Lot 408

Hershey 2023

1930 Cord L-29 Cabriolet


$88,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



State Assigned ID No.
Serial No.
Engine No.
FDA 296
Body No.
US Title
  • One of the most technologically significant American CCCA Full Classics
  • A well-known and respected example, enjoyed by West Coast ACD members for more than half a century
  • Desirable Alan Leamy-designed cabriolet coachwork with extravagant chrome detailing throughout
  • Fitted with a new red leather interior, carpets, and black convertible top under the consignor’s care
  • Offered from the collection of Bryan Keysor
Please note that this lot is titled as a 1931.

At its debut, the Cord Front-Drive (L-29) was the first major American production car with front-wheel drive, and it was easily the most innovative automobile that had been offered to the public in a decade, thanks to engineering input from legendary racecar builder Harry Miller. The Cord’s front-wheel-drive system employed a Lycoming straight-eight that was reversed in the chassis so that the transmission was at the extreme front. With no lengthy driveshaft to accommodate, renowned designers were free to pen low, rakish coachwork of dramatic proportions, all without compromising cabin space or comfort. Unfortunately, the L-29 came to market just as the Great Depression buckled the automobile industry, and production of the car faded away in late 1931.

The cabriolet offered here, serial number 2928423, is a late-production 1930 example believed to have been delivered new to Southern California and originally purchased by Burbank resident Leonard Roos. In 1974, it was purchased by Auburn Cord Deusenburg Club West Coast member Pat Fogle of Ontario, California and restored by his own hand followed by 20 years of well-exhibited use under subsequent owners—namely Gordon Apker and Ronald “Bud” Melby. A talented mechanic and passionate driver best remembered for driving other automobiles in the Great Race vintage rally, Melby continued to use the car for another 25 years in ACD Club activities, including Pacific Northwest meets at Rainbow Falls.

As presented today, this well-known Cord L-29 Cabriolet is resplendently dressed in the unusual and elegant combination of subtle pewter gray with black moldings and a pleated red leather interior, which was fitted by the consignor in 2021. The car’s matching red carpets, black convertible top, and stainless-steel exhaust system were also executed under the consignor’s purview, while touring improvements have been limited to the addition of a brake light and signal lights on the rear fascia.

While the engine was replaced many years ago with a 1929 unit—identical, it is important to note, to a 1930 in everything but its serial number—the overall appearance is one of conscientiously maintained authenticity. This can be seen in the preservation of original wood in the floorboards, as well as the original serial number, body, and Harry Miller licensing tags, all of which are beautiful, readable, and intact.

Ideal for touring enjoyment with the ACD Club or Classic Car Club of America CARavans, this is a fine example of a Full Classic that is rapidly gaining in popularity.