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Lot 29
1931 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan
OFFERED WITHOUT RESERVE

gallery


Selling on Wednesday

Offered from a Private Collection

CHASSIS NO: FD3954

• Accurately restored and well-presented throughout
• A legendary Alan Leamy body design
• The very first American front-wheel drive vehicle produced
• A great opportunity for the new owner to enjoy ACD and CCCA events


322 cid inline eight-cylinder engine, 125 HP, three-speed manual transmission, quarter-elliptic front leaf springs, rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 137.5”


In early 1924, E.L. Cord, who was already a highly successful car salesman and entrepreneur, was recruited to save the struggling Auburn Automobile Company. He negotiated full decision-making authority, 20 percent of the profits, and most importantly - an option to buy controlling interest in the company. Cord immediately took a long look at the product line and came up with a simple, cost-effective solution to sell the remaining stock of leftover Auburns. Relying on style, racing prowess, and proof of durability, he marketed the leftover inventory and provided enough capital to save Auburn from certain bankruptcy. E.L. Cord was an extremely ambitious and aggressive businessman and, by 1928, he had taken complete control of Auburn. He stayed busy amassing an impressive manufacturing empire, and soon owned 150 companies, including Auburn, Lycoming Engines, Checker Cab, Duesenberg, and New York Shipbuilders.

Having re-established Auburn as a successful car builder, he decided to build a car worthy of his own name – one that would compete with the likes of Lincoln, Packard, and Stutz for luxury car honors. In typical E.L. Cord fashion, he eschewed tradition and specified a car that was as innovative as it was beautiful. The L-29, as it became known, was sleek, attractive, and impossibly low slung for the time, thanks to its front-wheel drive and a De Dion front axle arrangement, designed by an ex-Miller Indy Car engineer who spearheaded the project. Alan Leamy took advantage of the low-slung chassis and designed a sleek, low-roofed body that had an integrated radiator grille and a flowing design that still stands out today. It was the very first front-wheel drive American car, beating the lesser known Ruxton to the market by mere months. The L-29 shared the 301-cubic-inch Lycoming straight eight with Auburn, but with the crank and flywheel mounted at the front, shifting through a three-speed transmission. The forward mounted transmission meant no tunnel was needed and the body could be mounted low in the chassis with a flat floor for additional passenger comfort. Performance was solid and, thanks to the low center of gravity, handling remains impressive. Only 5,014 L-29s in all body styles were sold between 1929 and 1932, as the Great Depression took its toll on luxury car makers.

This beautiful 1931 L-29 Convertible Sedan was purchased by the consignor in Riverside, California in 2003, and has been carefully maintained ever since. The upholstery is a mix of original leather and restored seating surfaces that match perfectly and show appropriate wear, having been restored about 40 years ago when the car was repainted in the factory colors. It’s a very accurate presentation, featuring very correct paint work, period wide whitewalls, rear covered luggage trunk, and dual sidemounted spare tires with covers. The only major repairs the current owner addressed in his 18 years of ownership was a new Haartz cloth top 15 years ago. This Cord was regularly exercised for many years and has been carefully stored for the past few. The engine bay remains accurately restored and easily detailed for shows or display. The new owner will enjoy this fine classic with an Art Deco look that will no doubt be eligible for ACD Judging, any CCCA events or tours, and certainly all AACA events. A landmark design, this iconic Full Classic® is ready to leave a lasting impression on everyone it passes.

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