1932 Cord Prototype Front-Drive Model E-1: The ?New Cord?

  • Picture Gallery
  • Picture Gallery's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Site Admin Assistant
  • Site Admin Assistant
15 Aug 2003 20:12 #634 by Picture Gallery
Picture Gallery created the topic: 1932 Cord Prototype Front-Drive Model E-1: The ?New Cord?
1932 Cord Prototype Front-Drive Model E-1 : The ?New Cord?
V-12 Engine 492 cubic inch (491.8)200 Horsepower at 3400 RPM
Front wheel drive 157 5/8" Wheelbase
LaGrande Body 7-Passenger Enclosed Drive Limousine


Cord Front-Drive Program for 1932 -- Prototype Model E-1

When the first ?Cord Front-Drive? (Model L-29) reached full production in September of 1929 plans were conceived for the next model to be a 1932 year ?New Cord Front-Drive?, ?...the sensation of the automotive world.? The wheelbase was to be 157 5/8? inches, 20 inches longer than the L-29. The engine was to have 16 cylinders, double that of the L-29 engine. One month later (October 29, 1929, Black Tuesday) the stock market collapse changed the phrase ?Roaring Twenties? to ?The Great Depression?. Thus, this New Cord design represents the expansive philosophy of the industrial tycoon, E.L. Cord at the very peak of the Roaring Twenties!

One prototype, E-1, was produced with a 16-cylinder Lycoming engine as a 7-passenger chauffeur-driven limousine. A letter signed by E.L. Cord, in the museum archives, brags about his 16-cylinder Cord. So this limousine was apparently intended for E.L.?s own usage. As the depression worsened, in June 1931 Lycoming was ordered to produce a 12-cylinder engine of the same large 492 (491.8)cubic inch displacement to power this New Cord with over 200 horsepower. The restored E-1 has been invited to the Pebble Beach Concours d?Elegance August 17, 2003; by August 20, E-1 will be returned to its birthplace at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum where it will be available for viewing and preserved for posterity.


This Cord prototype was built by the Auburn Automobile Company in October 1930. The Auburn Automobile Company Prospectus described it as a 200 Horsepower New Cord, the sensation of the Automobile World.

This particular survivor was originally finished in blue with black reveal moldings. The driver?s compartment was upholstered in tan leather and the passenger area was covered in tan broadcloth with Butler finish for all metal hardware and fittings. The body has aluminum panels over a heavy oak structure with solid walnut interior mouldings. All of the bracketry is steel forgings or bronze castings. The skirted fenders and running boards are steel. The car weighed in at 6500 pounds, so the powerful V-12 was required to handle a massive car. The Cord was viewed by corporate officers, but by then the depression had gotten to the point that hardly anyone could sell cars much less buy something as expensive as this proposal was to be. After testing and a one-way trip from Williamsport, PA to Auburn with a total of 779 miles E-1 was retired. Major components were disassembled and scattered to various dealers. The engine remained in Auburn as a standby generator at the power station.

In more recent years, the body was discovered in the Rockford, Illinois area. Shortly afterwards, a group of blueprints surfaced in Auburn, Indiana. The grille assembly was discovered by Bob Joynt in Urbana, Ohio. Another lead located the fenders in Phoenix, Arizona. Five years after the accumulation of parts were united, the running boards were located in Plato Junction, a small community just outside of Elgin, Illinois.

Something destined this Cord to live and to live again. The present owner is Paul Bryant of Prairie Village, Kansas who is overseeing its restoration. Paul has recently retired from the University of Missouri at Kansas City as a Physics Professor. He has the time now to work with Auburn/Cord Parts in Wellington, Kansas to see the car to completion. It is a very elegant piece of automotive history and quite a story to believe.

Submitted by:

Auburn/Cord Parts, INC.
1400 North ?A? Street
Wellington, KS 67152
(620) 326-7751
<a href="mailto:[email protected]][email protected][/url]

Here are three more pictures. The first shows some of the walnut woodwork and the leather front seat. The front seat and door panels are original (except for minor patches). The body didn't have a divider window when Paul found it but the base was covered differently than the upholstery and showed evidence that something had been there. The third picture shows one of two jumpseats in the rear unfolded from the divider. The rear is new upholstery as it was originally cloth and was in bad shape.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

18 Aug 2003 01:38 #644 by Mike Dube
Mike Dube replied the topic:
Hey thanks for sharing Stan! I wondered how that car was coming along, after having seen it briefly at Auburn a few years back.

Look forward to seeing it again!



Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

21 Aug 2003 22:38 #698 by PushnFords
PushnFords replied the topic: Paul Bryant's E-1 in Car and Driver

53rd Annual Pebble Beach Concours d?Elegance

http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp ... e_number=2


Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Joe Holderman
Time to create page: 0.062 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum