Years Active: 1929-1932, 1936-1937

Complex Says: If things had gone differently, Cord could have easily been one of today's "big three." The brand philosophy was one of innovation and streamlining. Cord's cars were clever, well-designed, and forward thinking, but plagued by reliability issues that eventually killed the brand. Cord was the first company to produce a front-wheel-drive car to reduce costs, and it was the first company to put pop-up headlights on a car. It was under Cord's ownership and founder E. L. Cord's leadership that Auburn and Duesenberg realized their true potential. The Cord 810/812 is nothing short of iconic. The car, with its "coffin-nose," has been named the "Single Most Beautiful American Car" by American Heritage magazine. The "Classic Cord" Hot Wheels car is worth up to $3,000 if still in the original package.