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Ref # 213
1931 Cord L-29 Cabriolet



• ACD Certified, late-production example
• Original chassis, body and engine
• ACD Club Best Cord and CCCA Award winner
• Regarded as one of the finest extant

Serial No: 2929117
Frame No: 4117

298.6 cid Lycoming L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, 125 HP, three-speed manual transmission, front-wheel drive, front quarter-elliptic leaf springs, I-beam rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 137.5”

Conceived to bridge the gap separating Cord Corporation’s Auburn and Duesenberg lines, the Cord L-29 remains famous as America’s first front-drive production car. Inspiration came from the sleek front-drive race car built by Harry Miller, which placed second in the 1925 Indianapolis 500 and prompted E.L. Cord to purchase the passenger car patents and manufacturing rights. For his part, Miller constructed a prototype and served as consultant. Cornelius W. Van Ranst oversaw engineering and solved numerous technical problems for the new car, dubbed “L-29,” to be readied for production. The L-29’s mechanical packaging combined the engine, transmission, differential, and front brakes all into one single assembly, resulting in an exceptionally low ride height and unprecedented design freedom, fully exploited by Alan H. Leamy, Auburn’s chief designer.

Introduced in the summer of 1929, the L-29 featured a versatile core selection of Leamy-designed factory bodies, including closed models built by the Central Manufacturing Company in Connersville, Indiana plus open models by Kalamazoo, Michigan’s Limousine Body Company. Despite the stock market crash of 1929 and Great Depression, L-29 production reached 5,010 by late 1931, perfectly matching E.L. Cord’s original sales projections. Today, the L-29 remains one of the most handsome, technically interesting, and collectible automobiles of the Classic Era.

Certified by the ACD Club, this wonderfully pure 1931 Cord L-29 Cabriolet retains the original chassis, body, and engine and a copy of the ACD Certification package accompanies it. Built during February 1931, this example is documented as the 66th of 249 Cord L-29s produced, and it is one of the 79 Cabriolets built that month. It was purchased during the mid-1980s in Key West, Florida by Bill Bools of Cincinnati, Ohio. Following Mr. Bools’ passing in 2008, his brother, an avid ACD Club member and marque enthusiast, acquired the car. A complete restoration was performed by longtime Cord L-29 specialist Ken Clark at Ken's Classics in Pittsfield, Maine, with most of the work completed in 2009. Notably, prior to restoration, this L-29 was a rust-free example with nearly all the original wooden body framing intact and the original floor tag remains in its proper location.

Post-restoration, the L-29 was certified by the ACD Club (2009) and it has earned numerous accolades, including ACD Club Primary, Senior, and Senior Emeritus Awards plus Best L-29 honors in 2014. With the CCCA, the Cord earned Primary and Senior honors. In AACA judging, the L-29 earned Primary and Senior status, plus National Award nomination. Other appearances include the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance, The Experience at Hickory Corners, and at the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John's, where it received the Lion Award. Proven on the open road, the L-29 has provided great enjoyment for its current owner on the Hoosier Tour. Accompanied by a copy of the ACD Certification package (CL-120), this wonderful 1931 Cord L-29 Cabriolet remains an outstanding example of one of the finest achievements of the Classic Era – bar none.

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