It was the first car US to front-wheel drive to be offered in series, anticipating a few months Ruxton who then was a commercial failure.

This mechanical scheme allowed the car to have an extremely lower center of gravity than the competition and a 50% front and 50% weight distribution on the rear axle. Both the four types of normal series production and the bare chassis cars built by Cord for American and European coachbuilders won many prizes in the international Concours d'Elegance of the period (our Pinifarina also tried its hand at a beautiful bodyworkcommissioned by A.

Storero who finished in third place at the Concours d' Elegance in Stresa on 9.10.1932). The Cord L29 was designed in 1927, tested in 1928 and began series production in June 1929. It went out of production in 1932. Even today, very short times, practically almost impossible. The " Great Depression"in 1929 he took it in the middle of his sales program, cutting down on the possibilities (the total production was 5010 cars). Yet EL Cord still earned a lot thanks to it. He did it with the shares of his company which thanks to the L29 were which went through the roof from month to month and that he as a financial magician had sold a few weeks before the great crisis. It is that he bought himself back for little money a short time later.

Surely a very American story. The technology used was that of the Harry Miller patent . Miller was involved and engaged in the enterprise by the ELCord for which he transferred all his technical and cognitive baggage acquired in Indianapolisfrom its front-wheel drive Miller Specials. Its cars were placed in excellent positions at the top of the competitions with much smaller displacement (1500 cm³) than the competition.

The front De Dion bridge (semi-independent suspension), the brake drums at the differential exit to reduce unsprung masses, the double suspensioninverted semi-elliptical with Houdaille hydraulic shock absorbers, were just some of the technical details that made and make the L29 an absolutely exclusive and cult object.

All of these features were on Miller's race cars and were carried over to the L29, so it can be said that the L29 was derived from racing cars. The other great front-wheel drive expert in competitions (who had been Miller's antagonist) Cornelius Willett Van Ranst (1872-1972) who worked for Duesemberg also collaborated in the development of the project and above all in the experimentation of the prototypes.(another industry of the Cord group). And it was thanks to him that many of the defects of the Millers that were racing cars were not found on the Cords which, being cars born for series production, would have had serious after-sales problems.

The model L 29 had mounted an engine eight- cylinder in already mounted line on Auburn type 120 of 4,934 cm³ (301 cu in) 125 hp (93 kW) with unilateral valves and L production head Lycoming (industry Cord group specializing in production of aeronautical and automotive internal combustion engines). The engine had been reversed from its original position so that the gearbox and clutch were located in front of the cylinder block and the differential, already with planetary type hypoid crown and pinion gears, was mounted on top of the mechanical power unit. The gearbox was three-speed plus reverse and the car had rear elliptical suspension . The braking systemit consisted of four-wheel drum brakes of the Lockheed hydraulic type which was one of the first hydraulics built in the world.

more than 20 cm high) reached levels of torsional rigidity absolutely unattainable at the time (the only exception being the Italian Lancia Lambda with a load-bearing body, evidently the revolutionary cars even if by absolutely different roads they reached the same excellent results). Another avant-garde feature was his style in all four of the bodies proposed by Cord (the sale of bare chassis for body builders was extremely limited, it is estimated that there are around 50 special custom-built bodies signed by the best body builders around the world).

It was a refined style, with connected curved lines, something unknown in US production even at the highest level of that era.

The taut and rigid lines of the functionalist rationalist style of the twenties were overcome and the style of the following decade was announced, the style that would remain until the sixties. Only the best French and Italian coachbuilders had made comparable proposals. Yet in that very low and very wide 5-meter car (about 2 meters) the tapered, slender bodywork, with that very long bonnet (about half the car) and those very long front fenders had something that hadn't been seen before. And even today the feeling is the same. Who was the genius who designed it? A great designer who unfortunately died prematurely at the age of 28 from a puncture with an infected syringe: Alan H. Leamy.

And he also had the idea of ​​the radiator grille with a "V" shape which was particularly difficult, as its height was just over half of that of "normal" rear-wheel drive cars, as the ovoid shape of the differential was placed at the bottom with an ingenious trait. When you experiment with a new shape it is very easy to make ugly ducklings, but if you can you create timeless art forms, classics and the Cord L29 is certainly among them.

The four bodies supplied as standard were 2 closed (produced by the Central Body industry of the group which began its activities with the L29 at the beginning of '29 setting up the production chain) in the sedan (Saloon) and closed coupé de ville (Brougham) types. and 2 open (produced by "Limousine Body Co. other factory of the group) in the 4-door 5-seater torpedo (Pheaton) and 2-seater spyder (with 2 other seats externally in the fake trunk) called "Cabriolet" (not to be confused with the European convertibles which are always 4 or 5 internal seats) . The colors could be chosen by the customer upon purchase, the dashboard in pure "Deco '" style was full of expensive backlit instruments, the glovebox in the center of the dashboard could contain gloves, but also road maps to be illuminated with a special light dashboard.

Dashboard in "german silver" or nickel silver, expensive silver-colored noble metal alloy, cigarette lighter and double ashtrays both front and rear also in Deco style, and interior lights of the cockpit and exterior of the running board that lit up when the doors were opened (in Europe this summer refinements arrived at the end of the fifties). Encyclopedias on L29 could be written and many in the United States have tried their hand at powerful works written over a lifetime.

Everything was born from the brilliant madness of its inventor EL Cord who was able to bring together the most creative and often misunderstood minds of the US automotive world of the twenties. He even put together antagonists like Miller and Van Ranst. Cord who was able to bring together the most creative and often misunderstood minds of the US automotive world of the 1920s. He even put together antagonists like Miller and Van Ranst. Cord who was able to bring together the most creative and often misunderstood minds of the US automotive world of the 1920s. He even put together antagonists like Miller and Van Ranst.

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