In its heyday, Cord was considered the future of the automobile. Advancements like front-wheel drive and hidden headlights may seem trivial in today’s market, but when they were introduced in 1929 on the first L-29 model and eventual 810 and 812 models to follow, they were revolutionary.
Unfortunately that forward thinking didn’t last, and the brand was shuttered in 1932 by parent Auburn, only to be revived again in 1936 before closing its doors for good in 1937. But nearly 80 years later, and it could be on the verge of a comeback.
According to Hemmings, Cord Automobile could live again. The company is now owned by Houston area oil industry consultant Craig Corbell who purchased the rights back in 2014, and could begin building cars as early as next year thanks in part to the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers act that was passed as part of a $305B highway funding bill.
"Until now it was cost prohibitive to manufacture these cars profitably," Corbell said in a press release. "But now that expensive high speed crash testing, for example, is no longer required to manufacture low runs of replicas, this makes tremendous sense."
The law, which was passed in 2015, allows manufacturers like Cord, DeLorean, and AC, to produce replicas of original vehicles with modern engines and drivetrains. Both the DMC-12 and AC Cobra, for example, will use modern GM V8 crate engines when they arrive next year.
As for Cord, Corbell hasn’t yet released any details on the proposed revival just yet. The company is currently said to be in partnership discussions with manufacturers, and could have a vehicle ready as early as next year. “We want to get this right to uphold the honor that people like E.L. Cord and Gordon M. Buehrig brought to this brand,” Corbell said.
Photos: RM Sotheby's