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Model 48 Locomobile


Mike Martin
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My friend is a retired Physician living in Gallman, Ms. A number of years ago he bought this Model 48 (I think that correct) Locomobile. It was initially built for and owned by a industrialist in Pittsburg, Pa. In the 1940's his nephew brought it South and it ended up in Pascagoula, Ms. A hurricane damaged the garage in which it was housed and the interior suffered because of that. It made it to Jackson, Ms and the Doc bought it some years ago. An old time mechanic worked on it and it cranks, starts, drives. The old Doc's health is poor and he is now 90+. He does not want to but he needs to sell the Locomobile. We have no idea what it might be worth or where to start in selling it. Any advice would be welcome. The car has been garage kept for the last number of decades and is now. Thanks

Mike Martin

Madison, Ms        

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Thanks for posting.  Are you able to determine how many road miles this beauty has on it?  I will bet the serial number is in the 19000 range making it a 1925.  It appears to have four wheel brakes an indicator for the 1925 Model year.  It does appear to be mostly unmolested which will be a serious highlight for the next owner.  With a few answered questions, we could certainly help with a "ball park" value estimate.  

Al

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7 hours ago, alsfarms said:

Upon closer examination of the pictures, I see that this Locomobile was equiped with dual side mounts and appears to not have the typical Locomobile 48 dual rear mounted spares.  I would like to chat in person with you.  Please drop a PM.

Al

 

The hood vent doors are unique also.    Some questions from me:

 

1.   Is that gray paint or primer?  I can't tell from the photos.

 

2.  Are there no exterior door handles on the drivers compartment or are they missing?   If none a very cool feature.

 

3. Does the doctor have a clear title?

 

I'm thinking lots of clear pictures, description and a for sale advertisement here and the HCCA site would be the way to start.   It will reach the real buyers that way.  Don't sully it with eBay.   if the advertisements here don't work Bring A Trailer might be worth a shot as unique stuff does well on there,  although this is earlier than 99% of what I see on there.

 

With a bit more info we can give you a reasonable ask.  I'll wait for Al to talk to you on the phone.  It is a great car and very worthy of someone's collection.   But it is not worth a huge amount of money.   The 100k paid for this one at Pebble this summer stunned me for how little it was:

 

https://www.goodingco.com/lot/1917-locomobile-model-48-gunboat-cabriolet/

 

 

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Thanks for the responses. The good Doc paid $30000 he told me at least 10 years ago (maybe more than that.) He had drooled over a 2 page advertisement in National Geographic 'back in the day' that showed a similar vehicle. The nephew of the Pittsburg industrialist drove the car to Pascagoula Ms during WW2 as he was working for Ingalls Shipbuilding there. It ended up in the basement of a dwelling in Jackson, Ms with a guy well known for his Model T's. It was moved to a shed out in Rankin County. The owner was bush hogging on a tractor out there and had a heart attack and died (he had time to put it in Neutral and was found deceased with the engine still running!)The good Doc bought it from his estate. 

I will have the chance to take plenty of more photos and answer as best I can any questions. The old mechanic is now deceased. He cranked it for me back in 2015 when I last saw it and these photos were made. The Doc has a clear Title. It would be terrible if this fine vehicle was not restored. I will answer all questions as best I can. The good Doc told me understood that the car was shipped to France where the body was put on. Who knows if that is factual. He said the purchase price was $17000+/- and that too may not be correct. After all, it has been nearly 100 years! Thanks.

Mike Martin

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8 hours ago, alsfarms said:

Upon closer examination of the pictures, I see that this Locomobile was equiped with dual side mounts and appears to not have the typical Locomobile 48 dual rear mounted spares.  I would like to chat in person with you.  Please drop a PM.

Al

I do not have enough 'content' to allow me to send personal messages. Anyone interested could contact me at 601-906-1196 or at mikeamartin02349@gmail.com.

Tks

Mike Martin 

 

I have a '65 Corvette coupe that is a First Sr car but I have not posted any previously on this forum. 

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3 hours ago, prewarnut said:

Anyone in the know have an idea on the body-builder on this one? To the OP (Mr. Martin) is there a body tag/plate exposed somewhere?

