2013 Greenwich Concours D’Elegance: 1932 Cord L-29

The Cord L-29 was a revolutionary automobile for its time.  It’s one of the first cars to ever be assembled with front-wheel-drive, but uses a longitudinal engine layout, unlike every FWD car sold in America today.  The car had a 137.5″ wheelbase and the steering took 4 turns from lock-to-lock, but reports came in at the time that it was actually a very good handler.  It had inboard brakes, De Dion drive system, and and full instrumentation (including an ammeter).  In its day, it was a shock to the system.

Cord made 4,400 examples during its production run from 1929 to 1932.  Power came from a Lycoming inline-eight pushing out 125hp.  While it wasn’t very fast in its day, it was certainly a great example of the Roaring Twenties, right before the stock market crashed, plunging this great nation into the Depression.  Cord did not sell many of these, and I do occasionally see one at a Concours event.  This one, though, stood out to me most thanks to its simple sable black paint and red hides with chrome wire wheels and whitewalls.  It did not win an award at Greenwich this year, but I simply couldn’t care less.  To me, this car is a winner for its revolutionary design (at the time).  Enjoy the photos.

-Albert S. Davis

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