1929 Cord L-29 Special Coupe

The fast rise and eventual collapse of E.L. Cord’s massive industrial empire, with the Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg marques at its core, remains one of corporate America’s most fascinating and tragic stories. From the dramatic turnaround of Auburn in the mid-1920s, which is a textbook case of selective marketing, Cord’s companies manufactured and sold some of the most innovative, stylish and value-rich automobiles ever conceived.

The L-29 Front Drive Cord was developed as a new, medium-priced car with innovative engineering and distinctive styling. The long drivetrain package, necessitated by the L-29’s inline 8-cylinder and front-wheel-drive system, became one of the car’s greatest assets when designer Al Leamy sketched one of the longest hoods ever seen.

American and European custom coachbuilders naturally gravitated to the design possibilities of the low-slung L-29 chassis, and 43 custom-bodied L-29s were created. Just 12 are known to remain in existence today, including the singular and stunning Hayes coupe offered by RM.

Carl Bomstead

Carl Bomstead - SCM Senior Auction Analyst

Carl has been writing for SCM for 19 years. His first article appeared in the February 1997 issue, and at least one of his articles has appeared in every issue since. When he’s not writing, he serves as a National Director for the Classic Car Club of America and tends to his extensive collection of automobilia. He has been a judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for the past 20 years, and he also judges at Amelia Island and other major concours. An extensive number of collector cars have passed through his garage, and a 1947 Cadillac 62 Series convertible and a 1968 Intermeccanica Italia are current residents.

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