Yesterday on Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds praised the Ford Shelby GR-1 concept that sadly never made it to production. I dropped Prof. Reynolds an email saying that the GR-1 doesn’t have a bad line, it looks great from every angle, and the legal scholar and blogfather agreed. If Gordon Buehrig had designed only the Cord 810/812, he’d have earned his place in the hall of fame of automotive design. Small wonder that Buehrig was inducted into the real Automotive Hall of Fame. What a magnificent car!
I had a thought. The cars made by E.L. Cord in the late 1920s and into the 1930s continue to be considered among the finest and most significant motor vehicles ever produced. Perhaps that kind of brilliance has to burn out, maybe it can’t last. When his car companies stopped making money, Errett Lobban Cord moved to Beverly Hills to manage his other assets and never built another car. Maybe the cosmic price of being able to produce those superb Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs was that the venture could not last. It could be for the best. The short history of Cord’s car enterprise meant that those brands never declined. When you go out making the Cord 812, that’s better than Packard going out making piscine Studebakers. Would you want to see a modern day Auburn SUV, intended to compete with the Porsche Cayenne?