An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

Classic Cars at a Pinehurst Country Club Men’s Polo Match

We are back once again at the Pinehurst County Club with the final pair of photographs in this series. The lead image and the enlargeable version of it below show a father and his two young daughters with an L29 Cord convertible coupe. The handsome-looking car was produced by the Cord Corporation between 1929 to ’32 and is generally considered to be the first production front-wheel drive car to be built in the US.

This example is equipped with a pair of attractive Woodlite headlights manufactured in Los Angeles, CA, that throw a beam of light further than conventional lamps of the period. View more photos and learn more about the L29 Cord here on The Old Motor.

Today’s second classic car image at Pinehurst below was not from the Polo Match but was taken a few years earlier. It is a Packard 443 Custom Eight phaeton fitted with a shorter than standard windshield, and a cape top.

This model was also known as the fourth series and is based on a long 143-inch w.b. chassis. The L-head eight-cylinder 384.8 c.i. engine with a 3.5 x 5-inch bore and stroke and nine main bearings produced 109 h.p. It was backed up by a dual-plate dry clutch and a three-speed gearbox. The 443 was the last Packard to use drum style headlights.

View all the earlier parts of the Pinehurst Series here.


18 responses to “Classic Cars at a Pinehurst Country Club Men’s Polo Match

  1. RE;
    “It is a Packard 443 Custom Eight phaeton fitted with a shorter than standard windshield, and a cape top.”

    I wonder how a car with such an open top could be enjoyed by a wealthy couple. I’m sure that their dignity would be severely damaged when confronted by sudden a heavy rainstorm.

      • Usually a Cape top had snaps at the rearmost bow that allowed attaching a “connector” piece of canvas as you describe.

        The rear seat windshield also have been one of the type that allows the center cross sections to become more or less glass windows for the front (and rear) seat (a little more practical with a cape top or touring over the traditional J & N windshields.

  2. Whenever I see examples such as these, I wish I could have been around when these ( or any of the great classics ) were just worn out old cars. When the thought of them being worth a small fortune was not apparent. My wish is not for profit only to be the guy holding the wheel of such a masterpiece.

    • In 1950, while I was roaming the impound lots which were holding abandoned cars, I climbed all over these large classic cars that were then twenty year old or more. Eventually to be recycled, the Packards, Cadillacs, Lincolns, the Studebaker President, and more large cars were found along the back fences in the wrecking yards.
      These cars were regarded as too large, having poor gas mileage, too expensive to work on, and they were not sporty enough to save from the scrap re-cycler. The affordable and fun cars were the first cars that were saved and sold. They were the Chevys, Plymouths, the model T and the model A Fords that were quickly bought up and then were often used as a second car. I had a model T Ford as my first car project. By 1950, very few model T Fords were to be found in any of the wrecking yards on Whidbey Island, Washington. Back then, as today, not many cars over twenty years old were held in the active wrecking yards.

  3. These wonderful old expensive cars that were discarded so often and particularly for metal recycling in WW II causes one to wonder which cars of today in 60 years will be as collectable? Some of the huge Lincolns and Cadillacs of the late 1950s come to mind.

  4. I am curious about the big sedan parked next to the Cord. Maybe the photo has had some retouching as there does not seem to be a defined join line between hood and cowl. It is obviously quite a lot older than the Cord by the style of the fenders. By the squareness off the rear quarters I guess not later than 1924.

  5. Had a closer look at that sedan and I reckon it is a series 10 Franklin from 1923-25, the last of the horse collar ‘radiators’.

  6. Motorcars worthy of royalty or how to know you’ve arrived.

    The Cord is classy, but that Packard blew me away. I’ve never seen such an example. Thanks for posting.

  7. So, what were those ‘cape’ tops like at any kind of speed. A real wind scoop, must have kept the ladies in a real ‘tizzy’ LOL.

  8. The poor chap has not noticed his imp on his right ,I would love to have been a fly on the wall when the print arrived.

  9. I once read about people playing “auto” polo on the East Coast via use of high end cars fitted with coachwork that allowed playing such verses horses – I have never seen pictures, but I assume they would be interesting.

  10. Woodlite headlamps: In examining the Patent Drawings of this lamp type , I (so far) hesitate to believe that the Woodlite can do “better” than a standard parabolic reflector can, especially way after purchase, because of the multi-paths that the light takes, in a Woodlite! Installing larger diameter headlamps and paying attention to the “efficiency” of the lensatic elements to alter the parabolic searchlight beam into a correct spread for illuminating “ahead” and to the sides is not as much of a styling statement as the “Woodlite , but “standard headlamps” probably will score better for seeing the road at night. Just about all early (open) reflector headlamps were “silvered” = 70 to 75% “reflectivity . Which would include “Woodlites” Utilzing evaporated Aluminum Relfector coating results in 85 to 92% reflectivity!!! Silver oxidizes fast, Aluminum Oxidizes slower So, to those who want the fancy styling , Auiminizing would help . Fashion statement : “Wood lite made a complete set of Headlamps and Matching (smaller )Cowl lamps! it is very rare , indeed, to find any car with the completed set of these accessory Woodlites the Du Pont automobile used the Woodlite “set”, – and if one must have Woodlights for decoration only — (never drive at night type folks) then the car looks incomplete without the Standard Woodlight “set”. Rarely, are the “Matching Woodlite Cowl Lamps” ever seen, these days. Also: Long-term Sun exposure ” purpling” of a headlamp lens looks “antique -ie” but reduces light output significantly !

    • According to Everett Miller a pre-war designer of automobiles and respected post-war historian, quoted in the September – October 1971 Ford Life magazine: “The lamps were not really superior to other lamps at the time, but they did serve a good functional purpose. Rather than throw a narrow beam of light as one might expect, a functional feature was to throw a beam of light a further distance than the regular round headlamp”.

      Woodlites have gotten a bad reputation that is undeserved, probably due to poor maintenance it their time and improper restoration. I have see photos of over the road trucks in the period that used them, and the owners would not have kept them if the lamps did not work well. Learn a bit more at:

  11. That’s surely a Victoria top; Cape Cart Hoods covered both front and rear seats.
    Auto Polo was initially organised in the early 1900s with Locomobile Steamers, later with stripped Model Ts. In both cases I think it was the ease of control in changing from forward to reverse that dictated the choice.
    (emailing 1903 article…)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *