Jump to content

Recommended Posts

This is most likely a Locomobile Junior Eight, which has about a 3 litre straight 8 with two cylinder heads for front and rear sets of cylinders. They were pushrod OHV, have an open flywheel and separately mounted 3 speed gearbox.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest BillP

There are those who said the Model 48 Locomobile was one of the best automobiles in the world. As to value, it was 30 times the price of a contemporary Ford, so they weren't exactly sold on the basis of bang for the buck. If you had a mansion in Newport, it needed a Locomobile (or a Lozier, or a Twin-Six Packard, etc.) in the carriage house.

This is a Junior Eight, still a good car, but not in the same league as the big car.

Edited by BillP (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

To understand the Locomobile Junior 8 in context, you need to look up as much as you can of toe biography and work of Delmar (Barney) Roos, starting with Wikipedia. He worked at Locomobile from 1913-1919, when he became assistant to David Fergusson at Pierce Arrow. He succeeded him in 1921, then returned to Locomobile. He designed the Junior 8. Then while at Marmon he designed the Marmon 78, also known as the "Little Marmon". This was a pushrod OHV straight 8 of similar size and concept to the Junior 8; but with a single unit head instead of a pair of fours; and with a unit mounted gearbox bolted to a bell-housing integral with the crankcase. The Junior 8 had a separate mounted gearbox, and the flywheel and clutch spun it the open. There was no bellhousing.

In 1962 I did second year of a degree in Agricultural Science at Melbourne University, But that was at Dookie Agricultural College in northern Victoria, midway between two significant towns, Benalla and Shepparton. Someone had a Marmon78 sedan for sale in pretty neat condition, and a small consortium of fellow university students bought it for a nominal amount for the purpose of discrete transport between the college and Saturday night dances in Shepparton, which were enthusiastically patronised by the nursing students from that town's base hospital. The car had very acceptable performance, and made a number of those round trips un-registered, without disturbing the local constabulary, ( who were probably more pre-occupied with possible unruly behaviour of the local aboriginal community, who did not necessarily receive the respect that they deserved. After some trips , as I recall there was a problem that may have partly due to minor malfunction of the vacuum tank. The Marmon remained there a little after we all returned to Melbourne; and I eventually took one of the joint owners back, to couple it to the back of my 1927 Cadillac 4 passenger phaeton on a rigid A-frame; on which I towed it to the street where he lived. "Robbo" sat behind the wheel of the Marmon. But approaching the northern outskirts of Melbourne on the main Hume Highway, that was then a single two-lane road without a median strip. I never knew that he was not a licenced driver and had no experience. For some reason I had to make a sudden stop, and he never had the sense to use his brakes to help me. Fortunately there was a big gap in traffic going the other way, because we did the quickest, neatest, U-turn in tow you could ever imagine; without contact or damage to Cadillac, Marmon, or anyone else. Never before or since have I experienced "time slow down": That probably means that in course of an emergency your brain speeds up. I delivered "Robbo" and the Marmon, parked on the street where he lived. I never saw the Marmon again and I hope it was not lost or wasted . It was a good car, and I believe that Junior 8 would be a good, practical, and economical car to own and use.

I have a derelict Junior 8. A friend in Queensland had it, and when I saw it, it was a very pretty sedan on disc wheels, with lantanas growing all over it "in the big shed". it had been an undertaker's mourning car; and when the old bloke employed to drive it retired, he was given the very tired Locomobile as his gratuity instead of a gold watch.

Bill was well educated and very versatile, but I suspect he talked more about what he could do than he achieved. After a bulldozer prepared the rocky site where the house was to arise, the weeds grew. Margaret was a nurse, and while she put food on the table bill did little to encourage her dreams; and quite reasonably the domestic arrangements malfunctioned and disintegrated. So Bill turned up visiting a friend down here. He told me he was selling the block and all the cars: did I want he Locomobile. I paid the little he asked. It was rough, but it has been under cover ever since. I had just built a 30ft x 90ft shed for cars. I tried to persuade him to keep the best unrestored car he had, which was a 1926 Lancia Lambda. I said we could cover it up in a corner of the shed without storage cost. It would be there in 5 years, or it would be there in 20 years. No, he was determined to sell that too. I said OK, I have offered to help you keep it; but if you must sell it, I would like to buy it from you. So a Lancia and a Locomobile arrived on the same load. As fuel becomes more expensive, we will use and appreciate more interesting cars that perform well and are less expensive to drive.

That Junior 8 is not a dud or an ugly duckling. I might waste a lot of time writing out all this, but if someone decides to restore, conserve and cherish it because there is interest involved someone may be happier and wiser.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ivan, thank you for your story and your insight. I value both immensely. It sounds like the Junior 8 is an interesting, nice enough quality car in it's own right, although not at all in the same category as "real" Locomobiles. Perhaps someone reading this will have enough interest to pursue it further.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect the big 48 would be a handfull in that U turn,,

Does anyone have a gigantic pr of top saddles for a

7pass one man top,,for a 48,,,It says right here in the

handbook,,,,one man top,,,,, Cheers,,Ben

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can give you another comparison, Zeke. While I have never thought of disposing of the very rough Junior 8 I have, I gave away two Pierce Arrow Model 80s, and never considered trying to gather enough to restore two different Packard sixes. One was a second Series, and the other was of the last series which was discontinued in favour of the smaller straight 8 about 1928. The Junior 8 is much more mechanically interesting to me than the others. I know the Chrysler was an excellent road car with good reliable performance and excellent brakes for the time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Via the Marmon section of the forum below, there is a link to a recent ebay auction, (closed with no bids), of a Marmon 78. You can see from the photos a lot of detail which is similar to the Locomobile Junior 8. The Marmon came from the Barney Pollard collection; and it was a car that the family used. You can fairly guess that it was considered reliable and economical. It seems that there is quite a quantity of extra parts with it. You can see extra Dayton wire wheels and hubs, which anyone might wish to fit to the Locomobile, because they are the size that would likely have been an option.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ivan, the Marmon that you reference is probably the one which is now offered at a starting bid of $14,500. It appears that each time the seller relists the car, he offers it a price that is appreciably lower than his last. It looks like a very nicer "driver" status car. I don't know at what price the car will sell, but it will be interesting to follow it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Other-Makes-FOUR-DOOR-SEDAN-ORIGINAL-/111658923727?vxp=mtr

$_57.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...