1932 Fowler 10HP B6 Showman’s Locomotive
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 30, 2020
Well here’s a new class of vehicle we haven’t featured before. The Showman’s Road Locomotive. It’s basically a steam traction engine that is made to go down the road, helping transport a circus or carnival. And then once it gets to where it’s going, it’s the powerplant for the show. They are very large and very ornate.
This one was manufactured by John Fowler & Co. of Leeds. The company built four B6 “Super Lion” road locomotives. These were the last such machines built, as steam’s popularity was on the wane. The last road locomotive ceased operation in 1958, and most of them ended up scrapped. This example is the first of the four Super Lions, two others of which also survive.
When new, it was used to power carnival rides until it was retired in 1946. It had two owners between 1950 and 2018, and it was restored over a two-year period in the mid-1990s. Like many other showman’s locomotives, it features a full canopy, a front dynamo, and a lot of brass.
Steam traction engines are impressive beasts in the own right, but once you add this sort of over-the-top glamour to them, they really just become awe-inspiring. This one is expected to sell for between $1,000,000-$1,600,000. Why not? Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $1,195,794.