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The high point of 1930's American auto style was courtesy of Erret Lobban Cord, a successful salesman who, as a teenager, had traded Model T Ford's around his native Los Angeles. He went on to sell Victory cars at a Moon dealership in Chicago, but his big break came when he was asked to restructure the moribund Auburn company, then in the hands of a receiver. Within 5 years he had not only turned the company around, but had released the L-29 featuring a big Lycoming straight-eight engine producing 125 bhp (93 kW).

Revolutionary in its front-wheel-drive configuration, the power from the Lycoming proved too much for the universal joint, such failures tarnished the reputation of the marque before production ceased at the onset of the depression in 1932. They bounced back in 1936 with the release of the 810, and although they stuck with the front-wheel-drive configuration, Cord choose to give the new model a futuristic streamlined appearance so beautiful, it was cited as a work of art by the Musuem of Modern Art. Powered by a supercharged Lycoming V8 offering 195bhp (145 kW) the car was expensive and, perhaps, too good looking for its own good. Production would finally draw to a close in 1937.

Also see: Lost Marques - Cord
Cord 810/812

Cord 810/812

1937 - 1938
The last of the Cords was also the last of the American front wheel drivers for some 30 years, until the Oldsmobile Toronado was released. Already known for making front wheel drive vehicles, this Cord was no different however instead of using a straight 8 it was powered by a side valve V8. The car featured retracting headlights and wrap around grille that sat below a long sleek hood. More >>
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