The good Doc said that he understood that the car was shipped to France to have the body put on. I have no idea if that is correct or not. He also said that the purchase price was $17000+/-. Both those statements may be incorrect but the Doc is just repeating what was told him (and it has been almost 100 years!). I will get the serial number and photos of any ID tags, mileage and more info and photos but it may be some weeks before that can be done. Thanks for the interest. 

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24 minutes ago, Mike Martin said:

The good Doc said that he understood that the car was shipped to France to have the body put on. I have no idea if that is correct or not. He also said that the purchase price was $17000+/-. Both those statements may be incorrect but the Doc is just repeating what was told him (and it has been almost 100 years!). I will get the serial number and photos of any ID tags, mileage and more info and photos but it may be some weeks before that can be done. Thanks for the interest. 

Found this on this but don’t know how to link it.1E1F654E-EC58-404C-BECE-3B6B0FA58EE0.jpeg.ab58d23550a7e449960b38f4b1f56420.jpeg

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3 hours ago, prewarnut said:

Anyone in the know have an idea on the body-builder on this one? To the OP (Mr. Martin) is there a body tag/plate exposed somewhere?

 

I have several thoughts on the builder........still chewing on it, and have it down to two or three options........

 

Very interesting car..........

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Dr Bill (age 91) said he has a pretty good file on the Locomobile. I'll get this in the next several weeks. He said Kellner Body Works in Paris did the body. I am just repeating what he said. Body # may be 1299. I will verify all of this when I see that file. We will have to look at the mileage. He also has a 1955 Buick Special 2 door HT and a 1980 IH Scout Traveler. Both original owner cars. 

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Hello Mike,

I am out of town but do have a couple of questions that I will ask in person, when I can get a quiet break with the phone.  Nice on the 1965 Corvette.  My "new" car interest is a 1957 2x4, 4 speed, two top Corvette.  Thanks for bringing this late series Locomobile to this forum.

Al

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Here is a question for the computer savvy among this Locomobile enthusiast group.  Can any of you enhance the dash picture of the Doc's Locomobile, shown above, and get a serial number?  It would be interesting news if this Locomobile ended up being newer than the 19000 series numbers that call for a 1925 Model year.

Al

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One would think, if it was a French body it would have French lights and wheels on it........ certainly a cool car, with decent looks for a town car. Hood looks like a 1931-1932 replacement off of another vehicle. Photos would be a great help.......especially door hardware and hinges. I hope someone takes on the project. I see some body traits that make me think it's one of the northeast builders..........more photos would be a great help.

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3 hours ago, alsfarms said:

Hello Mike,

I am out of town but do have a couple of questions that I will ask in person, when I can get a quiet break with the phone.  Nice on the 1965 Corvette.  My "new" car interest is a 1957 2x4, 4 speed, two top Corvette.  Thanks for bringing this late series Locomobile to this forum.

Al

Al: I am in the NCRS. We worked on this '57, 2 x 4, 3 speed, 2 top Corvette for a guy from Batesville Ms. We are doing some work so it would score higher with the NCRS (where they gave him a full deduction for paint - because it was too nice!). He wants to sell it. It is a Second Flight NCRS now but will be Top Flight after the next Regional in March in NOLA. 

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29 minutes ago, prewarnut said:

Here's a Kellner Panhard from Coachbuild on line.

file.php?id=56894&mode=view

 

Compare with: (belt line has some similarities as well as rear door handle)

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Great picture to compare. I would add the similarity of the top of the windshield post and the missing flap covering retractable chauffeur top. Nice .

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George.......I disagree. Windshield frame looks like a Hartford product to me.........similar to what many American customs were using.........Lincoln, Locke, ect......... I still think a French body would have European lights..........I was thinking Springfield Metal Body Company......they did lots of Loco’s. The hardware wills definitely define it as American or European. Bumpers look like Weed Manufacturing.......another American product..........on a small production chassis at the end of their run.........could be any combination of things...........the splash pan cabinets are also a clue.........fun automotive archeological puzzle.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Ok.......my best guess to AJ on the phone today (AM) will prove correct. Always go with your first thought.......

 

Below are both Loco’s.......with identified builders.........

