<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270

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Lot 243
Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930
1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope

US$ 45,000 - 65,000£ 35,000 - 51,000
Amended
Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930
1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope
Chassis no. 1270

Twin-Cylinder Double Acting Steam Engine
4bhp at 150psi
Single Transverse Front and Semi Elliptic Rear Leaf Spring Suspension

*One of the best surviving early Locomobiles
*Two owners from new and in the same ownership since 1930
*A suitable steed for the London to Bright Veteran Car Run
*Elegant Stanhope coachwork
*A benchmark example

THE LOCOMOBILE

Locomobile began as a manufacturer of light steam buggies and ended up as a producer of massive and expensive gasoline-powered automobiles. The original Locomobile, introduced in 1899, was based on a Stanley brothers design. John Brisbane Walker, editor and publisher of Cosmopolitan magazine and partner Amzi Lorenzo Barber had convinced the pioneering steam car builders to sell them the rights to manufacture their original car. (The brothers pocketed $250,000 and proceeded to build a new and improved Stanley Steamer that did not impinge any of the patents they had sold) Walker left in a huff soon after Locomobile production started, but Barber continued to build Locomobile steamers, producing several thousand before discontinuing them in early 1904.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope is widely regarded as one of the best examples extant by those who have seen it and other surviving cars. Its originality and authenticity is unquestionably owing to the very simple life which it has had. Evidence of the manufacturer, and the assigned serial number, is found in two cast (not stamped) bronze plates. One, located on the back of the body, low down, is marked "Trade Mark - Locomobile, Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.A." The other plate is found attached to the wooden frame just behind the edge of the seat; hidden behind an artificial leather apron. It reads "Trade Mark – Locomobile, Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.A., #1270 Style 2, Patented November 14, 1899". Comparing its car number of #1270 with others, including that in the Smithsonian it was almost certainly delivered late in 1899.

The owners came into possession of Locomobile #1270 on, or before, December 8th, 1930 when The Slatersville Finishing Company purchased the Mulligan Estate in Rhode Island. The Locomobile was discovered in a barn on the estate and it had been stored there for close to thirty years, taking it right back to its earliest days.

As an interesting aside, the first lady to possess a license to drive an automobile in the nation was Miss Anne Rainsford French, who was honored by the AAA at the time of their Golden Jubilee in 1952. Called "a belle of Capitol Hill, (she was) a licensed steam engineer and Miss Locomobile of 1900". Her steed was a Locomobile Style 2, looking the same as #1270, with which she accompanied her father, a medical doctor, on his rounds. She would run the steamer around in circles while her father was making house calls; thus keeping up the steam pressure. Together, the two of them conditioned the horses of the District Fire Brigade to automobiles by parking the steamer in front of the semi panic-stricken horses until the safety valve released a huge cloud of steam and emitted its piercing shriek. This was said to have cured them of their "automotive phobia". It is possible, but not confirmed that this was her car.

When acquired #1270 was described in an unsigned Company internal memo, dated July 15, 1932, as follows: "The machine is in apparently a very good state of preservation, with the exception of the rubber." After about twenty years of cold storage by the owners, the Locomobile was carefully examined by them, and found to be substantially complete, but in a state of significant disrepair. Only the steam pressure gauge was missing. It seemed that the Mulligans had run the car extensively, had hit numerous immoveable objects, had run out of water in the boiler, and had run out of lubrication in and around the engine. The valve gear guides, for example, were deeply galled and blue from high heat and no oil. Ball bearings had been allowed to eat up their shafts, and were replaced with the next larger size. The chain was very worn, with lots of side play, and the two sprockets were nearly toothless. Further evidence of extensive use is found by examining the rubber treads on the metal footsteps which allow one to get up and into the seats. The design on the rubber treads is nearly rubbed away, so they must have helped legions of would be drivers into position.

During the years 1951 to 1953 the owners renovated the Locomobile. To facilitate the correct and speedy repairs of things machineable, they took a course in machine shop practice as taught to prospective mechanical engineers at MIT, and perfected their skills in trouble shooting, and designing elegant and invisible fixes to the many and varied problems. In refurbishing the car it was abundantly clear was that the boiler must be replaced, and so it was. This time the owners opted for a ferrous shell, of firebox steel, with steel heads and heavy walled copper for the fire tubes - over 300 of them. No more piano wire to rust out and fail. The owners also replaced bearings and sprockets, valve stems and packing, and the heavily charred supporting timbers for the boiler and engine. New wheels and tires came from the Houghton Sulky Company, now, however, an item that is discontinued and have been replaced with modern period style 'balloon' tires.

When the owners had finished, everything was original except for the wheels and tires, the patent leather dodger, the "artificial leather" apron in front of the engine, one floor board, and the steam gauge, the internal works of the latter having been supplied by the Crosby Valve & Gage Company, the nickel plated bronze case by the owners. Bearings, whenever replaced, were chosen to be self lubricating.

Today, the car's 60 year old restoration has mellowed slightly, but is still in fine order and presents well. It has been used on occasions, but none recently and with this inactivity a decision has been made to pass it on to its third custodian.

The buyer will receive a wonderful early steam car, with a great history and the potential to run in events such as the world renowned and Bonhams sponsored London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in the U.K.

Offered on a bill of sale.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note this car is titled 1900.
Contacts
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
<i>Two owners from new, in the same ownership since 1930</i><BR /><B>1899 Locomobile Style 2 Stanhope</B><BR />Car no. 1270
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