Simplicity, and indeed logic indicate that an engine longitudinally mounted in the front of a car should power the rear wheel; it is simpler and until relatively recently, a lot more reliable (a simpler things tend to be). That being said, not everyone follows the easy, simple road, and that was certainly the case with the 1937 Cord 810/812, which was the supercar of its era. Know for their front wheel drive configuration, the Cord cars featured a wrap-around grille around the hood, which combined with the split windshield and low roof really gave it a futuristic look. Designed by Gordon Miller Buehrig, the 1937 Cord was in a class all its own, not only because of its performance and sweeping, streamlined shape, but also for its technological advancements, including electrical gear shifting and gorgeous retractable headlights.
The most impressive of these Cord cars was the 812S model of 1937, which boasted a specially-designed side-valve 4.7-liter V8, which when supercharged, boasted an output of 170 horsepower. This was enough to power this large car to a top speed of 100 miles per hour, to a 0-60 time of 13 seconds. This may not seem like much now, but in 1937, that was supercar performance. You may as well as been driving a Lamborghini.
Good things don’t last, however, and by the time those models were introduced, Cord was already under severe financial strain, losing dealers left and right even though most owners were thrilled with their cars. The 1937 Cord 810/812 remains of the most distinctive cars ever produced, and is likely to remain so.