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1920 Locomobile Model 48 Sedan / 17212 Vehicle Information

1920 Locomobile Model 48 photograph

1920 Locomobile Model 48 photograph

1920 Locomobile Model 48 photograph

1920 Locomobile Model 481920 Locomobile Model 481920 Locomobile Model 48
Sold for $176,000 at 2013 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach.
Sold for $112,000 at 2019 Gooding & Company : Scottsdale Arizona.
Sold for $140,000 at 2020 RM Sothebys : The Elkhart Collection.
There are some cars, even the old stately machines like the Locomobile, that have the ability to turn heads and conjure up old memories or thoughts of fantasy. In the case of the 1920 Locomobile 48 Sportif, chassis number 17212, this imposing automobile can be enjoyed again and again just by watching Robert Downey Jr's 1992 film Chaplin.

Locomobile, at one point in time, would be considered the 'Best Built Car in America'. The company would certainly build the most expensive. Beginning in Watertown, Massachusetts, Locomobile would be founded by John Brisben Walker and Amzi Lorenzo Barber in 1899.

The company's beginnings would actually come about as a result of what was considered an impossible deal. Walker had shown up at the Stanley brothers' shop intent on buying a stake in the brothers' business. Walker would persist and the brother would take a moment to ponder what was presented them. The Stanley brothers never really took Walker seriously and came back offering the automotive division of their business for the unheard of sum of $250,000. The Stanley's believed this would scare Walker off. It wouldn't and he would put the initial deposit down promising to get the rest in short order. Trying every contact he knew, Walker was coming up empty, but then he would approach his neighbor, Amzi Lorenzo Barber. Barber would agree to put up the money, the two would agree on the name Locomobile, and the rest, as they say, would be history.

Walker and Barber would find about the only thing they could agree to would be the Locomobile name. It wouldn't be too long before the partnership would break up and Barber would be left to get Locomobile up and running, but, he would take serious what he was about to do. Production would begin immediately and, by 1902, Locomobile was the largest producer of automobiles in the United States.

By 1904, the market for steam cars was practically evaporated and Samuel Davis, who had been hired as the company's manager, would make the move into gas powered motor cars. Still, the company was bankrupt and Barber would sell to his brother-in-law J.J. Albright. At the same time Albright would come to hold a majority in the company Davis would ascend to president and would hire a talented engineer by the name of Andrew Riker. Riker was the first president of the Society of Automotive Engineers and was well-known for his brilliance as an engineer.

Riker's abilities as an engineer and designer would lead to Locomobile's first gas-powered automobile, but he would also transform the company from being the largest producer in America to being the 'Best Built Car in America'.

Locomobile's reputation would grow quickly as a result of success in the Vanderbilt Cup race on Long Island. In 1908, and against such competition as Fiat, Isotta and Mercedes, one of Riker's Locomobiles would win the race causing the popularity of the brand to soar.

While at one time Locomobile would be the largest producer of automobiles in the United States, under Riker that mindset would change from quantity to quality. The workers within the company would take great pride in what they did even going so far as stamping their initials in components they manufactured for each automobile. The intention was fine automobiles and such finery could not, and would not, be rushed.

Locomobile would build the fine quality chassis but they would not build their own coaches. In 1911, Riker and Davis would approach J. Frank de Causse of the French coachbuilder Kellne et ses Fils to design a new four-passenger phaeton. De Causse would design an example that would become known as the 48 Sportif. De Kausse's work with Locomobile would result to him being offered the head of a design department within the company, one of the very first to have such a department.

The Sportif would remain in production from 1911 all the way up until 1929 and would barely change over the course of those nearly two decades. One example of those would be chassis 17212.

Produced in 1920, the Locomobile 48 Sportif's early history would be something of a mystery. However, by 1940 D. Cameron Peek would be in the picture. The Sportif would then end up the property of Lindley Bothwell for almost 60 years.

While its early history would be something of a mystery and not all that well-known, it would find it would forever live on in celluloid when it starred as Charlie Chaplin's car in the film Chaplin.

Complete in black with an all-black leather interior, the 1920 Locomobile 48 Sportif remains highly original. Boasting of a large inline six-cylinder engine producing a respectable 95bhp, the 1920 Locomobile Sportif is as imposing in real life as it does on film. Not only is the car a real piece of filmmaking history but it remains a fine piece of Locomobile and early automotive history as well.

The 1920 Locomobile 48 Sportif, chassis 17212, would be offered for sale at the 2013 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach auction and garner estimates from between $175,000 and $225,000.

Sources:
'Lot No. 14: 1920 Locomobile 48 Sportif', (http://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1920-locomobile-48-sportif/#tab2). Gooding & Company. http://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1920-locomobile-48-sportif/#tab2. Retrieved 14 August 2013.

'1923 Locomobile 48 Series VIII News, Pictures and Information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z9061/Locomobile-48-Series-VIII.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z9061/Locomobile-48-Series-VIII.aspx. Retrieved 14 August 2013.

'The History of the Best Built Car in America', (http://www.locomobilesociety.com/history.cfm). The Locomobile Society of America. http://www.locomobilesociety.com/history.cfm. Retrieved 14 August 2013.

