1907 Locomobile

1907-locomobile

1907 Locomobile Type E (only one extant)

I owned this car from 1985 to 1990 in Carrollton, Georgia. I purchased it from “uncle” Austin Clark. When I had this car, the entire chassis was still original and the car ran, but the body had been replaced in 1914. Austin told me that the change was made at the Ambler Garage (New York), and they used it as a utility vehicle from 1914 to 1926. The original body (a five passenger touring body) had been removed by the men at the Ambler Garage and replaced with an open, depot-hack style body that they used much like a pick-up truck for hauling parts and materials.

In the early 1960’s, Millard Neuman (the “body snatcher” as his friends affectionately referred to him, and also America’s foremost Rolls-Royce expert) found the body still hanging from the same rafters that it had been suspended from since 1914. He purchased the body and modified its length to fit on the chassis of his 1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. I was torn between leaving this car original and replacing the body with a replica of the original. Millard was a close friend and offered to let me stay at his house as long as I needed to measure and make plans for the replica body. He could also show me the modifications that they had made to accommodate the Rolls chassis.

I only tinkered with this car enough to keep it running and keep the brass polished. It was great fun for parades and short runs in good weather. I sold the car in 1987 to Richard C. Paine and it has been restored once, but has had two other bodies fit to it ever since. (See the picture from RM’s auto sales of the red touring car and the current roadster body)

(The following write up was posted on the RM Auctions website)

“Automobile historian and writer Henry Austin Clark Jr. is believed to have acquired this Model E shortly before or after the Second World War. It is believed that prior owner was Mike Caruso, owner of the famous salvage yard in Hicksville, Long Island. In 1987, the Type E was acquired by Richard C. Paine Jr. and displayed at his Seal Cove Auto Museum until being acquired by Mr. Ruger. When acquired, the Locomobile had a Type I Touring Body, which was not original to the chassis, and a restoration by Classic Car Services, of South Paris, Maine, was commissioned. The work included a rebuild of the chassis, running gear, and engine. The carburetor was in poor condition, so a newer unit was sourced. The low-tension ‘make and break’ ignition has been retained and is in working order. It operates via small tappets that open contacts within the combustion chambers, which creates a spark.

The Model I body was removed and replaced with a newly fabricated two-seater runabout body built based on period photos and on catalogues. The coachwork is original from the seat forward, including original floorboard and running board edging and chain box. The rear fenders and rear of the body, the trunk, and the seat are all new. The car is finished in two-tone red paint with a light red pin striping.

The car is fitted with Sibley & Pitman ‘Climax’ acetylene headlights, Corcoran side lamps, and a Dietz kerosene ‘Dainty Tail Lamp.’ The original, Attwood-Castle, vertical canister, acetylene generator has been retained but replaced with an acetylene canister that sits in a brass container.

The T-head four-cylinder engine displaces 199 cubic-inches and produces 20 horsepower. There is a three-speed manual transmission with double chain drive and two-wheel rear mechanical brakes.

In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the St. Johns sale presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $90,000 – $130,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $74,250 inclusive of buyer’s premium.”

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2012