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updated: 9/3/2014 8:27 AM

1937 Cord takes top honors from Duesenberg Club

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By DAVE KURTZ
The Star

AUBURN, Ind. -- A car that's been in one family for 53 years won the best of show award Sunday from the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club.

Judges selected a 1937 Supercharged Cord Phaeton with cool orchard green paint and a black top as the finest of more than 200 classic cars that gathered for the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival.

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Larry Hurn of Olney, Illinois, took home the Harold T. Ames trophy from the club's awards brunch at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum.

Hurn told The Star (http://bit.ly/1uszUDr ) that his father, John "Bud" Hurn, who is still living, bought the car in 1961.

"He's liked them ever since he was a teenager, because his parents had one when he was a teenager," Hurn said about his father.

"Bud" Hurn joined the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club in its early days in the 1950s. His 1931 Cord L-29 won the award for best L-29 back in 1959.

"We've still got it, but it's in pieces right now," Larry Hurn said Sunday about that first winner.

A half-century later, the family's "newer" Cord has done even better in the club's judging.

To reach the pinnacle, Hurn put the 1937 Cord in the hands of restoration experts Eric and Vivian LaVine of Nappanee, who have prepared eight ACD Club best of show winners.

"We did the complete restoration -- engine, transmission, everything up," Vivian LaVine said. "We knew there was good, solid history about it. It was an original, certifiable car. . The authenticity aspect in this club is very important."

Hurn brought the car for judging in 2013, and it won the award for best 810/812 Cord, but saw the best of show award go to another LaVine restoration -- a 1933 Auburn V-12 Salon Speedster owned by Bill Parfet of Michigan.

This year, Hurn's car returned and rose to the pinnacle.

Other contenders for the best of show award this year were the best Auburn, a blue 1935 Speedster owned by DuPont Lemmot of Virginia, the best Duesenberg, a 1929 green convertible sedan owned by John Shibles of New Jersey, and the best Cord L-29, a 1931 blue cabriolet owned by John Bools of North Carolina. The chief judge made a point of mentioning that Bools drove his prize car on last week's Hoosier Tour from Auburn to Kokomo and back.

Hurn can drive his flawless car, too, as he proved on the roads around his home in rural southern Illinois.

"About three weeks ago, my son and I had it out on the road, and we got it up to 105 mph," he said. "We were going to maybe go to 120, but after we got up to 105 I decided, 'This is fast enough."'

He concluded, "I think she'd run 120. I honestly do."

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