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I think the splash pan doors lock it down to my first thought..............Bridgeport Body/LeBaron..........the car is right around the name change/company sale. Makes perfect sense............It looks like Ralph Robert’s work and I think that by that time, Ray Dietrich was already gone. I would need to read the company history to be certain.

 

LeBaron was doing a lot of design work for Springfield Metal Body at the time.........similar construction and DNA to all the New England custom builders.

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3 minutes ago, edinmass said:

I think the splash pan doors lock it down to my first thought..............Bridgeport Body/LeBaron..........the car is right around the name change/company sale. Makes perfect sense............It looks like Ralph Robert’s work and I think that by that time, Ray Dietrich was already gone. I would need to read the company history to be certain.

 

LeBaron was doing a lot of design work for Springfield Metal Body at the time.........similar construction and DNA to all the New England custom builders.

I’m sure you have a better eye for American coach work than I. Did they all make that retractable top? 

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First of all, you were supposed to call and confirm with me so I could post I thought it was Lebaron and look smart.

 

Secondly,  that makes a lot of sense.   If the chassis was sent to Europe to be bodied it would have stayed there, not to be shipped back.   When we get the original owners name we might be able to figure out more.

 

Thirdly,  it would also explain the lack of a coachbuilders plate as they were supplying them "in the white" to Locomobile I believe.

 

And finally,  I think the body is pretty attractive and a Lebaron attribution is not a bad thing!

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AJ- making you look smart isn’t an easy thing! 😏

 

If you really want to make friends and influence people, give me fifty pounds of hundred dollar bills........I’ll pass them out and tell forum members it’s complements of AJ............hell, they may even start to like me if I’m handing out cash!

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Bridgeport/LeBaron would use body hardware from a Syracuse New York company at this time......who’s name now escapes me because of advanced age. I like the town car.........just too many interesting cars in my life and not enough time to play with them all. We need a forum billionaire to take our advice and buy/restore/preserve all the cool stuff we come across........hell, we could make Musk or Bezos from the two richest guys in the world to lowly poor car collectors.

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What about the rear door hinge? (suggesting reverse opening rear doors) yet the handle is positioned to the rear. That arrangement looks really similar to the Kellner above. Loco hired Decausse from Kellner for in-house designs also. The Lebaron examples I see look more like this (below):

   Are fenders and splash pans always done by the body-builder?

 

- Dan.

Lebaron.jpg

Edited by prewarnut (see edit history)
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Dan.....the above Pierce may, or may not be LeBaron. They were built both by Pierce and the Semi Custom LeBaron line. Interestingly the split windshields were factory, the flat windshields were custom.......on town cars.

 

As far as the Loco, the wood work looks distinctly Bridgeport/LeBaron. I have made a bit of a study of Pierce LeBaron cars........and have had my hands on all the known survivors. Doesn’t anyone have a photo of the Loco Floyd-Derham convertible sedan from 1927? It had a one off radiator as well as a bunch of other unique details. I haven’t seen it for thirty years. One off unusual bodies tend to have regional attributes and details. Just when you think you have seen everything.....crazy new stuff comes along........like a Murphy Body with ALL red wood used in the construction.......including red wood plywood! Yes, I have seen this in person, and was blown away. 
 

With the obscure Marques........anything is possible. I am interested to see how and why someone thought the coachwork as French..........that does NOT make any sense from the few photos we have to look at. 
 

All lots of fun, and makes for great reading.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, Grimy said:

To me, the hood side panels and door--and knobs--are 1930 Pierce Model B. I agree that the hood is a later replacement--but why?


Answer is obvious.......adding a Pierce Arrow part to ANY car will improve it..........simple declarative fact......

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10 hours ago, edinmass said:

ALL red wood used in the construction.......including red wood plywood!

 

Ed, Interesting you mention that. My parents home I grew up in, in central CT, was built by a guy who owned a lumber business. It was a Georgian style colonial Circa 1942 with flat sides and the exterior flat wood was fitted, lap-jointed redwood plywood. From a distance it looked like stone block. It was said he spec'd that as redwood is impervious to termites. Not sure that would be true or the motive of the car makers but no-one has seen a house constructed the same way and thought I'd provide that minor data-point. Try and find that material today....

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