Jump to content

locomobile truck


Recommended Posts

Hi, I was wondering if there are any known survivors of complete locomobile trucks in the US?  I had a chance to buy a really bad basket case in California about 7 yrs ago the chassis was rolled up into a ball about 2 metres in diameter had no wheels or radiator, but had the drivetrain in amongst the twisted up chassis,  if anyone knows of any i'd be interested to hear about it,

thanks mike Cameron.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a few Locomobile trucks, but they are not common and seldom are spoken about.  I have a similar question regarding the locations of any existing Riker trucks or parts thereof.  Riker was the lead engineer at Locomobile and was probably the "behind the scenes" designer of many of the early Locomobile automobiles.  He did know how to design and build quality products.  The RIker truck line was named after him.  While we are looking for your elusive Locomobile or USA truck/parts, keep an eye open for anything Riker or Kissell.  I am interested in either.

Alan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Alan,  i'll keep that in mind, there was a early kissell for sale at desert classics ? in  montana, it has been for sale for a long time, I think asking price 8K ?  from memory, got pictures of it from the owner last year, only ever seen one riker on a UK website it came up for auction I think in Holland? very original and complete, which is the complete opposite to how you find things down here, as fate would go about 2 yrs after passing up on the locomobile truck parts a rolling chassis was advertised in france and it was in very good condition, so you never know I guess.

thanks mike.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 6 months later...

Hello everyone,  I just read, in an HMN article, that two different groups are planning cross country excursions, in 2019, to re-enact the crossing of the US by Military vehicles in 1919, ( on the Lincoln Hiway).  What caught my attention is the reference to one of the original participants, on the crossing in 1919, was a Riker truck.  Does anyone have additional information or pictures that speak about that particular Riker truck?  Riker was the head engineer at Locomobile.  His name was used on the heavy trucks and were built by Locomobile, if memory serves me correctly.  I would like to see technical spec's. for the Riker truck also to see how different or similar components would be with the Locomobile automobiles.  Please share with this group if you have any information.

Al

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Hi

 

Yes, three Rikers took place on the Lincoln Highway trip. Here is one of them in a bit of trouble:

 

bgL0CsV.jpg

 

Recreating that journey would be quite an adventure.

if you know of anybody who has a Riker I would be interested in making contact with them.

Thanks

Tim 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like every time our Military boys got stuck, they really did it well!  When I was a kid, my dad would have a real issue with me  if I didn't use my head and stop before I was buried like this truck.  He said it was easier to get out if your not dragging the whole bottom of the truck to high ground!  Does anyone here know of a Locomobile or Riker truck here in the US?  It would be nice if someone would post pictures here if Locomobile built trucks that have survived, restored, unrestored or just derelicts.

Al

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Quote: "Riker was the lead engineer at Locomobile and was probably the "behind the scenes" designer of many of the early Locomobile automobiles."

 

Andrew Riker did work with them, he was definitely one of the unsung hero's of that era. I keep seeing his name pop up. From what I can tell he started out building electric cars, then worked with Locomobile and Stanley on steam vehicles, and then went to work with Locomobile full on when they transitioned to gas engines and headed up their truck division. As I understand it, Whitney was their first head engineer in the steam era.

 

Here is what an internet search just turned up:

 

From this page:  http://www.kcstudio.com/riker.html

 

SAE's first president was Andrew L. Riker, an early pioneer of electric vehicles who later produced the Locomobile Company's first gasoline-powered car.  Riker served as SAE president for three years, 1905 through 1907.

Born in 1868, he produced his first electric car in 1894, using a pair of Remington bicycles as a base.

Like the Columbia companies, which had several names and incantations during their run, the Riker companies had three names of incorporation plus two different home locations during their existence from 1896-1902.  As listed in  The Encyclopedia of American Automobiles published in 1971, these were Riker Electric Motor Company, Brooklyn, N Y. (l896-l899), Riker Electric Vehicle Company, Elizabethport, NJ (l899-l900), and Riker Motor Vehicle Company, Elizabethport, NJ (l90l-l902).  The company became one of the country's leading manufacturers of electric vehicles, including cars, trucks, vans and trolleys.  Rikers were combined and distributed with Columbias until the company was finally absorbed by Electric Vehicle Co and the brand ceased to be used for automobiles.

Riker gained acclaim for his development of high-speed electric cars. In 1901, his electric-powered racer "The Riker Torpedo" set a world speed record for electric cars that stood for ten years. Five-ton electric trucks produced by the Riker Company were in use in New York City in the early 1900s.

