Production of the Cord 810, the first American-designed and -built front-wheel-drive car with independent front suspension, begins on Jan. 27, 1936, at a plant in Connersville, Ind. The Cord 810 followed the 1934 Citroen Traction Avant and the Cord L-29, both of which also featured front-wheel drive.
It marked the return of Cord brand,which had succumbed to the Great Depression when output ceased on New Year's Eve 1931.
It featured a 125-hp, 288-cubic-inch V-8 engine with aluminum heads produced by the Cord's Lycoming aircraft engine company.
The car's horn ring (mounted on the steering wheel) and covered gas cap were also firsts for an American car.
It was designed and engineered to be a lower-priced companion to the Duesenberg J.
The 1936 Cord 810 — with its low profile and wraparound grille — influenced automotive design for years.
In 2014, Car and Driver called the Cord "quite possibly the coolest car you've never heard of."
Overtime, the car proved troublesome, and the high price tag — $3,000 — deterred some buyers.
Cord built just fewer than 3,000 cars before production ended in August 1937.
In 1951, the Cord 810 was one of eight cars chosen for the Museum of Modern Art's "Eight Automobiles" exhibition.