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1911 - 1927 Locomobile 48 & 38 Gathering Place


alsfarms
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9 hours ago, alsfarms said:

Hmmmm, I think the 175K will be on the top end of the potential sale.  My feeling is more 150K plus.

 

It is no reserve so it just depends on who is there that day or bidding remotely.   I really like the car and must resist any temptations.

 

I have spent some quality time driving a 20 Twin Six and I'm wondering how the experience compares to Model 48.

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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While we all guess at the sale price on the Gunboat coupe.  I would also like a comparison of the early to mid 20's Locomobile 48 with a similar year Packard twin 6 and also a Pierce-Arrow model 33 and 36.  Can anyone share experience.

Al

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I've not owned the mentioned Packard and Pierces, but have observed them. So here is what I've seen, which is my own opinion, or what the owners of these cars have told me.

 

The Twin Six is superbly smooth, sounds like a modern engine. But the one that I was around was geared far slower than my similar-year Locomobile, and seemed to be a step down in build quality. The Pierces seemed really well made, and I've been told by owners that they drive more easily than a Loco. And I've seen a '24 Pierce power around me at what I estimated to be 70 MPH (I was driving my Dad's '29 Packard). But I give the Loco the edge in looks over their peers, and I had an owner of a Pierce and a Loco indicate that he thought the Loco was more rugged and durable. He called it "a bulldog of a car."

 

By the way, if you look at the underside, it's interesting how similar the chassis look on these cars.

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Hello James,. Thanks for sharing your thoughts/opinion regarding a comparison of early 1920's Locomobile, Packard and Pierce-Arrow.  I, personally, am very interested in Locomobile - Packard head to head from a ride, power, torque, reliability, comfort and etc.  I am more familiar with Pierce-Arrow.  It probably is not a fair comparison to compare a Pierce-Arrow Model 32,33,36 with a Locomobile 48 of the same vintage.  I am not critical of Pierce-Arrow, those Models are still great automobiles, but are on more watered down scale, different engine, lighter, shorter wheelbase, less money to purchase when new and etc. That said, I would not turn down an option on a Model 36 Pierce-Arrow either!

Al

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I considered a Model 36 Pierce at the same time I was considering a Model 48 Locomobile 12-13 years ago. The Pierce was half the money. But the Loco was more what I had in mind in terms of size, presence, looks and over-the-top interesting metallurgy. The finale was opening the hoods and comparing the engines. The Loco looks like a fire truck engine. I didn't have a Model 48 Pierce to compare against. Of course their specs are essentially identical to a Loco, and that would have made a fairer comparison.   

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Yes, your comparison of a Pierce-Arrow Model 36 and the Locomobile Model 90 are very comparable.  The 48 Locomobile and 48 Piere-Arrow are head to head competitors.  During the early 1920's Pierce-Arrow moved away from the "48" platform while Locomobile hung on.  Any other observations

Al

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James.......others I asked came up with 175 a few days ago........seems there is agreement thats the neighborhood. I would love to see it hit that or higher........not sure that body style will support that number in todays market. We shall see soon. I'll take some photos of it and give an update on it when I look at it at Pebble. I have a friend who is interested...........

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Ed -- We have to get together sometime. I want to hear some more stories. Meanwhile I'm busy at work, waiting for a new top on the 1919 and gathering up a few odds and ends for the 1925. My plan is to take the latter to show at Hilton Head, COVID permitting. 

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I will be at Hilton Head.......not sure what car I’m taking. The Stutz meet and CCCA meter are the day before, so you can do multiple shows at one location. Also there are several tours. A garage hopping trip is also in the works. I’ll probably bring the White or Stearns Knight. 

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I hope to have a story on Locomobile of the WWI to 1929-30 era finished before the end of the year , all images based/used will be period  factory material ( many photos from a bound dealership/showroom album of huge proportions) or sales portfolios of the same era issued by the company. Focus will be on the cars but primarily also on the dealer in NY City and the connection to artist /designer J. Frank de Causse, who lived just a few blocks away from  the Manhattan dealer.  To many stories never told and waiting to be, just takes a lot of time, patience , access to the proper period information and what pieces of the puzzle can be found. There is just so much out there but you have to know how to look at it from the perspective of the era the cars were built in - who was the competition, how important were the several shows for the public to see the cars, etc.........