Riker became vice-president of the Locomobile Company in 1902, overseeing the firm's production of automobiles powered by two- and four-cylinder internal combustion engines. His design of the company's first gasoline-propelled car included many features which were largely unfamiliar to the American market, including a sliding gear transmission, steel frame, and gear-driven electric generator.

In 1904, he designed a special 90-horespower racing car, and in 1908, he developed Locomobile's "Old 16," the first American car to win an international race (the Vanderbilt Cup). The victory boosted the reputation of American automotive engineering throughout the world.

In the World War I era, Riker/Locomobile trucks were very popular, and heavily advertised in publications such as Scientific Americanand The Saturday Evening Post. Riker was appointed to the U.S. Naval Consulting Board in 1915, chairing the board's committee on internal combustion motors.

Riker died in 1930. Three Riker electric vehicles, including a truck and a racer, are housed at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. The book Andrew L. Riker and The Electric Car - A Biography of the Young Riker by Neal Donovan, published by McPherson College Press in 2003, chronicles Riker's early experiments, his contributions to the fields of electricity and transportation, and his business dealings.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Ron,

I am not strictly sure about when Durant first was involved with Locomobile.  I had thought that he was a big player with Locomobile and his equivalent of General Motors starting about 1923.  I am not real well versed in Later Locomobiles or the "behind the scenes" story that is now history.  I wonder if Riker took with him stock ownership when he left Locomobile?  Do you have any Locomobile historic literature that would suggest engines and transmissions used in Riker and Locomobile trucks?

Al

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

I just did a quick survey of information posted on the Durant club-site.  They suggest that Locomobile was purchased in 1922 and was added as the "top of the Line" car for the Durant conglomerate.   I am not sure if Durant had other involvement earlier than that date but would be very interested to know.

Al

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Tim,

Thanks for the tease with a partial view of a Locomobile truck.  Do you have access to other pictures of the truck that will help us know of your information and parts needs/requests a bit better, (as well as seeing the whole truck)?  Please tell a bit of history, year, model etc.  If you need clutch help, is it that the owner is missing parts or just needs repair/rebuild help?  I am hoping other Locomobile truck guys will have some Truck literature to share with you here.  All the literature I have is passenger car.   Is this rig close to running?

Al

Edited by alsfarms
addition for clarity (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t know much about this one yet. It used to live in a wood quite close to me and I understand that it was purchased off a showman who had used it to transport his funfair ride (along with several other vehicles) probably in the 60’s or 70’s.

We were showing some of our early trucks at an event and an old man came up to us and said that he had a Locomobile truck which he was wanting to move on as he was getting too old and were we interested. We gave him our details but we never heard from him again. I don’t know if it was the same truck, but there are not many around.  Anyway, the owner of this one died and I went to look at it before the auction. It was very complete but rather overgrown. It has the early style rad so I think that it is 1915 or 1916 one. Certainly, an ex-British army one.

It sold at auction and went to a collector who is now thinning out his collection. A friend has bought it from him and is sorting out the storage before he goes to collect it. Once it is in his shed I will be able to study it in more detail.  It is mostly complete, but sitting outdoors for a long time has not helped it and some bits have been removed which is a shame.   

Here are a couple more photos of it, but I have not had an opportunity to photograph it properly.

Tim

Surviving 4.jpg

IMG_3292 (1).JPG

IMG_3293 (1).JPG

IMG_3294 (1).JPG

DSCN2188.JPG

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for these Locomobile truck pictures.  I am guessing that this truck is in the UK?  The colors, of this truck, make me think of the Circus story told above??  Looking at the last picture, I see the muffler assembly.  When you get a chance, could you take a closer picture as it appears to be very similar to what is proper for use on my 1909 Locomobile.  The pictures show the engine with jugs that look more similar to what is found later in the teens and into the 20's Locomobile 48's.  I hope you are able to get,  (and share) many more and better pictures of this future Locomobile project truck.  If anyone has original Locomobile truck literature, please speak up.

