Unrestored Locomobile

1923 Locomobile Model 48 Series VIII Sportif by Bridgeport Body Company

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2013

1923 Locomobile Model 48 Series VIII Sportif by Bridgeport Body Company

Locomobile started producing cars in 1899 with production focused on steam cars. They were one of the leading motorcar manufacturers in the early days but they switched to internal combustion power in 1903. Competition was fierce and in 1922 they were taken over by Durant Motors.

Prior to that, in 1911, they introduced the Model 48 – a benchmark model in their history. It lasted through to the end of the company in 1929. It was overbuilt and out of date by 1923 as the model never really had any major updates. But the motorcar was still in its relative infancy and modernity didn’t matter to all customers. The engine is a 95 horsepower 8.6-liter straight-six. The body is the “sports” body offered from Locomobile at the time, the four-door convertible Sportif.

This car cost $9,900 when new. All owners have been known from that time. And what is most amazing about this car is that it is a survivor. It has less than 25,000 original miles and won Best in Class at Pebble Beach in the Pre-War Preservation Class in 2002. Since that time it’s won other awards for its remarkable condition. It is expected to bring between $175,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM at Amelia Island.

Update: Sold $176,000.

Pierce-Arrow Touring Car

1919 Pierce-Arrow Model 48 Series 4 Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 18, 2013

1919 Pierce-Arrow Model 48 Series 4 Seven-Passenger Touring

This big seven-passenger Pierce-Arrow is interesting because it was specifically ordered without jump seats. So, if you wanted to fit seven people in it, five of them would’ve had to sit on the back bench. Good luck. I’m not sure why they didn’t just call it a “five-passenger touring” – but I guess the body is the same.

And the body has those headlights faired into the fenders, which was a Pierce-Arrow patented design. The company introduced it’s 48 horsepower six cylinder in 1909 – at the latest, perhaps earlier. So this should have been a dinosaur by 1919 – except that WWI interrupted auto production for a few years and, by 1919, this thing – while rated at 48 horsepower – might have produced substantially more – like, say around 90. But whatever, you aren’t buying it for speed. The engine is an 8.6-liter straight six – and it went head-to-head with the V12s from Packard and Peerless.

This car was used in the mountains as a chauffeured hunting and fishing car. It was recently restored by the third owner of the car, from whom it is being sold. It’s a cool-looking car – especially with those headlights, which look like some sort of coachbuilt custom touch but were in fact, factory designed. And, of course, those white tires. It should sell for between $190,000-$230,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Arizona.

Update: Sold $181,500.

Locomobile Model 48

1919 Locomobile Model 48 6-Fender Town Car

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 3, 2012

Locomobile was one of the first big American automakers and the marque is a testament to the importance of the Stanley brothers in the history of the automobile. The publisher of Cosmopolitan magazine, John B. Walker, bought the design of the Stanley’s first steam car and put it into production. The Stanley brothers were General Managers until they left in 1902 to start Stanley, which would become Locomobile’s largest rival.

The Model 48 was introduced in 1911 and it had a wheelbase almost 30 inches longer than that of a modern Chevrolet Suburban. The 8.6-liter straight-six makes around 48 horsepower. Most of the powertrain components were cast in bronze and the chassis was made of chrome-nickel steel – which helps explain  why so few of these imposing automobiles survive to this day: scrap drives during the Second World War made these cars a lot more valuable in pieces than they did as a 20-something-year-old used car. This car was made using only the finest materials – the only thing, I guess, they could have done to make it even more over-the-top would have been to build it entirely out of gold and platinum – although it wouldn’t be quite so solid.

The body was built by Demarest and the layout is one you don’t see that often – a six-fendered town car. The fifth and six fenders sit just in front of the rear passenger compartment and I suppose exist to make each and every passenger feel a little like Cinderella being helped from her carriage. Bonhams claims that this car cost, when new, three times that of an open-bodied Model 48 – which I’ve read elsewhere would have cost around $10,000 in 1920 – which helps explain why Locomobile failed along with parent company Durant Motors at the onset of the Great Depression

This was about as grand a car as you could buy in 1919. And all of this grandeur will set you back somewhere between $60,000-$80,000. Which is a deal. For the complete description, click here. And for the rest of Bonhams’ lineup at the Greenwich Concours, click here.

Update: Sold $70,200.