Errett Lobban Cord (Errett Lobban Cord)

Errett Lobban Cord

Businessman, Industrialist, US Senator. Best known for his Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg family of automobiles. He was the man responsible for some of the most technologically advanced automobiles of the time. He began is automotive manufacturing career in 1924 when rescued the failing Auburn Automobile Company in Auburn, Indiana. He lowered vehicle prices and changed the paint schemes on some 700 unsold units to make them more cosmetically appealing to the customer. The cars were sold off in short order and he was made Vice-President and General Manager. From the beginning of his affiliation with Auburn E.L. Cord took stock options and profit percentages in lieu of a salary. That strategy eventually earned him the controlling interest in the company. In the following years he refurbished the complete Auburn line in bright multiple paint colors and re-powered the vehicles with Lycoming in-line eight cylinder engines and sales soared. He was further advanced to President of Auburn when he purchased the bankrupt Duesenberg, Inc. of Indianapolis in 1926, and Lycoming in 1927. In 1929 he introduced the Cord L-29 automobile (the first front wheel drive car to be made in the U.S.) along with the Duesenberg Model “J”, which was arguably the most luxurious and best-engineered motor car of the day. It was ao well engineered that collectors today estimate that 75% of all Duesenbergs are still in existence, and 55% are still road worthy. In 1931 the uniquely styled Auburn “Boatail” Speedster made its debut, and in 1936 he introduced what would become his signature automobile, the Cord Model 810. It was the first vehicle ever with “hide-away” head lights. Each head light cover was independently operated by a cable system linked to hand cranks located inside the passenger compartment below the dash board. Again, testimony to engineering is in the numbers. According to the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club, 66% of all Cords ever produced still exist today in varying states of condition. By late 1937 E.L. Cord’s empire collapsed in the wake of the Depression. He sold the remnants of the business to New York financiers and moved to Nevada. There he developed a career in broadcasting, real estate, ranching and politics. In the 1950’s he was a Democratic senator for the state of Nevada. After retiring from politics, he quietly lived out his later years on his ranch near Reno until his death in 1974. Errett was the surname of the clergyman who married his parents and Lobban was his mother’s maiden name.  (Bio by Daniel R. Pellegrini) (bio by: Daniel Pellegrini)  Family links:  Spouse:  Virginia Lilly Kirk Tharpe Cord (1905 – 1995)*  Children:  Billy James Cord (1916 – 1945)*  Susan Errett Cord Pereira (1940 – 2015)* *Calculated relationship


  • July, 20, 1894
  • USA


  • January, 01, 1974
  • USA


  • Inglewood Park Cemetery
  • California
  • USA

2282 profile views