History of the Classic Cord
Why I built my own Cord
Engineering and Design
Body Construction 1
Body Construction 2
Chassis - Frame and Suspension 1
Chassis - Frame and Suspension 2
Designed and Fabricated Parts 1
Designed and Fabricated Parts 2
Engineering Changes
Final Modifications

Final Details
MN Registration
The World Debut
More Misadventures

Final Recommendations
Glam Shots

The HBC Store
To Sturgis & Back Game

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Why I built my own Cord

   As a boy, my father would tell me stories about cars of his boyhood. One in particular was the Cord.  The Cord was this fantastic automobile designed to capture the excitement of the airplane.  The car had sleek aerodynamic pontoon fenders with headlamps that would retract and disappear giving the car a very unique bold look.  The hood was a simple one piece design that sat on top of a wrap around louvered grill.  Some people thought it looked like a coffin - hence the nickname "coffin nosed Cord".  This added to the mystique.

   Then in the early 1970's I got my first chance to see a real Cord.  It was on a trailer parked a few blocks from our house.  The Cord was a very cool car.

My first Cord seen in Albuquerque NM early 1970's

   Years went by but my interest did not fade.  In 1977 I went to learn mechanical engineering at the University of New Mexico along with my twin brother Brad.

   At that time kit cars (GT Bradley and other VW powered kits) were quite popular.  Yet, no one made a Cord kit (too bad since they sort of look like a VW bug).  Eventually someone did.  A group from Florida started making a full size fiberglass Cord replica.  Unfortunately the price was $24,000 (2/3rd the cost of our house!)

   Naturally, the only alternative was to build your own from scratch.  That is what my brother Brad did.  He started his project in 1979.  In 1981, we took 4 hours of independent study to explore the design and fabrication of a chassis for his fiberglass body.  I researched frame and rear suspension designs and performed the finite element analysis.  My brother explored front suspension designs.  Another colleague, Kerry Walcot, explored regulations.

   The project was quite impressive and ended up winning best of show at the University's engineering competition.

Brad's Cord in Texas features Porsche 944 styled headlamps and bold external exhaust pipes.

   Brad's Cord features a body made out of solid fiberglass (1/4 inch thick or greater) and a robust frame with side impact protection in the doors.  The engine is a massive 440 cid coupled with a three speed automatic.  The front suspension is an "A" frame with torsion bar springs.  The rear is four bar linkage with coil springs.  Status of the car:  It has not yet been driven on the road for any significant distance.  It is not yet registered.

   My experiece with my brother's Cord led me to believe that I, too, could make my own car!  So in 1984 I started.  The idea was to make a light weight and agile car.  It would feature a light weight body (fiberglass/foam/fiberglass composite), four wheel independent suspension, four wheel disk brakes, and a small yet powerful V8 (my old 1967 Mustang engine).

   Little did I know how much effort it would take to complete.  More details follow....

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