<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927

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Lot 449
1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet

Sold for US$ 113,120 inc. premium
1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet
Chassis no. 2925603
Engine no. FDA927

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

*The most sporting and desirable L-29 variant
*In the present ownership for over 25 years
*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 handsome L-29 Cabriolet hails from the first year of production of these innovative, front-wheel drive cars. Finished in pale yellow with evergreen accents over a tan top and handsome evergreen leather interior, it joined the collection at the beginning of January a quarter of a century ago. Coming from Florida, when purchased the car was described as being in 'original and in running/driving condition'.

While the early history of this L-29 not detailed, it appears that the word 'original' as used in its 1994 description was more focused on its configuration than condition. The subject of an older restoration, it was repainted and retrimmed several decades ago. The interior shows quite nicely, as does the exterior trim, but the paint has begun to shrink in places. Nonetheless, the car still has plenty of presence. Perfect for a mild refresh and active tour use or restoration and presentation on a concours field—either way it will bring smiles to the new owner and anyone lucky enough to see him or her in their stunning cabriolet.

The L29 Cord is one of the iconic American car designs from the prewar period. Few other cars built in that period have low slung looks, and even fewer could stake the claim of being some of the first front wheel drive American road cars. Representing the pinnacle of American Motorcar technology and timeless styling, a L29 Cord is a must for any serious collectors stable.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, this vehicle is titled under the engine number.
Contacts
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
<B>1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 2925603<br /> Engine no. FDA927
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