1925 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. Sales reflected and as a result, the company was forced to increase its price.

During the mid-1910s, the Company experimented with custom coachwork to appeal to their wealthy clients. The vehicles were built to customer specifications and created to satisfy their needs and desires. The use of accessories by Tiffany Studios was not uncommon for the Locomobile Company at this time.


By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2007
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 scene in 1911 and became known as the 'Best Built Car in America'. During its eight-year production run, the most famous Locomobile was originally priced at $4,800, which would eventually rise to $9,600. By 1923 the Model 48, advertised as the 'The Exclusive Car for Exclusive People' was in such demand that the automobile was produced at a rate of two per day.

Locomobile began its story as manufacture of inexpensive light steam carriages before they began building gasoline-powered automobiles. By 1904 the company had transformed itself into a luxury brand and experimented with custom coachwork in an attempt at appealing to a wealthy clientele. The automobiles were built to exact customer specification and accessories came from Tiffany Studios.

Locomobile found itself trying to reinstate itself in the premier auto market once again in 1921 after a new board of directors seated themselves at the helm. At the Bridgeport plant using overstocked parts, the Model 48 was assembled with engineer Andrew Lawrence Riker making mechanical improvements. Unfortunately for the Locomobile Company, Riker left the company in 1921.

The Locomobile Company named the Series 8, Model '48' to signify their six-cylinder engines that were originally rated at 48 horsepower. Introduced in 1911, the '48' would continue in production until 1924 and was constructed of magnesium bronze, aluminum, and steel. The wheelbase of the Model 48 was nearly 30 inches longer than that of a modern Chevy Suburban. Many of the powertrain components were cast in bronze, while the chassis was constructed of chrome-nickel steel. The Model 48 would be one of the few luxury automobiles whose production period would span the brass, nickel and chrome eras. It was an expensive, old-fashioned vehicle for wealthy, conservative, old-fashioned people.

Featuring balloon tires, the 48 sported Buffalo wire wheels, and nickel-plated or brass trim. Most Locomobiles features two spares, and the option of two-wheel drum brakes or four-wheel brakes. Demarest was responsible for the body of the Model 48 and was something not often seen – a six-fendered car with the fifth and six fenders sit just in front of the rear passenger compartment. At first, the Model 48 was met with fanfare and popularity, but before long the basic design of the car, even with numerous mechanical improvements, was an outdated design. Horsepower dwindled down to just over 100, and sales of the basically unchanged Model 48 continued through 1932 and 1924, still using 1919 parts. Late in 1924 the new Model 48 was debuted; the 19,000 Series. Though it was basically the same car, 19000 Series sold for $2,000 less.

The following year the Model 48 was officially discontinued and replaced with the Model 90, a new luxury automobile. Unfortunately, many coachbuilt bodied Locomobiles were made into scrap metal during World War II. Today there are approximately 167 Model 48's known to exist and are considered wonderful historic examples of a by-gone era. Valuable and extremely collectible, the Locomobile Model 48 was a truly exceptional automobile. A 1923 Model 48 recently sold at auction for $176,000.

Sources:
http://www.locomobilesociety.com/history.cfm
http://www.hemmings.com/hcc/stories/2005/03/01/hmn_feature17.html
http://www.classiccarweekly.net/2012/06/01/locomobile-model-48/

By Jessica Donaldson

1925 Vehicle Profiles

1925 Locomobile Model 48 vehicle information

Sportif Phaeton
Designer: Derham

Locomobile found their way into the garages of America's elite, featuring some of the finest coachbuilt bodies of the era. In 1911, the firm introduced the Model 48 and called it 'The Exclusive Car for Exclusive People.' The slogan endured up until t....[continue reading]

1925 Locomobile Model 48 vehicle information

Sportif Phaeton
Designer: Derham

Founded in 1899 as a manufacturer of inexpensive light steam carriages, Locomobile eventually began building gasoline-powered automobiles, and by 1904, the company had morphed into a luxury brand. In 1911, the most famous Locomobile made its debut: ....[continue reading]

1925 Locomobile Model 48 vehicle information

Sportif Phaeton
Designer: Derham

Chassis Num: 19131
Engine Num: 19139

The post-WWI recession was difficult for many automakers and the Locomobile Company was no different. The glut of military trucks which came on the market after the War, decimated sales of its Riker truck line. It fell into the hands of Hare's Motors....[continue reading]

1925 Locomobile Model 48 vehicle information

Victoria Sedan
Coachwork: Demarest and Company

Boasting a cast bronze crankcase, Locomobile's large, powerful six-cylinder T-head engine was unique in the industry. This powerful motor was coupled with elegant and stylish coachwork by Demerest and Company.....[continue reading]

Sportif Phaeton
 
Sportif Phaeton
 
Sportif Phaeton
Chassis #: 19131 
Victoria Sedan by Demarest and Company
 


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Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$226-$7,400
1925 Locomobile Model 48
1925 Locomobile Model 48 Price Range: $7,400 - $10,250

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Locomobile
1930Ford (1,140,710)Chevrolet (640,980)Buick (181,743)
1929Ford (1,507,132)Chevrolet (1,328,605)Buick (196,104)327
1928Chevrolet (1,193,212)Ford (607,592)Willys Knight (231,360)1,112
1927Chevrolet (1,001,820)Ford (367,213)Buick (255,160)2,037
1926Ford (1,669,847)Chevrolet (547,724)Buick (266,753)2,586
1925Ford (1,669,847)Chevrolet (306,479)Dodge (201,000)628
1924Ford (1,831,128)Chevrolet (264,868)Dodge (193,861)230
1923Ford (1,831,128)Chevrolet (323,182)Buick (210,572)116
1922Ford (1,147,028)Dodge (152,673)Chevrolet (138,932)221
1921Ford (1,275,618)Chevrolet (130,855)Buick (82,930)721
1920Ford (806,040)Chevrolet (146,243)Dodge (141,000)1,000

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