Walt

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  • 3 weeks later...

Stephen Dean was great car guy. He wrote me wonderful letters regarding his Stutz DV 32 racing engine he acquired from Cunningham. We traded parts and automobile history. I know he was proud of his Locomobile. When I watched the car garner one bid at 100k I think I heard him flip in his grave. 112k all in. Sign of the times. 

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51 minutes ago, George K said:

Stephen Dean was great car guy. He wrote me wonderful letters regarding his Stutz DV 32 racing engine he acquired from Cunningham. We traded parts and automobile history. I know he was proud of his Locomobile. When I watched the car garner one bid at 100k I think I heard him flip in his grave. 112k all in. Sign of the times. 

 

A great deal on that car.  This was why I didn't get a bidders paddle.

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33 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

A great deal on that car.  This was why I didn't get a bidders paddle.


 

Buy a paint job, get a fantastic car........how could you go wrong?

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To those of us still very interested in heavy automobiles, it appears that we are certainly seeing a significant softening of the market.  It shows also in the Model A market.  I have noted that some automobile types simply are not finding new homes, at all.  I am guessing that our capitalistic economy is working, with the classic supply and demand.  Has anyone here heard of other private Locomobile sales other than this gunboat and the Demarest Limousine project that I purchased recently?

The Locomobile gunboat certainly sold "light" on money compared to projections.

Al

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If your holding run of the mill cars.........your taking a hit every day. Really doesn’t matter........cars are a hobby for 99 percent of the people who play with them. The market will find its level. And I will have a bunch of cool stuff that’s running and sorted when I die. No need for project cars or restoration vehicles. Turn key cars that need sorting are plentiful.........if it’s value is under 500k, it’s going to drop. The great stuff is still going up like a rocket. 

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Yes Ed, The top of the line stuff still has the most serious players in the hobby willing to spend the big money.  I was at a private museum in northern Utah where only the absolute best and large hp brass automobiles have been collected.  This is a retirement collection for the owner.  I hope the market does not tank totally in his behalf.  I wonder how long the hot market for early motorcycles will hang on.  That market shows supply - demand and currently the smell of over the top money.  This is an interesting hobby we play in for sure!

Al

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Huge brass is fine, but ONLY with provenance back to pre war times. No proof, no money. Big brass is rather soft, and if you take your time, there is good stuff turning up at reasonable numbers. 
 

Definition: huge brass = 60 hp or more.

                  big brass = 45 hp or more.

 

 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Sounds like in your thinking is certainly in line with supply and demand, (with a bit of provenance to help inflate the market just a bit).  Even with provenance we are on a slippery slope with this hobby.  Too many of us dream big when reality certainly may tell a different story considering the Locomobile gun boat sell price.

Al

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

If your holding run of the mill cars.........your taking a hit every day. Really doesn’t matter........cars are a hobby for 99 percent of the people who play with them. The market will find its level. And I will have a bunch of cool stuff that’s running and sorted when I die. No need for project cars or restoration vehicles. Turn key cars that need sorting are plentiful.........if it’s value is under 500k, it’s going to drop. The great stuff is still going up like a rocket. 

How profound. Cream rises. Who knew?

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6 hours ago, George K said:

How profound. Cream rises. Who knew?


For the last 40 years...........every thing was going up and brass had never really made any downward market adjustments. The big dollar pre and post war stuff fluctuated similar to the general economy. What are you driving & have you beaten the market? Have you put your own money in the market regardless of the fact it’s static at best? The investors and speculators are long gone......leaving only hobbyist and guys with gas in their veins. Personally I like the hobby better when the speculation is long gone........in fifty years of playing with cars the investors have come and gone several times.

