1930 Cord L-29

The front-wheel drive Cord L-29 was innovative and different. It was the first major American production car with the front-wheel-drive configuration, and its design and mechanical complexity proved the true genius of Errett Lobban Cord. Harry Miller and Cornelius Van Ranst were responsible for the engineering. The body was engineered by John Oswald. Auburn's chief designer, Al Leamy, applied many styling accents such as the radiator. The L-29 was available in four body-styles, a Sedan, Brougham, Phaeton, and Cabriolet. The $3000 factory price was very reasonable but the declining global market and the stock market crash were very detrimental to the sale of the vehicle. The Cord was priced between Auburn and the Duesenberg lines, the latter being totally redesigned in 1929. Fewer than 5,010 examples of the L-29 models were produced from 1929 through 1931. Around 300 examples are known to exist today.

Without a driveshaft tunnel, the bodies could be mounted low on the frame, making the Cord sit rather lower compared to other cars of its era, giving it a low center of gravity. The interior had flat floors offering spacious seating. The low-slung frame attracted the attention of coachbuilders and craftsmen on both sides of the Atlantic.


by Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2020

Related Reading : Cord L-29 History

The Cord L-29 was revolutionary, using a front-wheel drive system rather than the popular rear-wheel drive configuration. Many believed that having the front wheels be responsible for turning, carrying the bulk of the weight, providing stopping power and for driving were too much. With the rear wheel drive systems, the weight could be dispersed throughout the body to take advantage of weight distributed.....
Continue Reading >>

1930 Vehicle Profiles

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Phaeton

A Styling Sensation Admired by Frank Lloyd Wright....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Convertible Sedan

Chassis Num: FDA 3837

Cord L29 Convertible Sedan with chassis number FDA3837 was one of 5010 built from 1929 through 1932. There were 1873 Cords were built in 1930. The folding top is tan in color and matched with a burgundy leather interior. It has recently undergone ....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Phaeton

The L-29 Cord, named for E.L Cord, Chairman of the Cord Corporation that owned the Auburn Automobile Company, was introduced in 1929 to great acclaim. America's first production front wheel drive vehicle, it featured engineering by Harry Miller and ....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Cabriolet

The beautiful flowing classic lines and front wheel drive with the transmission forward of the engine make the Cord one of the most outstanding automobiles ever produced in the US. The shifter lever is located on the dash panel.....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Hayes Coupe
Coachwork: Hayes Body Company

Chassis Num: 2927005
Engine Num: FD2638A

One of the most extraordinary one-off L-29 Cords is this Hayes Coupe, which was a collaboration between Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky and the Hayes Body Company. At the 1929 Monte Carlo Concours, it won the Grand Prix award. A few days later, at the ....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Phaeton

The new Cord, a product of the Auburn Company along with the Duesenberg, was introduced under E.L. Cord's leadership in 1929. It was a styling sensation with its low, sweeping lines on the low-slung chassis made possible by its innovative front-whee....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Phaeton

The Cord L-29 was the first production car in the United States to feature front wheel drive. The brainchild of automotive builder E.L. Cord, the L-29s front wheel drive allowed for lowered overall body height and spectacularly rakish styling. This C....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Cabriolet Convertible Speedster

In the early 1920s, E.L. Cord used his business and sales talents to gain control of the Auburn and Duesenberg automobile companies. In 1929, he created his namesake, the Cord, as the middle-class volume sales part of his ACD conglomerate.....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Town Car
Coachwork: Murphy

This handsome L-29 Town Car is one of only three produced by Cord. Simply put, a Town Car is a long-wheelbase limousine with divider window and an open driver's compartment for the chauffeur. With its novel front-wheel drive arrangement, this car was....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Dual Cowl Phaeton
Coachwork: Murphy

Considered by experts to be the ultimate classic design, the 'dual-cowl phaeton' was out of style by 1930 due to its impracticality; but the design was continued on custom-ordered cars. It was this attention-getting appeal that prompted E.L. Cord, p....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Cabriolet

Chassis Num: 2928140

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....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Convertible Sedan

Chassis Num: FD2936A

This rare 1930 Cord L29 Convertible Sedan sat atop of a 137.5 inch wheelbase. It was powered by a 298 cubic-inch eight-cylinder engine capable of producing 125 horsepower. It had a three-speed manual transmission and quarter elliptic front leaf spr....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Sedan

The Cord L-29 was not inexpensive - the sedan and brougham were priced at $3,095 and the cabriolet and phaeton were priced at $3,295. Prices were lowered for 1931 but the luxury car market was beginning to disappear, thanks, in part, to the stock mar....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Cabriolet Convertible Speedster

Chassis Num: FDA1423

The boat-tail 'LeGrande' speedster was designed by Phil Wright, who had left Murphy Coachbuilders. He headed to Detroit in search of work where he found it with Auburn. Auburn Automobile Company president Roy Faulkner found Wright's sketches intrigui....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Cabriolet

