Hershey | Lot 186
1914 Locomobile Model 48 Seven-Passenger Touring
$148,500 USD | Sold
| Hershey, Pennsylvania
7 October 2021
- One of very few Model 48s produced with this body
- Successful participant in many cross-country tours and long-distance rallies
- Previously of the Dorothy and James Conant Collection
- Powered by a later 525 cu. in. six-cylinder T-head engine and four-speed manual gearbox
- Upgraded with hydraulic brakes
- One of a select number of pre-1918 vehicles considered a Full Classic by the prestigious Classic Car Club of America
Locomobile was once one of the most respected automobile manufacturers in the United States, and its products were known for their superb quality, speed, and engineering. In 1911, the company introduced a T-head, 7.0-liter, six-cylinder engine, which evolved into the Model 48.
Known as the American Mercedes, the powerful and luxurious Locomobiles were fitted with custom coachbuilt bodies and delivered to such prominent buyers as William Wrigley, William Carnegie, and the Vanderbilt family. For reference, in 1911 the Locomobile Model M-48 Seven-Passenger Touring (a later example is offered here) retailed for $4,800, compared to a similar Cadillac at $1,800. Locomobile prided itself on quality over quantity; a mere four cars were assembled per day with prices far exceeding the company’s primary competitors at Peerless, Pierce-Arrow, and Packard.
Locomobile suffered financially in the early 1920s depression, and it was unsuccessfully merged with Mercer and Simplex before being bought by Durant in 1922, with limited production continuing until 1929.
CHASSIS NUMBER 7461
The Locomobile pictured here is one of a limited few Model 48s assembled in 1914, and even fewer equipped with this seven-passenger body style. For many years it was owned by Dorothy and James Conant of Cleveland, Ohio. Under the Conants’ ownership, this fantastic Locomobile Model 48 Touring was toured extensively (and successfully) over all of the most grueling and demanding cross-country tour routes that America has to offer. The car was among the prized jewels of the Conants’ extensive collection of antique automobiles; it was always fastidiously maintained to permit its rigorous touring schedule. The Conants also took great pride in exhibiting the car and did so with great regularity—but their true joy for their Locomobile came from touring, as evidenced by an older, decal-covered spare windshield which accompanies the sale.
When this Model 48 was acquired by the consignor in 2006, it had just been treated to the cosmetic restoration which it wears today. Power is derived from a slightly-later 8.6-liter version of the Model 48’s famous six-cylinder engine, which is paired to a four-speed manual gearbox. At 107 years old, it remains a testament to the quality of cars that the Locomobile Company produced.
To this day, relatively few examples have survived, and many suspect that the valuable materials used in Locomobiles resulted in their deconstruction for scrap metal. In fact, only 167 Model 48s are presently registered with The Locomobile Society of America. It is unlikely that many additional examples even exist. This particular Seven-Passenger Touring, however, has survived, and it is a particularly outstanding, and enjoyable, artifact of the stately Edwardian Era.