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41 minutes ago, edinmass said:


For the last 40 years...........every thing was going up and brass had never really made any downward market adjustments. The big dollar pre and post war stuff fluctuated similar to the general economy. What are you driving & have you beaten the market? Have you put your own money in the market regardless of the fact it’s static at best? The investors and speculators are long gone......leaving only hobbyist and guys with gas in their veins. Personally I like the hobby better when the speculation is long gone........in fifty years of playing with cars the investors have come and gone several times.

Really. Men who buy 5-50 million dollar cars aren’t investors but gear heads. Like any tangible investments they are part of their portfolio. A GTO Ferrari is worth 50-60 million dollars because billionaires say they are. 

How many people on this site are in that category. At best regular guys are lucky to work for men with that kind of expendable capital. The people who made any collectible object valuable pass and tastes change. 

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Don't worry Al,  there is at least one other guy out there who wants a Model 48.    Now was not the time for me to be adding another car, but at some point I'll get one.   It is on my car bucket list.

 

You keep going on your project.  I'm excited to watch,  if not to pay for it.    But the journey will be as rewarding as the destination.

 

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I know most of the big pre war collectors..........and they are “gear heads” by your definition. They do it for passion, enjoyment, and entertainment. I’m just a working class mechanic..........and the people who collect multi million dollar cars are just regular people with disposable income. Are some motivated by money? Yes......most are not. There are very few collector cars valued over five million dollars.......and most people are upside down in a car when the restoration is finished. That goes for the Ford guys and the Ferrari guys. I saw two people take million dollar hits at the Pebble auction last week. It’s part of the hobby. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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3 minutes ago, alsancle said:

Don't worry Al,  there is at least one other guy out there who wants a Model 48.    Now was not the time for me to be adding another car, but at some point I'll get one.   It is on my car bucket list.

 

You keep going on your project.  I'm excited to watch,  if not to pay for it.    But the journey will be as rewarding as the destination.

 


 

Guys doing project cars are a rare thing today, and should be commended for saving history. Too many unique cars have been lost due to the economic dynamics of collecting. It’s interesting how many people dump 20k at a casino and think nothing of it.......while when buying a car they have to steal it for what they perceive is fifty cents on the dollar. Most hobbies leave us with only memories of a fun experience. Car collecting leaves something tangible when your done with the car. It’s a much better deal than golf, skiing, shooting, and other such sports. It’s always nice on the rare occasions to come out ahead on a car when you sell it. But the chances of it occurring are slim to none, and slim is on vacation.

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14 minutes ago, edinmass said:

I know most of the big pre war collectors..........and they are “gear heads” by your definition. They do it for passion, enjoyment, and entertainment. I’m just a working class mechanic..........and the people who collect multi million dollar cars are just regular people with disposable income. Are some motivated by money? Yes......most are not. There are very few collector cars valued over five million dollars.......and most people are upside down in a car when the restoration is finished. That goes for the Ford guys and the Ferrari guys. I saw two people take million dollar hits at the Pebble auction last week. It’s part of the hobby. 

Most great cars are in private collections. If they change hands it is in private sales. You must know only American collectors. Only people who make money on cars bought and held over long periods. They didn’t need the money but enjoyed the car.

 

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The gunboat was a unique body style. That would make it more valuable in some people's eyes but less in others. You guys estimated its value at $150 to $180 before the sale, while the actual sale was about 30% less. Are you guys that far off in your estimations or was this a one off sale? If this continues at this pace, two years from now you could buy a nice Loco for $50. I wonder what the Demarest Limo that sold recently went for?

 

For years, if you were smart, you could buy a car, enjoy it for a few years, then sale it and get your money back or even make a little. Are those days gone? If so, I expect more than a few people will attempt to scale down their collections or get out of the hobby all together. In large measure, ego is what drives this hobby and if you take away the incentive for ego, you lose the driving force. I guess its time to adjust the thinking concerning antique cars.

