Tom Mix’s background as a cowboy, ranch hand, law enforcement officer and circus performer ultimately led him to the silver screen, and by the 1920s, Mix was arguably America’s most beloved action hero. His passion for fast cars was well known, and on October 12, 1940, Mix died behind the wheel of his 1937 Cord 812 supercharged phaeton, killed by excessive speed, a washed-out bridge and an unsecured metal suitcase, which struck the former action star in the head, fracturing his skull and breaking his neck. Nowadays restored to its condition when Mix owned it, the Cord will appear in January at the debut Arizona Concours d’Elegance.
At a time when the average U.S. salary was less than $1,500 per year, Mix was earning as much as $10,000 per week, but when “talkies” replaced silent films at the end of the 1920s, his popularity waned. A later series of disappointing business ventures consumed much of his once-impressive net worth, but in 1937 Mix had no trouble justifying the purchase of a brand-new, Gordon Buehrig-designed Cord 812 supercharged phaeton. Equipped with a forced-induction 288.6-cu.in. Lycoming V-8 engine rated at 170 horsepower, the front-wheel-drive Cord also utilized a four-speed pre-selector gearbox. As delivered, Mix’s car was one of three Cord 812 phaeton models to include a factory-installed rear tire mount, with the other two going to Al Jolson and Barbara Stanwyck.
This rare car is now owned by Bob White of Scottsdale, Arizona. He did a two year restoration of the Cord 812 Phaeton. You can picture Tom Mix, driving with his flags and guns, siren wailing down the street. The car's quite a spectacle raging down the highway.
Cowboy legend, Tom Mix