1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Phaeton Sedan

  • Brand: Cord
  • Car Code: 130465

1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Phaeton Sedan

Errett Lobban Cord introduced the L-29 in 1929 as a gap-filling model priced between his Cord Corporation's Auburn and Duesenberg lines, the latter being totally redesigned that year. Powered by a straight-eight 'flat head' engine built by Lycoming – another one of Cord's companies – the L-29 featured front-wheel drive, then much in vogue at Indianapolis. An avid race fan, Cord had been impressed by the performance of the Harry Miller-designed front-wheel-drive Junior 8 Special, and in 1926 purchased the passenger-car rights to Miller's fwd designs. Cornelius Van Ranst was hired to assist with development, and by November 1927 the first prototype was ready for testing and assessment by Fred Duesenberg, Cord's Chief Engineer. Staff designer Al Leamy contributed the stylish coachwork, which was underpinned by Van Ranst's X-braced chassis frame – the world's first.

Production of the new car, now dubbed 'L-29', commenced at the Auburn, Indiana plant in April 1929 with a two-day press launch in June. The advantages conferred by the L-29's front-wheel-drive layout, chiefly, a low center of gravity and increased passenger space, were immediately apparent; while the freedom its low-slung frame gave coachbuilders meant that the Cord was soon attracting the attention of master craftsmen on both sides of the Atlantic. Indeed, many connoisseurs consider the L-29 to be the most stylish American car of the period.

The L-29 was offered initially in Sedan, Brougham, Convertible Coupé and Phaeton versions, at prices ranging from $3,095 to $3,295. Unfortunately for Cord, just as his new baby was reaching dealers' showrooms the Wall Street Crash of October 1929 blew away a huge proportion of his intended clientele. Despite a program of price cuts, sales never took off and the world's first practical front-wheel-drive production car was discontinued in 1932. Including cars supplied in chassis form to independent coachbuilders, only 5,010 L-29s were built, of which it is thought that around 300 of all types exist today. This one is a 1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Phaeton Sedan

According to records from the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club, this particular L-29 was manufactured in 1930 and was bodied as a convertible sedan by the Limousine Body Company and painted emerald green. Unfortunately, the grander early history remains unknown.

Descriptions & pictures by bonhams & wheelsage & other

Production Start 1930
Country of origin USA