National Geographic : 1983 Jul
FROM MAY 1937 ESQUIREMAGAZINE;COURTESYLIBRARYOF CONGRESS Selling an image as much as a car, an adfor the trend-settingCord (above) pursued the luxury market with unabashedsnob appeal. Introducedin 1929, it popularizedfront-wheel drive in America. Later models were sleek packagesof innovations.DesignerGordon Buehrig placed the differentialin front of the engine, giving the Cord its distinctive long hood, often flanked by external supercharger pipes. His electricpower shift predated the automatic transmissionsof Buicks, Oldsmobiles, and Chryslers.In the Cord, Buehrig also pioneeredhidden headlamps and uni-body constructionwith no running boards. A 1937 Cord Custom Beverly restored in White Post, Virginia (right), won best-of class honors in its first two classic-carshows.