Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 5, Pt.1 - (not) Frank Lloyd Wright's Cord L29

Cord L29 at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana... alleged to have belonged to FL Wright, but after a little investigation it looks like the connection is indirect.

From the ACD Club website: "For years there has been mis-information abroad leading to mistaken claims and disputes regarding "The Frank Lloyd Wright L-29 Cord" Many of you are familiar with and have seen the orange color L-29 Cabriolet displayed on the first floor of the ACD Museum. The display placards indicate a connection with the famous architect Wright. In truth , this connection is indirect at best inasmuch as this cabriolet was purchased by Mr. Wright's son-in-law William Wesley Peters as a well used car from an East Coast owner in the 1950s. My late father Jonathan Richards saw the car at Spring Green , Wisconsin in the fall of 1961 and purchased the car from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation , in whose name the car was titled. The transaction was handled by Wes Peters from whom we have correspondence regarding the sale and the car's history. My father's purchase of the cabriolet was subsequent to Wright's death in a Phoenix , Arizona hospital on April 9, 1959. My father's deteriorating health prevented his completion of the restoration and he sold the car to Homer Weiss of Florida. Mr. Weiss employed Dave Samuels of Southeast Replicars to restore the car to its present form. Subsequent to the death of Homer Weiss his surviving daughter Laura Weiss Robinson sold the car to a man from Madison, Wisconsin and it was later displayed at the ACD Museum in Auburn, Indiana. At the time of purchase by my father the car was painted Taliesen Red which Wright painted all his collector cars including a Model J Duesenberg Brunn Riviera Phaeton J-521 / 2550 ( now with engine J-440 ) and his customized Lincoln Continental. ID on the cabriolet are Engine #FDA1191, Serial # 2925791 and Body #F 189. The question to be answered is what were the ID numbers on the phaeton sedan involved in the accident in Wisconsin on 11-13-1933. This is the real Frank Lloyd Wright L-29 Cord. Does it still exist and who owns it ? "

So... a cabriolet, owned by Wright's son-in-law in the 1950s. Wright himself owned a (now missing) phaeton. Still a pretty car, but another case of exaggerating the connection with a famous person. Seems like every Mercedes once belonged to Hitler or Eva Braun, every Lincoln belonged to The Mob or the FBI, and every Packard 12 belonged to Al Capone.

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