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FOR SALE: 1911 Locomobile Model M 7-passenger touring

Matt Harwood

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*SOLD* For fans of the big brass, this 1911 Locomobile is the real deal. One of three built and two known to exist, and yes, it's the big horsepower, 6-cylinder model 48. It hasn't been seen in public since the 1960s, and was in the same ownership from the late '50s until about two years ago when we acquired it.

There were three Series 1 Model M Locomobiles built in 1911, with two still in existence including this one. This one is chassis number 4838, and appears to have been repainted perhaps back in the '50s or '60s, and probably got a new top at that time. It still looks excellent. The interior is original save for the carpets, with swing-out occasional seats to make for 7 passengers. Brass is quite good with soft patina, and if you look closely, you can even still make out the "Locomobile" logo embossed in the tops of the headlights. The paint remains excellent with only a few minor blemishes, but has done a great job of defying the years thanks to protected storage out of the sunlight and in a climate-controlled environment. It has a great all-of-a-piece look that only time and careful stewardship can create, and nothing makes a stir like appearing in traffic in an 8-foot-tall touring car with an exhaust cutout that sounds like an angry god is chasing it.

Steve Littin of Vintage and Auto Rebuilds was commissioned to get it into shape and added a 12-volt battery and starter for easy use. He believes the engine has been rebuilt at some point, as it now has alloy pistons in place of the original cast iron units, which probably weighed 3 pounds each(!). It starts quickly and drives well once you master the 4-speed gearbox. Performance is extremely impressive, with massive torque at any speed and despite weighing over 6000 pounds, it can easily keep pace with modern traffic up to 50 MPH and beyond (if you're brave enough). Brakes are surprisingly effective given their age and design, and if you look closely, you'll note the front and rear tires are different sizes, which was done intentionally (and there are two different sized spares on the back).

The interior is extremely well preserved and needs nothing to be enjoyed as-is. Gauges include a speedometer and clock, and a mystery Bosch switch that's connected to nothing. It will start and run on either the magneto or battery, and the control layout is familiar enough to make you feel at home behind the wheel--at least if you don't mind a driving position where you can look eye-to-eye with truck drivers.

Complete, well-sorted, and ready to enjoy, this incredible Locomobile Model M is one of the highest-quality brass cars of the era with performance to match its imposing size. Asking $279,900 and worth every penny.













Edited by Matt Harwood
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  • 1 month later...

I'm sure it will be used a lot at our house. We have been touring in our 1911 White 40 hp which we have put over 5000 miles on in the last 2 years. We even drove it to the top of Pikes Peak last summer with our 3 year old son in the back seat. We bought the Locomobile so we can start doing some of the longer progressive tours. My only concern is how to preserve the condition of the car, especially the original interior while still using the car. Any suggestions??

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The first step in saving original upholstery, if you're going to use the car, is to make sure it's as soft and pliable as possible. There are several ways to do this, won't go into discussion here other than to say don't use anything that's silicon based.

The second step would be to have a set of leather covers made that snap into place when your driving the car, they wouldn't have the diamond tufting, just a plain leather cover, possibly with a soft fabric backing to go against the seat cushions and backrest.

The third option, if it's truly THE original upholstery, and you plan to tour it extensively, have a second set of seat cushions made to match the originals. The seat cushions are what will go first, from sliding across and sitting on them, so use the new set for touring and the original set for show.

There you go, my two cents!

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