WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) recently announded that the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA), launched World Motoring Heritage Year with the presentation of a special preservation award at the 2016 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The FIVA award for the Best Preserved Vehicle was presented for the circa 1930 Cord L-29 (s/n 2926823) with custom body by the Walter M. Murphy Company owned by Dan Davis of Jacksonville, Fla. The FIVA preservation award recognizes a vehicle that retains much of its original components, materials and finishes and as such is an important cultural artifact. The car is the only known example of the Murphy town car body style built on the Cord L-29 “standard” wheelbase chassis.
This Cord L-29 was reportedly owned by E.L. Cord’s daughter and sold to Fred Thorenson. Jay Hyde purchased the car from Fred Thorensen in 1959 and maintained the car in its original condition until his passing in 2014. Mr. Dan Davis purchased the car at the Bonhams Amelia Island auction in 2015.
Mark Gessler, President of HVA and Vice President of FIVA presented the award. The HVA is the representative for FIVA in the United States and Canada.
The Cord L-29 built by the Auburn Automobile Company of Auburn, Indiana, was the first practical production car to feature front-wheel drive and was considered one of the most elegant designs of the period. About 5,000 Cord L-29 models were produced between 1929 and 1931 in sedan, brougham, convertible coupe and convertible sedan body styles. This particular example (s/n 2926823) is one of just several Cord L-29 chassis that were sent to the Walter M. Murphy Company in Pasadena, California for custom coachwork. It is the only known example of the Murphy town car body style built on the Cord L-29 “standard” 1371Ž2 wheelbase chassis.
“It is fitting for this wonderfully preserved Cord L-29 to be recognized to launch the FIVA World Motoring Heritage Year under the patronage of UNESCO,” said Mark Gessler. “The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance has worked together with FIVA and the Historic Vehicle Association over the last seven years to elevate the recognition of the preservation award and help ensure that stewardship of unrestored vehicles is widely celebrated and strongly encouraged.”
“I am honored the Cord L-29 Murphy Town Car has received this special preservation award during the FIVA World Motoring Heritage Year,” said Davis. “This is a unique car and it deserves to be recognized as an important cultural icon for future generations to enjoy.”
“My father, Jay Hyde owned this car for over 50 years,” said Kimberly Thompson, Hyde’s daughter. “Growing up, the Cord was always considered to be one of the family. We cherished our time with the car and always knew it was something special.”
- Circa 1930 Cord Front-Wheel Drive (L-29) Custom Town Car*
- Chassis No.: 2926823
- Model: SD (standard wheelbase of 1371Ž2 inches)
- Engine: Lycoming inline 8 cylinder L-head
- Displacement: 298.6 c.i.d
- Maximum hp: 125
- Engine No.: FD 2410
- Transmission: 3-speed manual
- Brakes: 4-wheel hydraulic drum
- Coachwork: Walter M. Murphy Co. (Pasadena, California) One of four built
* precise completion date not known.