, with three dedicated classes in recognition of the Maranello marque’s 75th anniversary, while Porsche and Mercedes-Benz were celebrated with their own classes. The RADwood class also went the way of Germany, with a Mercedes-Benz 560SEL AMG taking top honours. People’s choice went to Marty Robbins’ #44 Dodge Daytona.

Dates for next year have yet to be announced, but more details can be found here and a list of the concours winners can be found below.

Best of Show: 1937 Cord 812 Phaeton (Laura and Jack Boyd Smith Jr). Also won Class 2A: Prewar American Classic, presented by Mike Haskew, Millennium Bank.
People’s Choice: 1969 Dodge Daytona Marty Robbins #42 Car (Courtesy of Don Phillips).
Timeless Elegance: 1952 Ferrari 212 Pinin Farina Cabriolet (Stephen Bruno). Also won Ferrari Class: Competition Cars, presented by Ferrari of Atlanta – Craig Forbes, Ferrari Coordinator – Steve Ahlgrim & Ferrari Chief Judge – Chris Current.
Chairman’s Award: Dick York.
Hagerty Youth Award: 1985 Audi Quattro (Dale Whitney).
Ferrari Class: Grand Touring, presented by Ferrari of Atlanta – Craig Forbes, Ferrari Coordinator – Steve Ahlgrim & Ferrari Chief Judge – Chris Current: 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB (John Gerhard).
Ferrari Class – Super Cars: 2003 Ferrari Enzo (Kevin Cogan).
Pre-war Special Interest, presented by Wayne Carini: 1936 Chrysler Airflow (Mark Becker).

Pre-war European Classic, presented by Tom Cotter: 1933 Isotta Fraschini Tipo (Stephan Plaster).
Vintage and Custom Motorcycles, presented by Somer Hooker: 1950 Rickman Matchless G9 Superclub (Mark Sepulveda).
Post-war American Special Interest, presented by Judy Stropus: 1960 Chevrolet Impala (Kayo Erwin).
Post-war American Sports, presented by Ken Gross: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split-Window Coupe (Kayo Erwin).
Post-war European Special Interest, presented by Chip Foose: 1947 Bentley Mark VI (John Shalhoub).
Post-war European Sports Early, presented by Mark Gillies: 1964 Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale (Somer Hooker).
Post-war European Sports Late, presented by Mark Gillies: 1979 Ferrari 308GT4 (Daniel Carroll).
Post-war British Sports Cars, presented by Justin Bell: 1956 AC Bristol Ace (James Harris).
American Muscle, presented by Linda Vaughn and Donnie Allison: 1972 Mustang Mach 1 (Brian Dunham).
Viper, presented by Ken Gross: 2009 Dodge Viper ACR (Robert Hutcherson).
RADwood, presented by Alain Galbraith, Hagerty: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL AMG (Allan Lyndon).
Porsche, presented by Lyn St James: 1956 Porsche 356A Cabriolet (Charles Moore).
Mercedes, presented by Brian Redman: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE (Thomas Zarella).