<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007

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Lot 180
1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan

US$ 160,000 - 200,000
£ 120,000 - 150,000
1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan
Chassis no. FDA3007

298ci L-Head Inline 8-Cylinder Engine
Single Carburetor
125bhp at 4,000rpm
3-Speed Manual Transmission
Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Elegant Convertible Sedan coachwork
*Beautifully presented inside and out
*Innovative front-wheel-drive chassis
*Full CCCA Classic


THE FRONT DRIVE L-29

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.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This elegant L-29 Convertible Sedan was sold new to a Mr. Silvey Speer in Atlanta, Georgia as a gift for his granddaughter. Unfortunately, given the economic tumult of the great depression, Miss Frances McKensie had to part with the car two years later, at which point it was purchased by a Mr. Austin Abbott. Mr. Abbott, a local Stutz dealer in Atlanta, used the car extensively over his approximately three-decade stewardship of this Cord. Nicknamed 'Blondie', Mr. Abbott used this car quite extensively in parades and events, the elegant Convertible Sedan often taking a place of honor in the festivities. Mr. and Mrs. Verney Bentley then acquired the car and continued to use it frequently for both public appearances and private enjoyment. By the mid-1980s, the aging Cord was owned by Mr. Murrell Smith, under whose ownership this car was restored to its current specification in the early 1990s.

Presented in a vibrant combination of cream with blue accents, this cord remains in beautiful condition throughout, a testament to the quality of the restoration and the care taken in the succeeding years. The saturated blue swage lines contrast well with the buttercream base color and the paintwork and brightwork remain vivid and lustrous. Inside, the tan leather interior is very nice, showing minimal use since its restoration. The innovative dash, showing all the information through rolling wheels and apertures, presents equally well. Under the hood, the green straight eight-cylinder engine is complete and well presented, though showing some signs of the age of the restoration. This elegant convertible is complete with various accessories including dual side-mount spares with spare-mounted mirrors, a trunk to match the tan convertible top, and an Elgin 8-day dash-mounted auto clock. This L-29 is a great example of Cord's innovative front-wheel drive, fitted with elegant open-top, Convertible Sedan coachwork.

Footnotes

  • Please note, this vehicle is titled under its engine no.
Contacts
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
<b>1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan</b><br />Chassis no. FDA3007
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