'Lot No. 620: 1919 Locomobile Type 48 Series V Sportif', (http://www.rmauctions.com/lots/lot.cfm?lot_id=401218). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/lots/lot.cfm?lot_id=401218. Retrieved 14 August 2013.

By Jeremy McMullen



2020 RM Sothebys : The Elkhart Collection

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $150,000-USD $200,000 
Sale Price :
USD $140,000

2019 Gooding & Company : Scottsdale Arizona

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $180,000-USD $220,000 
Sale Price :
USD $112,000

2013 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $175,000-USD $225,000 
Sale Price :
USD $176,000

1920 Locomobile Model 48 Auction Sales

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1920 sales)
1920 Locomobile Model 48 Series 7 Sportif
Sold for USD$140,000
  2020 RM Sothebys : The Elkhart Collection
1920 Locomobile Model 48 image  
1920 Locomobile 48 Sportif
Chassis#: 17212
Sold for USD$112,000
  2019 Gooding & Company : Scottsdale Arizona
1920 Locomobile Model 48 image  
1920 Locomobile Model 48 Series 7 Landaulet
Chassis#: 17191
Sold for USD$55,000
  2017 RM Sothebys : Hershey
1920 Locomobile Model 48 image  1920 Locomobile Model 48 image  
1920 Locomobile 48 Sportif
Chassis#: 17212
Sold for USD$176,000
  2013 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach
1920 Locomobile Model 48 image  
1920 Locomobile Cape Top Touring
Chassis#: 17285
Sold for USD$70,000
  2004 Vintage Motor Cars at Meadow Brook Hall
 

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1920 Locomobile Model 48's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High

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1920 Locomobile Model 48 vehicle thumbnail image  1920 Locomobile Model 48 vehicle thumbnail image  
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Locomobile Model 48 Vehicle Profiles
Sportsman Torpedo Touring
Locomobile Model 48 Sportsman Torpedo Touring

Engine Num: 5113
Model Year: 1912
Profile and Auction History
Sportsman Torpedo Touring
Locomobile Model 48 Sportsman Torpedo Touring

Chassis Num: 5273
Engine Num: 5257
Model Year: 1912
Profile and Auction History
Baby Tonneau
Locomobile Model 48 Baby Tonneau

Chassis Num: 6410
Engine Num: 6410
Model Year: 1913
Profile and Auction History

Roadster
Locomobile Model 48 Roadster

Model Year: 1914
Profile
Touring
Locomobile Model 48 Touring

Model Year: 1914
Profile
Touring
Locomobile Model 48 Touring

Model Year: 1914
Profile

Touring
Locomobile Model 48 Touring

Chassis Num: 7461
Model Year: 1914
Profile and Auction History
Touring
Locomobile Model 48 Touring

Chassis Num: 10263
Engine Num: 9385
Model Year: 1915
Profile and Auction History
3-Passenger Sedan
Locomobile Model 48 3-Passenger Sedan

Coachbuilder: Locke
Model Year: 1916
Profile

Gunboat Cabriolet
Locomobile Model 48 Gunboat Cabriolet

Coachbuilder: Healey & Co
Model Year: 1917
Profile
Chauffeur Coupe
Locomobile Model 48 Chauffeur Coupe

Coachbuilder: Healey & Co
Chassis Num: 11929
Engine Num: 9796
Model Year: 1917
Profile and Auction History
Type M Series 7 Tourer
Locomobile Model 48 Type M Series 7 Tourer

Coachbuilder: Farnham-Nelson
Chassis Num: 13058
Model Year: 1917
Profile

Roadster
Locomobile Model 48 Roadster

Coachbuilder: Merrimac
Model Year: 1919
Profile
Sportif
Locomobile Model 48 Sportif

Chassis Num: 11873
Model Year: 1919
Profile and Auction History
Landaulet
Locomobile Model 48 Landaulet

Chassis Num: 17191
Engine Num: 12474
Model Year: 1920
Profile and Auction History

Sedan
Locomobile Model 48 Sedan

Chassis Num: 17212
Engine Num: 12490
Model Year: 1920
Profile and Auction History
Sportif
Locomobile Model 48 Sportif

Chassis Num: 18033
Model Year: 1922
Profile and Auction History
Sportif
Locomobile Model 48 Sportif

Model Year: 1923
Profile

Sportif
Locomobile Model 48 Sportif

Model Year: 1923
Tourer
Locomobile Model 48 Tourer

Model Year: 1923
Sportif
Locomobile Model 48 Sportif

Chassis Num: 18317
Engine Num: 13588
Model Year: 1923
Profile and Auction History

Sportif
Locomobile Model 48 Sportif

Chassis Num: 18345
Engine Num: 13612
Model Year: 1923
Profile and Auction History
Sportif Phaeton
Locomobile Model 48 Sportif Phaeton

Model Year: 1925
Profile
Sportif Phaeton
Locomobile Model 48 Sportif Phaeton

Model Year: 1925
Profile

Victoria Sedan
Locomobile Model 48 Victoria Sedan

Coachbuilder: Demarest and Company
Model Year: 1925
Profile
Sportif Phaeton
Locomobile Model 48 Sportif Phaeton

Chassis Num: 19131
Engine Num: 19139
Model Year: 1925
Profile and Auction History


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