Tag: cord

July 20, 1894 – Transportation baron E.L. Cord is born
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July 20, 1894 – Transportation baron E.L. Cord is born

Yesterday we discussed an invention that revolutionized automotive design, pop up headlights that were first featured on the 1936 Cord 810. Today, we're talking about the man who gave that car its name. Errett Lobban Cord, born on this day in 1894, was a race car driver, mechanic and car salesman -- and a transportation baron, entertainment executive and state law maker. Top: E.L. Admiring the Cord 810Above: 1929 Cord L-29. By Jim Evans - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 Born in Missouri, Cord grew to be a jack of all trades. Aside from working on, racing and selling cars, he ventured into numerous other areas of business. At one point or another in his early career, Cord hauled ore, sold real estate, fixed electronics, and even drove a bus. None of these jobs shook out quite how he wa...
July 19, 1934 – Patent filed for retractable headlights for Cord
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July 19, 1934 – Patent filed for retractable headlights for Cord

A 1936 Cord 810 Westchester sedan, one of about 125 classic automobiles displayed at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, Indiana. Painted in an original Cadet Grey color, this Cord was owned by Josh Malks, who showed it off in travels around the world. Malks nicknamed it "Moonshadow." With a V-8 Lycoming engine that produced 125 horsepower, the Cord had a top speed of about 80 mph. There are few automobiles that feature such innovation as the 1936/7Cord 810/812. Designed by a host of industry superstars, including Gordon M. Buehrig and Alex Tremulis, who would later offer his skills to the 1948 Tucker, the Cord 810 combined luxury, speed and futurism, and ultimately, failure. The car is said to have been originally conceived as a Duesenberg, which was also owned by...
January 22, 1990 – Cord & Duesenberg designer Gordon Buehrig dies
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January 22, 1990 – Cord & Duesenberg designer Gordon Buehrig dies

Legend has it that Gordon Buehrig was expelled from his design college for drawing cars on textbooks. While the punishment may not fit the crime, if true, he didn't let it affect his day dreams. Those sketches soon, quite soon really, became reality. Instead of trying to finish college, he left his Illinois home headed for the Motor City. After arriving in Detroit he found work at Packard and then General Motors. For young Buehrig, born in 1904, designing the Le Mans competing 1929 Black Hawk couldn't be a better job. That is, until his artistic approach to car design caught the eye of E.L. Cord, who had purchased Duesenberg just three years earlier. Courted by Cord, Gordon Buehrig found himself as Duesenberg's chief designer at the tender age of 25. Among his first tasks: designing ...
October 26, 1926 – E.L Cord acquires Duesenberg
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October 26, 1926 – E.L Cord acquires Duesenberg

August and Fred Duesenberg were self taught master mechanics who used their skills to build fantastic race cars and engines. The brothers opened their first independent auto shop in 1913 in St. Paul, Minnesota. They quickly gained a reputation for building winners. One feat that cemented their legacy came in 1923 when Jimmy Murphy became the first American to win the French Grand Prix from behind the wheel of a Duesenberg powered car. It was event that helped the struggling passenger car company survive. Above: 1935 SJ LaGrande Dual-Cowl Phaeton. By Stahlkocher - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0. Top: 1923 Duesenberg Model A Two years prior to that GP the brothers introduced the Duesenberg Model A, the first series production car from their company. Despite being the first car to be mass prod...
November 2, 1935 – The Coffin Nose Cord
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November 2, 1935 – The Coffin Nose Cord

The Cord 810 was introduced by the Cord Automobile division of the Auburn Automobile Company at the National Automobile Show in New York City on this day in 1935. The luxurious vehicle was the first mass produced American front wheel drive car with independent front suspension. The earlier Cord L-29 was also FWD, as was the 1934 Citroën Traction Avant. The 810, and later 812, were the first production cars to feature hidden headlights. They were offered through the 1937 model year with supercharged and non supercharged versions. The vehicle's interesting front end earned it the nickname coffin nose Cord. Cover photo: 1936 Cord 810 Phaeton by Cliff from I now live in Arlington, VA (Outside Washington DC), USA CC BY 2.0.