The Locomobile history dates back to the dawn of the motoring era in 1899. They were originally known for steam cars built to a Stanley design; in 1903 they adopted the popular internal combustion engine and earned a reputation for exceptionally well-built sporting cars. In 1908 a Locomobile was victorious at the Vanderbilt Cup race, with George Robertson piloting 'Old Number 16,' giving Locomobile accolades as the first American-built car to win the prestigious event.
In 1911, the company introduced the Model 48, named after its 48.6 horsepower N.A.C.C. power rating. It was rivaled only by Pierce-Arrow's own '48', however Locomobile's was America's most expensive automobile until the Springfield-built Rolls-Royce in 1921. Although Locomobile engineer A.L. Riker construction was conventional, the company's products were fitted with the era's finest materials. The Model 48 production would continue until late 1925, however it was still built through 1927 via limited production to specific client orders. The successor to the Model 48 was the Model 90. It was the top-of-the-line Locomobile and positioned above the more affordable new Junior 8. The mono-block 6-cylinder engine offered 86 horsepower and was built entirely in the Locomobile Bridgeport (Connecticut) plant utilizing high quality materials and painstaking craftsmanship. The price tag reflected their exclusivity, racing from $5,000 to $7,500. Only four Model 90s are known to survive.
In 1922, the company was purchased by Billy Durant as part of his new Durant Motors group, where it took its place at the top of the line. The company would continue until the widening economic chaos following the October 1929 stock panic forced it out of business.By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2018