5-6 October 2017

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Lot 129

1920 Locomobile Model 48 Series 7 Landaulet

  • Chassis no. 17191
  • Engine no. 12474

Sold for $55,000

  • Offered from the Jim & Sandy Hall and H.B. Carroll Collections
  • Legendary prestige automobile
  • Older restoration of this elegant formal Landaulet

Initially the best-selling car in America, the Locomobile became, in the words of its manufacturer, “Easily the Best-Built Car in America.”

The marque 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. The light, $600 steam car they named “Locomobile” quickly became the hit of the day, selling, by 1901, some 2,200 cars annually. Its stardom, however, faded by 1903 when its sales were overtaken by the curved-dash Oldsmobile.

Locomobile had hired a brilliant young engineer, Andrew L. Riker. Riker set to work designing a gasoline-powered car, a four-cylinder front-engine machine with stamped aluminum body. Fully equipped, it sold for $4,000. A twin-cylinder car joined it briefly, but the four won out and by 1905 was the sole model, built in four sizes.

While the steam car had proved a volume seller, Locomobile took a different tack with the gasoline cars. Riker’s philosophy was to build the best car possible, and this did not suit itself either to volume or low price. The year 1904 had shown a profit on production of just 200 gasoline cars; in 1905 the most expensive Locomobile sold for $7,500.

In 1911, Locomobile introduced what would be the most significant and long-lived car in its history, the 48-hp Type M. A T-head six of 429 cu. in., its cylinders were cast in pairs, and the balanced crankshaft had seven main bearings. Uncommonly powerful and smooth, the “48” grew to 525 cu. in. and wheelbases to 142 inches. By 1914, four-cylinder cars had been dropped and a smaller six became the entry-level Locomobile.

This 1920 Series 7 Locomobile 48 carries the elegant Landaulet body style, with open chauffeur’s compartment and a folding roof for the rear passengers. An older, but well-maintained restoration, it has a green body with black fenders and moldings. The chauffeur’s compartment is done in matching green buttoned leather, while the passengers ride on buttoned taupe mohair. The engine compartment is commensurate with the car’s overall condition, generally clean but not detailed. Other equipment includes dual side-mount spares with mirrors, a running board spotlight, hand-wound clock in the passenger compartment, and sympathetically installed directional signals for safety in modern traffic.

The car will benefit from a detailing of the body, interior, and mechanical systems. It has not run in some time, so a thorough recommissioning should be carried out before returning it to the road.

The Locomobile 48 had perhaps the longest run of any American luxury car model, remaining in production with little mechanical change until the marque’s end in 1929. This car from the model’s middle years, exhibits the sophistication of the 1920s while retaining the elegance of the Brass Era.


Please note that this title is in transit.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more