The Auburn Auction

Lot 44
Cord® Trademark

Selling on Saturday Evening

 Cord® Trademark

• The trademark, licensing and manufacturing rights to the Cord® automobile
• Significant opportunity to create a bright new future with the celebrated Cord® brand
• The purchaser can offer licenses for: Cord® Automobile and Parts, Cord® Clothing, Cord® Model Toys, Classic Cord® Logo
• Prestigious distinction of owning a world-renowned brand
• Registration numbers 2,936,082; 2,234,293; 4,755,542 and all related products and goodwill associated therewith

During the early 20th Century, men of uncommon creativity, skill and vision created the technologies, systems and business models that fueled the immense growth of the automotive industry. Among them was Errett Lobban Cord. Born in Warrensburg, Missouri in 1894, Cord’s life story is the truest embodiment of the American Dream as a racecar driver, mechanic and superstar car salesman before he became the manager of the ailing Auburn Automobile Company in 1924. With hundreds of Auburns lingering in storage unsold, Cord added had them repainted and adorned with some bright trim, and suddenly business boomed. Little did anyone know it at the time, but Cord’s intervention at Auburn would give rise to some of the most innovative and beautifully styled cars ever built and sold – bar none. Cars that continue to ignite the imagination and inspire today’s designers and manufacturers, regardless of geography.

Cord’s stunning success with Auburn, combined with his renowned energy and vision, propelled him onto the national and international stages as a business legend during the remainder of the 1920s through 1937. During this brief but brilliant time, Cord assembled one of the largest industrial conglomerates in history, with experts citing 156 companies doing business under Cord’s corporate umbrella at its peak. E.L. Cord established the Cord Coporation on December 28, 1929 and it was headquartered in Connersville, Indiana. This was the holding company for his many transportation-related business interests including Auburn, the cornerstone of his empire.

Having launched the Cord L-29, America’s first front-drive automobile sold to the public in 1929, plus the majestic Duesenberg Model J, Cord Corporation seemed almost immune to the devastating stock-market crash of October 1929 and resulting Great Depression. Cash flow and profits remained strong and by late 1930, the Auburn Automobile Company completed construction of the beautiful administration building and showroom that proudly remains today, along with the Cord L-29 factory adjacent to it, as the hub of the celebrated A-C-D Club events held annually in Auburn for the past six decades. However, by 1932, not even Cord nor his companies were immune to the harsh economic realities; despite development and sales of the brilliant and highly regarded Auburn Twelve – one of the best values in all of motordom and the futuristic “Baby Duesenberg” Cord 810/812 of 1936-1937. In 1937, E.L. Cord sold off his automotive interests, closing one of the greatest chapters in American business history.

After falling victim to the Great Depression, Cord dropped largely from the mainstream until the 1960s when Glenn Pray, an auto mechanics high school teacher from Oklahoma, purchased the assets of the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Company from Dallas Winslow and created an acclaimed reduced-scale model, the Cord 810. The passage of The Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act in 2015 relaxed the rules that have long restricted low-volume automobile manufacturers and allowed the production of a small number of vehicles exempted from the onerous certification and testing procedures that other manufacturers must undertake before selling new cars. The offering at auction of the Cord trademark now provides a significant opportunity to create a bright new future with the celebrated Cord brand. In addition to the right to manufacture Cord-branded automobiles, the purchaser will also acquire the rights to license Cord-branded parts, clothing and apparel, models and toys, as well as the distinction of becoming the new custodian of the trademark itself.

It’s only fitting that the trademark, licensing and manufacturing rights to the historic Cord automobile be offered for sale right here in Auburn where it all began. This is a rare and substantial opportunity to rejuvenate an iconic marque, and all that is associated with it, and our hope is that a brave new future for Cord will begin again.

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