He was just an automobile dealer in Chicago in the twenties, doing well, when the company told him it was in trouble. Would he accept a $36,000 salary to run the factory? No. But he would do it for 20 percent of any profit he could show, and a stock purchase option. Within a year he owned a factory. He restyled its cars, and was on the way to building an American classic. A few years later he bought another car line and a few years after that started making a car with his own name on it. Those three cars are considered among the greatest ever made in America. His name: E. L. Cord.