This Cord L-29 was shipped to Buenos Aries when new where it remained until returning to the United States in 1978 in complete disrepair. The car passed through several owners, until a full restoration was started in 2000. After several years, the cu....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Convertible Sedan

Chassis Num: 2928013
Engine Num: FDA3160

This Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan belongs to Christopher Cord, the grandson of E.L. Cord. The car was completed in April of 1930 and was one of 1,163 convertible sedans built. ....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Sport Cabriolet
Coachwork: Voll & Ruhrbeck

Chassis Num: 2927898
Engine Num: FD 3029

Voll and Ruhrbeck of Berline was a world-class builder of fine custom coachwork. Their work graced the finest of chassis, including Horch, Mercedes, Daimler, Bugatti, Maybach, and Rolls-Royce. Their work would also adorn the Cord automobile.....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Town Car
Coachwork: Murphy

Chassis Num: 2926823
Engine Num: FD 2410

The effects of the Great Depression were deepening and a toll was be exacted all around. In order to remain in business, industries had to become creative and maximize every angle possible. For Errett Cord, that opportunity rested with Hollywood and ....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Cabriolet

The Cord L-29, America's first production front-wheel-drive car, was introduced in 1929. The innovative front-drive system contributed to a long, low car that looked fast standing still. Its design was inspired by front-drive Indy cars, and the L-29 ....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Sport Cabriolet
Coachwork: Voll & Ruhrbeck

The L-29 Cord was the first front-wheel-drive (fwd) American car to achieve volume production. It was developed under the direction of E.L. Cord, who'd taken control of the Auburn Automobile Company in 1924. In 1927, Cord brought the ultra-luxurious ....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Brougham

As part of the Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg empire E. L. Cord's philosophy for the Cord was to build truly innovative cars. Introduced in 1929, the L-29 was the first American production front-wheel drive car. This unique design mated with Lycoming's str....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Convertible Sedan

Chassis Num: 2927299
Engine Num: FDA 2221

Production of the L-29 began at the Auburn, Indiana plant in April of 1929 with a two-day press launch in June. The L-29 had a front-wheel drive layout which gave it a low center of gravity and increased passenger space. Errett Lobban Cord had been i....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Cabriolet

Chassis Num: 2928297

The dark blue example with silver accents and grey leather interior carries chassis number 2928297. It was offered for sale at the 2006 Worldwide Group Auction held on Hilton Head Island. It was expected to fetch between $150,000-$175,000. It is an A....[continue reading]

1930 Cord L-29 vehicle information

Cabriolet

Chassis Num: 2928415
Engine Num: FD 3566

The earliest known owner of this Cord L-29 Cabriolet was Pete Walker of Atlanta, Georgia, a former employee of the Auburn-Cord dealership in that city. It was owned by Mr. Walker as early as 1962 and later sold to Bob Agle of Ohio. The car would rema....[continue reading]

Phaeton
 
Convertible Sedan
Chassis #: FDA 3837 
Phaeton
 
Cabriolet
 
Hayes Coupe by Hayes Body Company
Chassis #: 2927005 
Phaeton
 
Phaeton
 
Cabriolet Convertible Speedster
 
Town Car by Murphy
 
Dual Cowl Phaeton by Murphy
 
Cabriolet
Chassis #: 2928140 
Convertible Sedan
Chassis #: FD2936A 
Sedan
 
Cabriolet Convertible Speedster
Chassis #: FDA1423 
Cabriolet
 
Convertible Sedan
Chassis #: 2928013 
Sport Cabriolet by Voll & Ruhrbeck
Chassis #: 2927898 
Town Car by Murphy
Chassis #: 2926823 
Cabriolet
 
Sport Cabriolet by Voll & Ruhrbeck
 
Brougham
 
Convertible Sedan
Chassis #: 2927299 
Cabriolet
Chassis #: 2928297 
Cabriolet
Chassis #: 2928415 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1930 L-29
$3,000-$19,000
1930 Cord L-29 Price Range: $2,590 - $3,000

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Cord
1935Ford (820,253)Chevrolet (548,215)Plymouth (350,884)
1934Ford (563,921)Chevrolet (551,191)Plymouth (321,171)
1933Chevrolet (486,261)Ford (334,969)Plymouth (298,557)
1932Chevrolet (313,404)Ford (210,824)Plymouth (186,106)58
1931Chevrolet (619,554)Ford (615,455)Buick (138,965)1,243
1930Ford (1,140,710)Chevrolet (640,980)Buick (181,743)1,873
1929Ford (1,507,132)Chevrolet (1,328,605)Buick (196,104)1,819
1928Chevrolet (1,193,212)Ford (607,592)Willys Knight (231,360)
1927Chevrolet (1,001,820)Ford (367,213)Buick (255,160)
1926Ford (1,669,847)Chevrolet (547,724)Buick (266,753)
1925Ford (1,669,847)Chevrolet (306,479)Dodge (201,000)

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