THE LOST CORD
In 1952 Glenn Pray started teaching high school auto mechanics at Central High School in Tulsa Oklahoma. He had fallen in love with the famous Gordan Buehrig designed 1936, 1937 Cord Phaeton as a young man and posted a photo of one on the school bulletin board. He asked the students to search the Tulsa area for a Cord for sale. The students located a 1937 Cord Super-charged Phaeton in need of much repair. With Glenn’s skill at trading he was able to purchase his dream car. Over the next year or so Glenn Pray completed a restoration of what he considered the most beautiful car design of all times. Doing all the work himself Pray became an expert on the Cord automobiles. His Cord was driven as the family car and was shown at ACD car meets coast to coast. The Cord was never trailered, always driven. There is video of Glenn Pray driving it in the first ever Parade of Classics in 1956 in Auburn Indiana with is wife Nita who was pregnant with their 3rd child. Considered a family treasure the Cord would never be sold, however Glenn jumped on an opportunity to purchase the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Co. located in Auburn Indiana and was forced to sell his beloved Cord to help raise the money to purchase a defunct Automobile factory. So in 1961 Glenn found a new home for his Cord with James C. Leake----------------------
Very disheartened to see his Cord go he had it in the back of his head that someday when he was successful he might have the opportunity to buy it back. He learned that Mr. Leake sold “his” Cord in 1962 and lost track of its whereabouts after that. Years went by and know one had heard of or seen Glenn’s Cord again. In the 1970s and again in the 1980s Glenn was in a position to try and find his Cord with the hope of buying it back. Looking through The ACD Club roster and seeking the help of Cord historians the Cord could not be located. It was not registered nor had it been seen at any car shows. The Cord experts presumed it had surely left the country. Glenn Pray went on to automotive fame and produced over 350 second Generation Glenn Pray Auburns, Cords and one Duesenberg. In the book “The Man Who Bought Legends to Life” The story is told of Glenn Pray’s famous “Lost Cord” and shows a photo of Glenn as a young man receiving his first trophy for his fantastic Cord Phaeton. Glenn never did find or see his Cord again. Glenn Pray passed away in 2011 leaving behind a lifetime of accomplishments in the Auburn Cord Duesenberg world.
Fast forward to 2014. Doug Pray takes over the Famous Auburn Cord Duesenberg Co with the help of Glenn Pray’s long time friend and general manager Felix DeGuyter, they sought to keep Glenn Prays legacy alive. They continued selling NOS parts from the original parts bins and started locating as many of the Glenn Pray built cars as possible. This led to the purchase of many of Glenn’s original built cars and added to the new success of the ACD Co. Doug and Felix purchase and broker many Glenn Pray cars as well as the original Auburn Cord and Duesenberg’s the factory built in the1920’s and 1930’s. In July of 2013 the well know TV show “American Pickers” filmed an episode or “pick” at Glenn Pray’s ACD Co. in Broken Arrow Oklahoma. The show featured many of Glenn’s accomplishments as well as purchases from his private collection of memorabilia. Several months after the show aired in a re run in 2014, Glenn’s son Doug received a call. The man said he had been watching an episode of American Pickers with his father. His dad had purchased a 1937 supercharged Cord Phaeton in about 1965 from the estate of a deceased gentleman. He now wanted to sell it, needing the money for health reasons. After getting the description of the Cord, Doug thought it sounded a lot like his dad’s Cord he had remembered as a child. The serial number plate did not have a number stamped on it and the engine number was used for the title. The engine number did not match Glenn’s Cord but it seemed that it could be the “Lost Cord”. Doug started researching his dads record’s and found the original serial number plate from his dad’s Cord. Glenn had replaced it with a NOS plate during restoration and never put the numbers on the new plate. He also learned that his dad had replaced the worn out engine with a rebuilt engine. Engine numbers meant nothing in the 50’s and 60’s, but he did keep a record of the number of the replacement engine he put in his Cord. The same number that was on the engine of the Cord located in a barn north of Detroit. The “lost Cord” had been found! With more searching Doug located the original matching numbers engine block stored safely away in Glenn Pray’s old factory building since 1960. He now had the original serial number plate and the original engine block. Now all he had to do was make a deal for the purchase of the “lost Cord”. The price of supercharged Cords has risen dramatically over the years and the owner new the value of a barn find Cord. He had put it in a barn and it sat and was never driven in 45 years. The barn took its toll on the famous Cord but it was complete down to its cigarette lighter with the same tires Glenn put on it in the 1950’s. They still held air.
The Famous “Lost Cord” has come full circle and is now being offered for sale by none other than the James C. Leake Auction Co. in Tulsa Oklahoma. Glenn’s Cord was considered one of the finest Cords in the world in the late 1950’s and the Pray family has decided to part with it once again, hoping a new owner will restore it to its former Glory.
Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club 75th Reunion (2011)
Welcome to the official site of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Company. It is our desire to carry on the tradition of some of the most beautiful and best engineered vehicles ever produced, and continue the legacy of Glenn Pray as one of the great visionaries and pioneers in the automobile industry. We have been selling parts and building cars since Glenn Pray Purchased the ACD Co. from Dallas Winslow in 1960. And we know, as a continuation of the original company and overseers of the largest collection of Auburn and Cord parts in the world we have a responsibility to help fan the flames of restoration and preservation in the circles of Auburn and Cord lovers word wide.
After Glenn's death in 2011 the next generation of Prays took over leadership of the company and have sought to revive the legacy once again. This time we are not trying to develop any newly engineered vehicles or even ramp up restoration of the originals at our plant, instead we are seeking to carry on the story by supplying hard to find parts to the many owners and restorers who have been coming to Glenn since the 1960s. Through encouraging the restoration and preservation of some of the finest automobiles ever made and through supplying parts, information, and documentation we hope to preserve not only the vehicles themselves, but the memories lived out in and around them.
So, it is our hope that you will find what you are looking for on this site. If not, pick up the phone and give us a call. Glenn's son Doug is now sitting behind his fathers desk answering the same rotary phone Glenn used for the last 50 years. The parts have been recently inventoried and he or the original part manager, Felix De Geyter, should be able to find what you need. If you need anything for Auburn or Cord we hope to be your one stop shop.
From the Factory where it all began..
These t-shirts are 100% cotton and have a great vintage look.
Available in men's sizes s-xl.