1907 Locomobile Model E Five Passenger TouringSOLD

RM Auctions - Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction - August 16-18

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Estimate: $125,000-$175,000 US

Offered Without Reserve

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $176,000

20 bhp, 198.8 cu. in. T-head four-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, solid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and double chain drive, two-wheel mechanical brakes and mechanical driveline brake. Wheelbase: 96"

Locomobile made a rapid rise from being the most popular car in the United States to the company ’ s slogan: “ Easily the Best Built Car in America. ” Conceived as a light steam runabout designed by the enigmatic identical twins F.E. and F.O. Stanley, it took on a new name as the Stanleys sold out to John Brisben Walker and Amzi Lorenzo Barber. The perky little Locomobile quickly became a favorite, selling some 1,500 cars in 1901 and 2,500 the next year, before being overtaken by Ransom Olds ’ curved dash runabout. But steam cars were not to be Locomobile ’ s forte, as both the Stanleys and Mr. Walker quickly parted from the company and Barber hired Andrew L. Riker as chief engineer.

Andrew Riker designed his first gasoline Locomobile in 1902, a two-cylinder, six-horsepower car. A four-cylinder T-head engine was ready for 1903, a 12/16hp model on an 86-inch wheelbase, with five-passenger aluminum body. Gasoline Locomobiles in 1902 and 1903 had Renault-style sloping hoods; for 1904, a Mercedes-type radiator was placed at the front. The last steamers were built that year, after which the marque moved solidly upmarket with prices ranging from $2,800 to $8,000.

The Type E Locomobile was new for 1905. Built on a 96-inch wheelbase, it had a 15/20-hp T-head four-cylinder engine of 198.8 cubic inch displacement. Priced at $2,800 for a tourer or $3,300 as a landaulet, it continued in production through 1908. “ Its size makes it a very convenient car to operate and to maintain, and it is particularly desirable those owners who like to take care of their own machines, ” said the company catalog.

David Uihlein discovered this Locomobile in a Michigan junkyard during World War II. Riding home to Milwaukee from his Rhode Island duty station on a motorcycle, he passed through Shelby, Michigan and came across Edward Babinec ’ s scrap yard. Initially attracted by the tall canvas top of a Mitchell, Mr. Uihlein became entranced by a derelict Locomobile, its back end converted to a truck, sitting next to it. Quickly purchased from the yard owner, the Locomobile escaped the wartime scrap drives.

The Locomobile ’ s previous owner had been a farmer, who had removed its rear tonneau section and replaced it with a flatbed for hauling produce to market. Mr. Uihlein located the farmer, who providentially had saved the rear body, doors and seats, neatly stored in his barn. Restoration commenced in 1947, but was not completed until 1963. Dick Braund of Elroy, Wisconsin, restored the body, made the top bows and did the final assembly and painting. It received Best of Show honors at AACA national shows at Minneapolis and Lake Forest, Illinois, following its completion. Although now an older restoration, this Locomobile has carefully used and meticulously maintained. It is a thoroughly presentable car that anyone would be anxious to own, proud to show and eager to drive. Notably, the Locomobile recently underwent a thorough service and the car remains in very good mechanical order. A new black top was recently installed as well with the results further increasing the Locomobile ’ s handsome overall presentation.

Surviving Type E Locomobiles can be counted on one hand. Further research has established that the farmer who used this car as a farm truck was its second owner. Counting junkyard owner Edward Babinec as a dealer, David Uihlein can be considered its third owner, quite remarkable for a car a century old. Having achieved centenarian status, this Locomobile is ready to meet its fourth owner.

Reference Number 10128

as of 6/1/2007

Car 1907 Locomobile Model E Five Passenger Touring
VIN 1250 
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