Lot 154

Hershey 2015

1913 Locomobile Model 48 "M" Series III Baby Tonneau


$242,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Engine No.
  • Desirable, big-horsepower Brass Era tourer
  • Beautiful Tim Ohlendorf restoration
  • An excellent AACA Reliability Tour and HCCA tour car

48 hp, 525 cu. in. T-head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptical leaf-spring suspension, live rear axle with fully elliptical leaf-spring suspension, and rear-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 135 in.

One of the grandest early American automobiles, the 48-horsepower Locomobile, known initially as the “M” and later as the Model 48, was one of the most significant and long-lived Brass Era cars. In fact, its life actually extended into the chrome era, with production beginning in 1911 and continuing for a remarkable 18 years, until 1929. The cars featured a massive T-head six-cylinder engine that eventually grew to 525 cubic inches, with cylinders cast in pairs and a balanced crankshaft turning on nine main bearings. Exhaustive use of special metals throughout resulted in exceptional performance and durability—as well as, unfortunately, making these cars worth their weight in gold to the World War II-era scrappers. As a result, relatively few Locomobile Model 48s survive today, and fewer still are early Brass models. The car offered here is one of those fortunate few.

The early Model 48 “M” Series III offered here was acquired in 1992 by David Noran from Tim Ohlendorf, of Beecher, Illinois, the very well-known second-generation restorer and craftsman whose work has won numerous AACA awards. Although no further history is available, it is known that the car was mid-restoration when acquired from Ohlendorf and that the dickey seat and a new windshield had been added. Mr. Noran commissioned Mr. Ohlendorf to complete the restoration, which was finished after three years in 1995. The data plate on the dash is a reproduction and indicates a chassis number of 6410, but it is unlikely that the original chassis number of the car would be identical to the motor number, which has been verified as being number 6410.

The brass work on the car was restored by noted specialist Rick Britten, of Ceresco, Michigan, while upholstery was done by Antique Car Restoration, of Nappanee, Indiana. With an eye toward modern touring, the original brass headlights were converted from acetylene to halogen bulbs, a modern fuel pump was fitted under the hood, and a dual distributor replaced the original magneto. Hydraulic brakes were unobtrusively fitted to the rear wheels, providing excellent stopping power that is so important when driving a Brass Era automobile on modern streets.

Following the restoration’s completion, Mr. Noran displayed the car only twice, both times at the Ault Park Concours d’Elegance in Cincinnati, Ohio, winning Best in Class in 1995 and the Founders Trophy in 2004. In 2008, he sold the Locomobile to its present owner, a passionate longtime enthusiast who promptly began to tour with the car and recounts several long-distance travels having been taken during his ownership. The car has been in storage the last several years, however, and it is recommended to undergo a thorough service prior to long-distance touring. Nevertheless, the paint remains extremely presentable, as does the black leather interior, and all panels fit and close very well.

While the Locomobile Model 48 remained in production longer than almost any other American luxury car, it is the early models that are perhaps the most grand and iconic. This car is one of those: a beautiful, large-horsepower Brass machine, prepared for showing and touring, which would be an asset in any collection of great early automobiles.