Glorious Cord brand returns! Model III officially announced
Cord Automobiles has issued the following press release:
It has been more than 50 years since the last Cord automobile was produced, but if everything goes according to Craig Corbell's plan, fans of the brand won't have to wait much longer for the next generation of Cords to start arriving in driveways.
When Glenn Pray bought the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Co. in 1960, he started working on a new Cord, which was last produced in 1937. It wasn't, however, until 1966 that Pray released his first Cord. The new car was reduced-scale and aptly named the "Cord 810" (8/10th scale). That period of production was short-lived, and only 97 second-generation Cords were built during Pray's tenure.
The brand lay untouched from 1966 until 2014 when the Cord Automobile Company and its trademark and all of the rights associated with the Cord name were put up for auction.
Having researched Cords and loving the story of E.L. Cord—the man responsible for introducing the world to Cords in 1929—Corbell saw it as a great opportunity to breathe life back into the brand. The following year, the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015 was passed, allowing low volume automobiles, such as the Cord, to be manufactured with original styling and a modern drivetrain.
At the 2016 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Corbell announced his plans via press release to produce the next generation of Cords. Over the past year, Corbell and his colleagues have been busy planning, organizing and designing.
"It's taken a long time to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with the Cord brand because I want to make sure it's done the right way and continue the brand in a way that would make Cord and Pray both proud," stated Corbell. "There isn't a high-end luxury option for three-wheel vehicles and we wanted to capture that with the Cord Model III."
The first product to be produced will be the Cord Model III, a luxury side-by-side motorcycle that combines classic styling with passenger comfort. The Cord Model III has two front wheels and one rear wheel, which allow it to handle more like a car than a motorcycle, and it's spacious enough to accommodate people of all shapes and sizes. Its MV4R engine, built by Motus Motorcycle, produces 180 hp and 126 lb.-ft. torque (an estimated 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds).
Corbell has development on the Cord Model III underway, beginning with two prototypes – one of which will be for sale. He is also developing a new Cord automobile that will be designed to resemble the aesthetic of the Cord 810 and 812 models, while incorporating modern design, technology and manufacturing enhancements. The new Cord will also be wider and longer to more comfortably fit today's person.
In an episode of "Jay Leno's Garage" entertainer and classic car collector Jay Leno claimed that a different three-wheeler, the Morgan Model F, was "one of the oddest and most fun cars" he owned. It would be interesting to see what kind of reaction the new Cord Model III would elicit from Leno.