On March 24, 2011 the world of Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg lost a colorful member and enthusiastic promoter in Glenn Pray
was a schoolteacher in OKlahoma when he
acquired the Auburn Cord Deusenberg Company
This firm had been established in 1938 by Dallas Winslow
, a Buick dealer from Flint, Michigan, who purchased the remaining assets of Auburn Automobile Company
and continued to offer parts and service from the original administration building in Auburn.
moved the remaining parts stock to a former cannery--the infamous "Pickle Plant"--in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and went into business.
In the years to come, Pray
acquired a reputation as one of the foremost dealers in Auburn and Cord parts, which he
sold from the original parts bins in which they arrived in Broken Arrow.
A visit to the "Pickle Plant" became a tradition for enthusiasts traveling west, who would spend time searching the bins for that elusive piece to complete their restoration.
It is because of Glenn Pray
that the original parts for our favorite cars were saved and became available to future generations, as they had been available in the 1940s and 1950s.
Pray's other major contribution to the ACD world was the introduction of a new Auburn and Cord in the 1960s.
These were the original "replicars," although Pray
himself disdained the term, preferring "second generation.
Arguably Pray's "second generation" cars were the finest of their type, and while they were not a financially successful venture for him, they have built their own devoted following.
Today, they are recognized alongside the originals of the Classic Era by the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club
, which refers to them, fittingly, as the Second Generation Cars.
Whether your favorite Auburn or Cord hails from the 1930s or the 1970s, Glenn Pray
had what it took to keep it going.
In 1952 Glenn Pray started teaching high school auto mechanics at Central High School in Tulsa Oklahoma.
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.
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
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.
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----------------------
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.
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.
never did find or see his
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.
had replaced it with a NOS plate during restoration and never put the numbers on the new plate.
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
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.
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.
GLENN PRAY: The Untold Stories
In this amusing book, Glenn Pray
tells the story of himself and his
rise to fame.
"started out with nothing and has most of it left", he
borrowed a twenty-dollar bill, and bought the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Company
Within months, his
name was splashed across every major newspaper from coast to coast and around the world as he
began manufacturing his
"second generation" Cord and Auburn automobiles.
Glenn Pray: The Man Who Brought Legends to Life
The Man Who Brought Legends to Life by Josh B. Malks Second Edition, 2007, Josh B.Malks Glenn Pray's name is a by-word in the collector car hobby.
is probably best known to the casual collector for his
re-creations of the classic 1936-37 Cord and the 1935-36 Auburn Speedster, but these are only part of the automotive adventures of this remarkable man. ...(this book) provides an opportunity for the fancier of Pray's creations to more fully understand how they came to be, and to marvel at one man's ability to make his
dreams come true.
Color photo endpages, and beautiful black & white and color photos throughout.
Black pebbled leatherette binding with gold signature imprint of Pray
This is a gorgeous book!
Glenn Pray: The Man Who Brought Legends to Life (Paper Back)
A well-written biography of a man who was obsessed, determined, gutsy, creative and sometimes desperate, but who never let the words 'no', 'can't' or impossible' interfere with his
quest. very interesting reading.