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LOT 409

Selling on Saturday Evening

1929 Cord L-29 Special Tourer

  • One-off custom coachwork with Le Mans-style seating for four
  • Fully restored with a highly original chassis and drivetrain
  • Refreshed by noted Cord specialist Ken Clark
  • Event, tour and track ready for immediate enjoyment

Register To Bid Auction Info

Founded in 1929 in Auburn, Indiana by automotive pioneer E.L. Cord, the Cord automobile was added to Mr. Cord’s array of fine marques that already included both Auburn and Duesenberg. The Cord was immediately known for its elegant styling and multiple pioneering technical innovations. This 1929 Cord L-29, featuring a one-off custom-built body has retained its remarkable coachwork for over 40 years.

The L-29 drew heavily on the technology developed for the Indy 500, initially designed by Cornelius Van Ranst. Among the innovations are features such as constant-velocity joints, de Dion suspension, and inboard-mounted brakes. Under the hood, the L-29 is powered by the remarkable 301-cubic-inch 125 HP Lycoming engine - another automotive company owned by E.L. Cord and part of his new automotive empire. While Cord offered a range of their own body styles such as phaeton, brougham, and cabriolet, they utilized a wide number of both American and European coachbuilders to create their own distinct and rare body styles. Production of the Cord L-29 ended in 1932 as the Great Depression took over, with an estimated 5,000 examples built.

This particular L-29 is an entirely correct L-29 chassis and drivetrain example. According to the consignor, a long-time collector of fine automobiles and avid yachtsman, all of the engine and major mechanical service was completed by legendary Cord specialist Ken Clark. The invoices accompanying the sale reveal a thorough restoration in 2005, including the engine, transmission and differential. Our Worldwide specialists report that the car roars to life immediately, is a pleasure to drive, and sounds fantastic.

From a styling perspective, the classic curves and aggressive stance of the front-wheel-drive L-29 portray an emotion of both elegance and performance. According to the long-time owner, the custom body was created sometime in the 1980s and it resembles the fabric-bodied styling of a 1920s Bentley Speed Six by Vanden Plas. This custom coachwork allows for open-air seating for four and the lovely patina and woodwork will attract attention wherever it goes. Much of the interior is original to the coach build, with new carpets recently installed, as well as refurbishing of the original chrome wire wheels being the only major work required recently. All gauges including the tachometer, speedometer, temperature, fuel, and oil pressure are fully functional.

The vehicle has been carefully stored and lightly used for the past 30 years in an impressive collection, and today, it starts right up and is a pleasure to drive, thundering down the road with an amazing sound. It even went back to L-29 specialist Ken Clark in 2022 for a complete mechanical freshening, with invoices included. With a styling nod to the famous racing W.O. Bentleys of the past and the renowned and accurate Lycoming engine and original drivetrain in place, this wonderful L-29 Special Tourer will allow the new owner access to many of the very best enthusiast events and tours around the country. It will no doubt be a highly enjoyable element in any driver's collection.

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