Joshua B. Malks, historian of the Cord automobile, and the best-known writer on this fascinating subject, passed away Friday, Oct. 11, after a valiant fight against cancer. He was 78.
He was born Sept. 25, 1935, and fell in love with Cords during his childhood. "I've loved Cords since I first encountered one on the streets of The Bronx. I was twelve, and so was the Cord. I've owned five of them since, one at a time, all 810 (1936) Westchester sedans," he wrote on his website, www.automaven.com. "Sounds a bit weird today, but from 1953 to 1959 my Cords were my everyday, and only transportation. The earliest ones were cranky, leaked fluids from every pore and rain from every seam, and sometimes left me stranded in out-of-the-way places. But each one was better than the one before, and my present pride and joy, 'Moonshadow,' is a keeper."
His previous books on the car, Cord 810/812: The Timeless Classic and Auburn and Cord (with Lee Beck) have become standard references. His other automotive books include The Illustrated Duesenberg Buyer’s Guide, How To Maintain and Enjoy Your Collector Car, Glenn Pray: The Man Who Brought Legends to Life and How To Keep Your Collector Car Alive.
Malks maintained a website called CordNet dedicated to the Cord 810/812. He was a past president of the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club, and a member of the Classic Car Club of America, the Antique Automobile Club of America and American Mensa.
At the time of his death, he was living in Capitola, Calif., with his wife, Betty. and his 1936 Cord 810 Westchester, "Moonshadow."
Funeral services were held in New York, with burial in South Brunswick Township, N.J. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Josh Malks to The Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Palliative Care and Support Team, in care of Dr. Bill Morris, 2850 Commercial Crossing, Santa Cruz, CA 95062 or to Hospice of Santa Cruz County, in care of Kim Diserpa, 940 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066. Both of these organizations brought so much comfort to Josh.