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Most I know are American, with a few British and French tossed in. Todays active collector is a much different breed than there were back in the 60's,70's, and 80's. Money is newer, and comes in twenty times faster. The new guys are lifestyle collectors.....not so much historical or obsessive compulsive collectors........and the hoarders are long gone. Great cars do tend to congregate in multiple sets...........and the trend to private sales is exploding.....the writing is on the wall for auction companies and the big dollar single car sale. Great cars are almost impossible to buy at any number..........too many dollars chasing way too little inventory. Recently a friend sold a car for 4 large purchased for 1/2 the price of a new Kia.....but he held it for 40 years. Unfortunately, like most people he never drove it or enjoyed it. Not my idea of fun. To each his own........

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16 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Most I know are American, with a few British and French tossed in. Todays active collector is a much different breed than there were back in the 60's,70's, and 80's. Money is newer, and comes in twenty times faster. The new guys are lifestyle collectors.....not so much historical or obsessive compulsive collectors........and the hoarders are long gone. Great cars do tend to congregate in multiple sets...........and the trend to private sales is exploding.....the writing is on the wall for auction companies and the big dollar single car sale. Great cars are almost impossible to buy at any number..........too many dollars chasing way too little inventory. Recently a friend sold a car for 4 large purchased for 1/2 the price of a new Kia.....but he held it for 40 years. Unfortunately, like most people he never drove it or enjoyed it. Not my idea of fun. To each his own........

Not to mention paying the gains tax.

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Sounds like in your thinking is certainly in line with supply and demand, (with a bit of provenance to help inflate the market just a bit).  Even with provenance we are on a slippery slope with this hobby.  Too many of us dream big when reality certainly may tell a different story considering the Locomobile gun boat sell price. Paying capital gains taxes, so far my hobby has not brought that to my doorstep.  

Al

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Ed has been saying for some time it needs to be viewed as a hobby, and it is a hobby for me, but before I was able to buy a car, do a little work to it and enjoy it and then get my money back out and move up to a better car. Now, we are looking at falling prices. Cars that sold even last year appear to be worth substantially less this year. Several Locomobiles sold in the mid one fifties last year. The gunboat Loco was a well known car and unique body style and I would have thought it would sell well. It appears there is not a slippery slope, we have fallen off a cliff. 30% in one year is not a slope!

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Posted (edited)

One other side comment on this conversation regarding our hobby that is making a price adjustment.  A few years back our housing market took a major and much needed price adjustment.  Did it hurt some people, certainly!  Sadly, I think we are gearing up for another housing adjustment as home ownership has gotten highly out of hand once again.  My next thought.  I wonder what the specialty shops will do for work when more hobbiests decide there is not enough money restoring even a rare automobile to justify the serious overhead of restoration costs?  I assume that those specialty shops may have to make an adjustment to their hourly rates also or close their doors.  Maybe more home restoration work is in the future, like it used to be.  There is my "two cent" thoughts.

Edited by alsfarms
clarity (see edit history)
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While we take a deep breath on this subject of antique automobile price adjustments, per the current sale of the gun boat Locomobile 48.  Does anyone here have a suitable dash mounted fuel system hand pump to mount in the dash of the Locomobile 48 Demarest Limousine, spoken of above?  Or know of someone who may have one?  Other than small bits and pieces the dash will be complete with installation of the hand pump.

Al

PS:. It shows that I must be a true "hobbiests" as this project is simply in my yard because I have wanted one for a long time.  As sad as it looks, I am happy as this automobile is one of the better ones I have started with.

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Al, with the current state of things, I would caution you against putting a lot of money into the car. Those old limos typically saw very little service and you may find the motor has very little wear. I have a 1927 Chevrolet chassis here that has no wear whatsoever in the motor. It simply was not used. You might be able to clean your chassis up, lubricate it well and use it as is. Housing prices came back with a vengeance after the crash of 08; maybe antique cars will do the same, but who knows at this point. Not long ago, unrestored examples were bringing better prices than restored. Do you remember the 11 Olds Limited that brought  north of a mil, while restored, 100 point cars couldn't get close? You might be wise to take a page out of Ed's book and do what he has done with the White.

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