The Tom Mix car
Some of you may not be familiar with Tom Mix and his history in Hollywood. He was the very first cowboy western star, greatly admired for doing all of the stunts required for his roles ( many of which were extremely dangerous ) and his work became the prototype performance for all of the cowboy stars that proliferated in the coming years. During his years of performing....1909 to 1935....he was in the astounding number of 291 films. Only 9 of those were "talkies " , the rest were silent.
Because of his influence within the Hollywood industry, he was able to arrange for a young man he had met to enter the world of filmmaking. That young man was John Wayne, who was forever grateful to Mix for helping him to realize his dreams.
Mix was driving through Arizona in 1940 when he apparently did not see a sign warning of road work ahead. He ran off the road into a ditch. An aluminum briefcase he had on the back seat flew up, hit him in the head and killed him. He was 60 years old. The briefcase was full of cash money. The car you'll see is the car he was driving at the time of his death. It was repaired and starting around 2010 was subjected to an exhaustive ( and very expensive ) total restoration. The car is now exactly as it was the day he crashed it.
The car is a 1937 Cord 812 Phaeton. It is a rare car as only 196 of that model were produced. In this case, however, it is even more rare. Cord made 3 of that model that had exclusive options, including the enclosed spare tire above the rear bumper. Tom Mix got this one, the Jaz singer Al Jolson got one, and the third one was bought by the actress Barbara Stanwick.
Here's the car.
Beautiful car, and a great story to go along with it! Thanks for sharing, Tom!
Thanks, John. It's good to hear from you. Hope you're doing well.
Thanks for sharing Tom, your posts are very entertaining. What a car!
Thanks, Cristóbal. It's a shame that cars of such individual character are not available now, and haven't been for many, many years. Government regulations, economy of production, a whole host of reasons exist why they disappeared. Cadillac is launching a new high-end model soon that will start at about 350,000 dollars and can easily exceed 500,000 bucks if you get carried away with exotic options. But, even then, it's not going to look dramatically different from the rest of the herd.
Very cool car and great history to go with it. Interesting interior color for the bright yellow body that's for sure. It's hard to tell if that's a real handgun mounted into the dash or is it part of the shifter.
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I have to say, Mike, the red interior is impressive and I like the yellow on the exterior but the combo is not what I would have chosen The gun is real. It slides into a holster-type gizmo that is not real clear in this photo. It was a front wheel drive car. I guess you call the transmission a hybrid or perhaps a pure automatic. It had 4 gears and the selection of which one you wanted was made by the 4 sliders that protrude from the yellow " box " on the dash to the right of the steering wheel. The car could easily run over 100 mph.
Super photos Tom.
As always, thank you for the history behind the image!
Anything for a good friend, AL