Lot 275

Monterey 2022

1925 Locomobile Model 48 Sportif


$156,800 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



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Engine No.
US Title
  • Top-of-the-line Locomobile with dual cowl Sportif coachwork designed by J. Frank de Causse
  • Formerly part of the extensive Bernard Pollard Collection of Michigan
  • Well preserved with re-commissioned paintwork and upholstery
  • Powered by 7.0-liter, inline, six-cylinder engine paired with a four-speed manual transmission

Locomobile was once one of the most respected automobile manufacturers in the United States in the early 20th century, known for producing cars of superb quality, speed, and engineering. In 1911, the company introduced a T-head, 7.0-liter, six-cylinder engine, which evolved into the Model 48.

Known as the “American Mercedes,” the powerful and luxurious Locomobiles were fitted with custom, coachbuilt bodies and delivered to such prominent buyers as William Wrigley, William Carnegie, and the Vanderbilt family. Locomobile prided itself on quality over quantity; a mere four cars were assembled per day with prices far exceeding the company’s primary competitors at Peerless, Pierce-Arrow, and Packard.

In the firm’s heyday, celebrated designer J. Frank de Causse became head of the custom body department at the Locomobile factory in 1914. Just two years later, he created what is believed to be the first dual-cowl phaeton fitted to an automobile. An iconic style synonymous with the roaring twenties, the body fitted to the example offered here is a fine display of de Causse’s handywork.

The known history of this automobile begins with the well-known enthusiast and collector Bernard Pollard. While it is unknown when he first acquired the Locomobile, a title in his name on file shows an issue date of November 1978. With hundreds of cars in his collection, Pollard conceived a creative solution for storing his countless automobiles. Telephone poles were driven into the ground and topped with railroad rail. The cars were then hung nose up and secured with wire rope like a sort of automotive meat locker. Surely this must have been a sight to behold in its day.

In the late 1980s, the car was purchased from Pollard and moved into the Kamphausen collection where it has remained since. Under the current ownership, the Locomobile received a new paint job and upholstery while the exposed aluminum coachwork was retained from the previous scheme. Mechanically, all four corners feature hydraulic drum brakes, and the system received a re-sleeved master cylinder within the past couple of months. Additional work completed at the time included updating some of the car’s wiring, re-adjusting the clutch, and replacing the lining for the transbrake.

While the Locomobile received limited use in recent years, the Model 48 has partaken in a number of tours under current ownership and at RM Auction’s 25th-anniversary event in Ontario, Canada, Formula One champion and Locomobile enthusiast Phil Hill took the opportunity to get behind the wheel of this wonderful machine.

One of the finest American automobiles of the period, this Locomobile Model 48 features a powerful engine, desirable coachwork, and unique provenance, making it perfect for tours and the show field alike.