Al

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tim,  good to see you posting on our forum. I have never seen a Locomobile truck from this era ever........after fifty years of shows and events. They must have been very low production, and unlike Pierce, FWD and others that made trucks for the war effort and are rather well known and documented, I have never seen anything on Loco trucks in print anywhere. Literature collectors and dealers will probably have something on it..........maybe even a few photos from the era may pop up. I think parts are going to be non existent......just like most of your projects. The good news is Loco was considered a fantastic company and machine when building cars, and I expect their trucks will be better than average. Is it possible it’s another type or design and built for the war effort by Loco, and thus there may be some interchange of parts and components? How’s the Peerless coming? Ed.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ed. I thought I would see you here. No survivors in the USA? Well that is a surprise. I thought someone would have come across one somewhere. I had heard of wrecked one only good for parts that was up for sale and was hoping to make contact with the owner. We will see what develops. I knew Locomobile was a good car and I imagine the truck would be as well. Out of all of our trucks, the Autocars are perhaps the best design and build quality, followed by the Dennis. The FWD is not really that special and neither is the Thornycroft. I have high hopes of the Peerless though. We are tearing down at the moment and it is going quite well. We towed it out of the shed with the Autocar which was fun. In tearing down the engine we found two broken pistons which were the fault of the previous owner. A shame really as everything else so far is in good condition, but nothing we cant fix. For a 100 year old truck we have been incredibly lucky in finding original parts. More so than all of our other trucks put together.

 

We have started a restoration thread on the Peerless on HMVF. There is a link to it here if you want to see what we have been up to:

http://hmvf.co.uk/topic/35087-ww1-peerless-lorry-restoration/

  

Are you coming to the UK this year Ed?

Best regards

Tim

DSCN7525.JPG

DSCN7537.JPG

DSCN7599.JPG

DSCN7600.JPG

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 9 months later...

Hello Andrew,

Thanks for posting this information.  You sure know how and which rocks to look under to locate specific information.  I would like to step back in time and roll a couple of those Riker engines right over to my shop!

Al

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

It sure looks like a house went down to "unearth" this Locomobile chassis?  How about a bit more story behind this unit and what your plans are for it?  Do you have any of the missing items needed to make it run?  You have a good idea....maybe I should start looking under houses instead of rocks if I want to have success finding a rig!       🙂

Al

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is quite common to find old truck chassis built into buildings. You might not be able to get planning for a house but if you burry a truck and use that as a foundation then that counts as a mobile home so now planning permission required. Several of our trucks were found buried under houses and they are generally in not too bad a condition.

 

The Locomobile chassis above was discovered when a house was demolished. Sold on E Bay and went to another Locomobile owner. I understand that with the remains of this one and another which is quite badly rotted he might make one good one out of the two.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update regarding the Locomobile unit shown in the picture.  Could you encourage your friend to consider posting additional updates here on the Locomobile truck thread or the "Locomobile-Riker Truck Gathering Place",   just below in the Locomobile forums?  It would be nice to hear from more Locomobile owners and especially truck fellows.

Regards,

Alan

Link to post
Share on other sites

You pose a good question.  I am familiar with Locomobile automobile engine numbers but not the truck engines or Riker numbers.  I do assume that they had there own numbering system that would not be related, in any way, to the automobile numbers.  Early on, the frames were not numbered for the automobiles, what about the trucks?  Were the  frames numbered on Riker and Locomobile trucks?

Al

Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

My understanding is that many of the US trucks did not have a number stamped in the chassis but had a brass tag on the scuttle. Sadly, in most instances these have been removed. I have the 1923 Branhams which gives a bit more detail. You will note that it says for earlier Locomobile trucks see the Locomobile page, but in this 1923 edition there is no Locomobile truck page only Locomobile cars. Does anybody have an earlier edition in which they could check to see if there is a Locomobile truck page please?

 

Thanks

 

Tim

Branhams 1.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim,  Thanks for showing that page from the 1923 Branhams book.  That page suggests that most likely the same engine was used in all of the Riker truck offerings.  I wonder if it was the same engine as used also in the Locomobile trucks?  This reference also suggests that the first Riker started with serial number 2001 and was likely built for sale in 1915.  Does this book show a picture of the other side of the engine?  I wonder if the Locomobile trucks and also the Riker stayed with Right hand steering for the duration?  These were built as workhorse engines as they maintained the manganese bronze crank case, 5 main bearings, pressurized oiling and a long stroke for plenty of torque.  I don't think even Wisconsin used 5 mains in their engines.    I have a huge CID Wisconsin Model M four cylinder road engine that does only have three main bearings and has the aluminum crankcase.  How about Packard, Peerless and White, (and the other contract trucks for WW1)?

Al

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...