Of the two front-wheel drive American cars announced for 1929, Errett Loban Cord was the first to market. His Cord L-29 began production in June, followed a short time later by Archie Andrews short-lived Ruxton automobiles. The Cords were referred to as 'Cord Front Drive' in company literature. The car was never given a name and would adopt the prototype's I.D. number 'L-29' as its model designation. The company offered four factory body styles comprising of a Sedan, Brougham, Cabrioelt and Phaeton (also known as a convertible sedan.) The prices for the convertibles began at $3,295 while the closed cars began at $3,095.
This particular car has styling by Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky, a young Russian nobleman who began designing automobiles in the 1920s. He would win five Grands Prix at the Monte Carlo Concours d'Elegance, and the L-29 was his fifth win and the first for an American car.
The front wheel drive configuration allowed for a design that was lower than most other cars on the road. It was given a streamlined grille, the first to surround the radiator with sheet metal. Riding on a 137-inch wheelbase, the chassis consisted of the industry's first X-braced frame and front brakes mounted inboard to reduce unsprung weight. The transmission was mounted behind the front axle in combination with the Lycoming 298.6 cubic-inch straight-eight motor.
Between the 1929 introduced and when production ceased on December 31, 1931, Cord produced 5,010 units. It was followed by a new L-30 but the Great Depression had taken its toll on the company, and full production never happened.
This L-29 was purchased by Ernest Cook in 1939 and remained in his care until 1982, when it was acquired by the current owner. The car has been restored several years ago and painted in classic dark blue and power blue combination with tan canvas top with light blue leather interior. There are dual side-mounted spares and side view mirrors, leather straps and oak tire locks, chrome wire wheels, trunk rack, rumble seat, and its original windshield wipers and wiper motor.
In 2009, this Cord L-29 was offered for sale at the Sports & Classics of Monterey auction in Monterey, California presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $200,000-$250,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $187,000, including buyer's premium.