Monterey | Lot 135
1931 Cord L-29 Cabriolet
$224,000 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
24 August 2018
- Offered from a prominent private collection
- One of the most desirable American Full Classics
- Well-known history; quality older restoration in striking colors
- A pioneering front-wheel-drive automobile of exceptional elegance
- Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club Certified Category One (CL-019)
At its debut, the Cord Front-Drive (L-29) was the first major American production car with front-wheel drive. The lack of a driveshaft tunnel allowed for the bodies to be mounted low on the frame, with the result being that the Cord was no taller than a person of average height. Their interiors boasted flat floors, allowing for comfortable, spacious seating. Sadly, the L-29 had the bad luck to have been born at the worst possible moment. It was offered to market just as the Great Depression’s crushing weight came down on the automobile industry, and production of the car faded away in late 1931.
The cabriolet offered here, built in January 1931, was among the first L-29s to receive a modern concours-quality restoration, performed by owner Jerry Coburn and completed in 1970, including installation of frame unit number 2231. It was among the first L-29s exhibited in the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, Indiana, where it was on loan for several years in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1985, with new owner Gordon R. Klodt of New Jersey, it was featured in the July issue of Car Collector Magazine, as well as in a special exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Well-known enthusiast Bob Joynt, writing in Car Collector, described it as being “probably the most photographed L-29 in existence.”
In 1984 the car was purchased by Louis Wright, who retained ownership until 2004, when the Cord was refreshed in its present striking color scheme and joined a prominent Southwestern collection. The current owners acquired it in 2010 and have now maintained it in their collection for almost nine years. It remains very attractively finished, with polished side-mount covers and Pilot Ray driving lights, and would undoubtedly be welcome to any number of Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club events. It has been Certified by the Club as a Category One Original Car, number CL-019.
Every collector of American Full Classics should own one of these subtly beautiful, superbly engineered landmark automobiles – especially “the most photographed L-29 in existence.”