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1917 Locomobile Model 48

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Locomobile of Bridgeport, Connecticut began in 1899 when magazine publisher John Brisben Walker and Amzi Lorenzo Barber, the 'Asphalt King,' took over the steam car business of F.E. and F.O. Stanley. Their $600 steam car was named 'Locomobile' and quickly grew in popularity, with approximately 2,200 cars built in 1901. By 1903, its popularity faded as sales were overtaken by the curved-dash Oldsmobile.

Locomobile hired engineer Andrew L. Riker to design a gasoline-powered, four-cylinder, front-engine model wearing lightweight stamped aluminum bodywork. In this guise, fully equipped, it sold for $4,000. It was briefly joined by a twin-cylinder model, but by 1905, it was the sole model and offered in four sizes.
Locomobile's steam car had been a very popular 'volume' seller, but their gasoline took on a different persona and catered to the influential and affluent members of society. In 1905, the most expensive Locomobile sold for $7,500 making it one of the most expensive vehicles available.

The Locomobile 48-hp Type M was introduced in 1911 and would become the company's most significant and long-lived model. Power was sourced from an iron T-head six-cylinder unit with a 429 cubic-inch displacement size and a single Ball and Ball Updraft carburetor. The cylinders were cast in pairs and bolted to a bronze crankcase, which contained a drop-forged alloy steel crankshaft that was both statically and dynamically balanced and rode in seven main bearings. The '48' grew to 525 cubic inches and 142-inches, and by 1914, the four-cylinder cars had been dropped and a smaller six became the 'entry-level' Locomobile. While all of Locomobile's competitors used a three-speed gearbox, the Model 48 utilized a four-speed transmission. Stopping power was provided by mechanical drum brakes on the rear wheels. The quality and craftsmanship could be seen throughout the vehicle, and no shortcuts or inferior components were used in its construction. The chassis members were pressed from chrome-nickel steel, then heat-treated and hot-riveted together, and suspended by chrome-nickel-tungsten steel leaf springs. The front used a solid axle and the back had a live axle. Semi-elliptical leaf springs were in the front while the rear used three-quarter elliptical leaf springs.

During the early 1920s, Locomobile, like most other manufacturers, was affected by both the post-World War I recession and the infusion of military trucks which came on the market after the war, decimating sales of its Riker truck line. Locomobile fell into the hands of Hare's Motors, and when they collapsed, it was acquired by Billy Durant. Locomobile entered receivership in 1929, the victim of inspired mismanagement and manipulation, bringing to a close the saga of one of America's earliest and best automobiles.

The Locomobile Model 48 was produced from 1911 through 1926 and changed little during that time, and was one of the few luxury automobiles whose production run spanned the brass, nickel, and chrome eras. Since the company prided itself on quality over quantity, just four cars were assembled per day with prices far exceeding the company's primary competitors at Packard, Pierce-Arrow, and Peerless. They were expensive, solid, conservative, and durable.


by Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2021

Related Reading : Locomobile Model 48 History

The name 48 was used by the Locomobile Company to signify their six-cylinder engines that were originally rated at 48 horsepower. The first Model 48 was introduced in 1911 and remained in production until 1924. At this point, horsepower had skyrocketed to just over 100. When it was first introduced it was a marvel both aesthetically and mechanically. By the mid-1920s it had begun to show its age.....
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Related Reading : Locomobile Model 48 History

Owned by elite members of upper East Coast aristocracy like Vanderbilt, Wanamaker, Melon, Gould, and Governor Cox of Massachusetts, and prestigious members of the West like Tom Mix, Charlie Chaplin, and Cecil B. DeMille, the Locomobile Model 48 was one of the most expensive and elegant automobiles ever manufactured in the United States. Weighing 3 tons, the six-cylinder Model 48 came arrived on the....
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1917 Vehicle Profiles

1917 Locomobile Model 48 vehicle information
Gunboat Cabriolet
Coachwork: Healey & Co
Designer: deCausse
1917 Locomobile Model 48 vehicle information
Chauffeur Coupe
Coachwork: Healey & Co
Designer: deCausse

Chassis Num: 11929
Engine Num: 9796

1917 Locomobile Model 48 vehicle information
Type M Series 7 Tourer
Coachwork: Farnham-Nelson

Chassis Num: 13058

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$365-$7,353
1917 Model 48
1917 Locomobile Model 48 Base Price : $7,353

Model 48

Year
Production
Wheelbase
Engine
Prices
135.00 in.
6 cyl., 429.00 CID., 70.00hp
$4,800 - $6,250
137.50 in.
6 cyl., 525.00 CID., 48.00hp
135.00 in., 140.00 in.
6 cyl., 525.00 CID., 49.00hp
$5,100 - $6,500
132.00 in., 140.00 in.
6 cyl., 425.50 CID., 43.80hp
$5,100 - $6,500
143.00 in.
6 cyl., 525.00 CID., 48.60hp
$5,100 - $6,200
132.00 in.
6 cyl., 425.50 CID., 43.80hp
$7,353 - $7,353
142.00 in.
6 cyl., 524.80 CID., 85.00hp
$4,800 - $7,900
142.00 in.
6 cyl., 525.00 CID., 95.00hp
$8,100 - $11,500
142.00 in.
6 cyl., 525.00 CID., 95.00hp
$7,600 - $11,000
142.00 in.
6 cyl., 525.00 CID., 100.00hp
$7,600 - $11,000
142.00 in.
6 cyl., 525.00 CID., 95.00hp
$7,400 - $10,250

Industry Production

#1#2#3Locomobile
1922Ford (1,147,028)Chevrolet (243,479)Dodge (152,673)221
1921Ford (1,275,618)Chevrolet (130,855)Buick (82,930)721
1920Ford (806,040)Chevrolet (146,243)Dodge (141,000)1,000
1919Ford (820,445)Chevrolet (129,118)Buick (119,310)429
1918Ford (435,898)Buick (126,222)Willys Knight (88,753)1,000
1917Ford (622,351)Willys Knight (130,988)Buick (115,267)1,000
1916Ford (734,811)Willys Knight (140,111)Buick (124,834)1,000
1915Ford (501,492)Willys Knight (91,904)Dodge (45,000)1,000
1914Ford (308,162)Overland (48,461)Studebaker (35,374)1,000
1913Ford (168,220)Overland (37,422)Studebaker (31,994)1,000
1912Ford (78,440)Overland (28,572)Buick (19,812)1,000

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