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Identify this car

Posted by frustrated 
Identify this car
July 18, 2018 05:41AM
Hi Folks,

I received an e-mail from a gentleman who photographed this car in his parents garage. Apparently, it has been in the family for a century or more. He'd like some help in identifying the make and model. If you have any ideas, please chime in.



Re: Identify this car
July 19, 2018 08:49AM
Hi Ken,

Looking at the pics, the chassis appears to be Locomobile and from around 1899-1900, The lower spring perches in the rear did not use U-bolts, but it was a failure point without them, the U-bolts looks as though they were added as the old thru-bolts look to still be there. Identifying that type of chassis is very difficult as some after market companies like Dyke, Conrad and others, sold these type chassis components and even "complete running gear"- finished chassis.

The body is similar to Locomobile, but so were many others, and it is not a very close copy of what the standardized Locomobile - Lane/Skene/Grout etc body came to be. The seat is very unusual with the absence of turned spindles, square corner in the rear and the very high back-rest. Could be an early prototype? Without any sort of proof, it's just a guess.

Nice car, looks all original and it would be a good candidate for restoration.

Whatever it is, it's rare and may simply be a one of a kind. I pored over my pic collections and looked around on the web last night and I couldn't find anything on it.

Re: Identify this car
July 19, 2018 09:32AM
Hi Ron,

That was about my take too, it looked mostly like an early Locomobile …. but not quite. I hadn't thought of the prototype angle and wondered about later modifications following repair. As you say, though, so many people copied the design that it's hard to tell. Heck, considering that everyone was basically sticking an engine in a horse-drawn carriage it's not real surprising that the cars look so similar.


Re: Identify this car
July 19, 2018 10:34AM

I have some speculations about it's identity, but without some photographic proof, it's just that.

One of the features that sort of solidifies it as an original car and still in it's original form is the iron brace running around the inside perimeter of the dash. That is a difficult component to make as it has a radial surface on one side and flat on the other and has to be uniform throughout it's length. A blacksmith would hammer that in to shape and then draw file it, it could be rolled in to the shape with expensive tooling. Not likely an amateur builder would add that, especially since Locomobile et al didn't.

The paint looks to be original.

Re: Identify this car
July 19, 2018 11:52AM
Hi Ken,
Definitely a Locomobile body as per the side panels pictured on the wooden body. I agree with Ron on the dates. Hard to identify what exactly the brand is without much investigation.

Also agree that it is in really good shape and has some significant value...as is. Although, I personally like to see these old girls run around on their own steam.

Have them bring it to the September Meet for display. Last time that happened, it drew a lot of attention.

Kind regards,
Rick H.
Re: Identify this car
July 23, 2018 08:05PM
HI all,
Thanks for all the feedback to date. I got my Phorum account so I added a couple of other photos of parts of the car. I have several others but don't fit under the 1MB limit.. I would be interested in any advice of where we might look to identify serial numbers or other markings in help identifying the pedigree of the vehicle. Also let me know what other pictures/views would come in handy. My son and I (and even my wife!) have had a great time researching (the best we could) on the Internet and would love to get more info to help figure out courses of action for the vehicle. It seems like a shame simply stored under a tarp locked in a garage...Thanks again.

- Kirk

Re: Identify this car
July 24, 2018 08:58AM
I'm pretty confident this is early Locomobile. What is throwing everyone is the seat. If you look at the seat, the coachwork doesn't match the body, the armrests don't line up or flow well in to the side trim and instead of the trademark turned spindles which no respectable Victorian would have been caught out in public without, there are simple square rails smiling smiley.

I think this is an early Locomobile with a remade seat and not to the original design, because the original seat was very difficult to make and not very durable. It involved steam bending large pieces of lumber and special fixtures. Have a look at the last picture looking at the seat side from the front. The armrest has no curvature at all, just flat lumber, I highly doubt the seat is original. No offense implied to any past family members of course, just an honest assessment.

The storage boxes in the front were likely added as well.

Measure the "tread" tire to tire across, it should be either 51 or 54 inches center of tire to center of tire, the wheelbase axle to axle on center should be around 58"

Strange that all the badges are gone. The absence of copper water tank, brass fuel tank, and brass badges, tells me she may have suffered the ravages of one of the patriotic metal drives during a past war. It was seen as unpatriotic to not donate these metals.

Some pictures of the engine compartment would be helpful. I'll bet the muffler is gone too as it was copper.

Re: Identify this car
July 24, 2018 09:57AM
Hi Kirk,

I can easily resize your larger than 1 MB files so that they will go on the Phorum … I had to do that with the first three photos that started off this thread. Just e-mail any pictures to me and I'll get them put up.


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All files from this thread

File Name File Size   Posted by Date  
quarter.jpg 844.9 KB open | download frustrated 07/18/2018 Read message
side.jpg 877.2 KB open | download frustrated 07/18/2018 Read message
rear.jpg 762.9 KB open | download frustrated 07/18/2018 Read message
20180707_123610.jpg 787.2 KB open | download BrownKirk 07/23/2018 Read message
20180707_123558.jpg 748.4 KB open | download BrownKirk 07/23/2018 Read message
20180707_123701.jpg 841.3 KB open | download BrownKirk 07/23/2018 Read message