1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan
Sold For $184,250Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
RM | Sotheby's - ARIZONA 19 - 20 JANUARY 2012 - Offered on Friday
Please note this car won a first place award at the 2009 ACD Festival in Auburn, Indiana. Contrary to the catalog description, the mascot, which resembles the famed “Tete d’Aigle” is not an original LaLique ornament.
125 bhp, 298 cu. in. side valve inline eight-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, three-speed transmission, quarter-elliptic front leaf springs at the front with rear semi-elliptic leaf springs and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 137.5"
• Pioneering front-wheel drive American car
• Extensive freshening since 2006
• Lovely color combination
The all-new front-wheel drive Cord made its spectacular introduction in 1929, only months ahead of the highly anticipated new Ruxton. Success at the Indianapolis 500 by front-wheel drive racecars led to a growing fascination of this system. Cord hired famed engineers Harry Miller and Cornelius Van Ranst, as well as driver Leon Duray, to consult in the Cord’s drivetrain that would be fitted in Herb Snow’s new X-frame chassis. The new low-slung frame combined with front-wheel drive allowed for a more dashing overall look, being a mere 58 inches high. In comparison, most of the Cord’s competition sat about 10 inches taller due to being rear-wheel drive.
The large headlamps, gleaming brightwork and grand stature provide this Cord with a road presence rarely seen today. The beltline styling was borrowed from a custom body designed by Hibbard & Darrin that E.L. Cord had ordered to be copied on his phaeton-sedan and cabriolet/convertible sedan models. Perhaps most notably, the Cord L-29 phaeton-sedan won the first “Grand Prix” in the Concours d’Elegance competition in Cannes, France.
The initial restoration of this particular 1930 Cord is documented in The ACD Club Newsletter (volume LVI, number 4, 2008). It was later sold to its current owner in 2006 and has since benefitted from a list of improvements and general freshening. Along with new rubber, the wheels were re-chromed, and the springs, brakes and correct shoes were redone. The undercarriage of the car was also completely redone to address any issues of over-restoration and ensure the finish was more period correct. The radiator neck and shutterstat were replaced and the water pump rebuilt, and a long list of other work has been documented. Finally, the engine compartment was tidied to complement the equally presentable exterior. In all, about $30,000 was spent on freshening this Cord and making it show ready. Ken Clark, a notable L-29 specialist, handled much of the work, and the Cord has only been driven about 2,000 miles since 2006. The car includes both the factory flat radiator cap as well as a Lalique “Tete D’Aigle” ornament.
The subtle light grey colored body of this beautiful L-29 is bisected by a medium grey beltline, while grey pinstriping accentuates the elegant bodylines. The folding top is tan, and the interior is beautifully fitted with burgundy leather and matching carpeting. The dual side-mount spares and chrome wire wheels complement perfectly the Cord's elegant coachwork. Additional accessories include driving lights, cowl lights, wide whitewall tires and side-mount mirrors, as well as the desirable rear-mounted metal trunk.
In 1930 only 1,873 Cords were built, of which only a small percentage were four-door convertible sedans. As one of the first full production front-wheel drive automobiles built in America, E.L. Cord noted in 1929 that, “The Cord is a specialty car, different from others,” a statement that certainly rings true to this day.