In 1931 the Cord Automobile Company needed a standout car for their exhibitions at the New York and Paris Automobile shows to win the attention of customers and the press that would be in attendance. To make the biggest splash possible, they commissioned an extravagant, one-off L-29 Speedster.
Conceptually designed by Phillip O. Wright, the L-29 Speedster not only sought to capture the attention of show attendees, but also to showcase the innovation and creativity of the Cord brand. The car featured a unique front-wheel drive system, vibrant colors, streamlined trim, and a boat tail speedster rear end. Other unique features included a cigar humidor and a whiskey decanter set in the driver and passenger doors!
After the car’s hit debut at the New York and Paris shows, it was sent to Canada, and eventually back to Auburn, Indiana where it was photographed several times. However, sometime during its stay in Auburn, the car disappeared without a trace. To this day, the fate of the original L-29 Speedster is unknown with little to no clues on where it ended up. Some believe it met the same fate as many other cars of the time being scrapped during WWII, while others hope that it lay waiting in a barn in Indiana, hoping to be brought back into the spotlight.
Several enthusiasts decided that such an amazing design could not fall by the wayside of history, and thus have created many historically accurate recreations, such as the model shown in the gallery below, which was donated by David Stevenson to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum.
The original Cord L-29 Speedster may be lost to history, but we hope that it’s still out there and will be the barnfind of a lifetime for one lucky enthusiast! Do you have any clues on the whereabouts of the original Cord L-29 Speedster? If so, we’re sure the folks at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum would love to speak with you!