St. John's

28 July 2012

From the Collection of William Ruger Jr.

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Lot 133

1907 Locomobile Model E Roadster

  • Chassis no. 1322
  • Engine no. 1563

Sold for $74,250


20 hp, 199 cu. in. inline T-head four, three-speed manual transmission with double chain drive, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs in the front and rear, and two wheel rear mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 96"



• Ex-Henry Austin Clark Jr. and Richard C. Paine Jr.

• Original “make and break” ignition system

• Offered from the collection of William Ruger Jr.



This 1907 Locomobile Model E is believed to have been acquired shortly before or after the Second World War by famed automobile historian and writer Henry Austin Clark Jr. According to a 1964 article published in the Veteran Motor Car Club of America’s The Bulb Horn, written by Smith Hempstone Oliver, a “4-cylinder, Type E Locomobile of 1907” was “ultimately wheedled away from Mike by Henry Austin Clark Jr.” The “Mike” referred to in the article is Mike Caruso, owner of the famous salvage yard in Hicksville, Long Island, from where so many important classics were rescued from oblivion, and it is likely this is that same car that was restored and exhibited at Clark’s famous Long Island Automotive Museum in Southampton, Long Island.



It was acquired by Richard C. Paine Jr. in 1987 and displayed at his Seal Cove Auto Museum until being acquired by Mr. Ruger. As acquired, the Locomobile had a Model I touring body, which was not original to the chassis, and a restoration by Classic Car Services, of South Paris, Maine, was commissioned, which included a complete rebuild of the chassis, running gear, and engine. Due to poor carburetor operation owing to a malfunctioning, non-original, early carburetor, a newer unit was sourced, which is reported to work very well.



Of significance is the fact that the intricate and ingenious low tension “make and break” ignition has been retained: it operates via small tappets that open contacts within the combustion chambers, which creates a spark. This system is mechanically more involved and more expensive to manufacture than spark plug ignition, but it produced a hotter spark.



The Model I body was removed and replaced with a newly fabricated two-seater runabout body built based on catalogue and period photos and was chosen by Mr. Ruger due to its lightness, which would allow as much performance as possible. The coachwork is original from the seat forward, including original floorboard and running board edging and chain box. The rear fenders and rear of the body, the trunk, and the seat are all new. The two-tone red paint was very carefully brush-finished, as it was done in the period, and is complemented by light red pinstriping. The steering column, controls, and other instruments are all correct and original. Also located on the dash are the original Locomobile manufacturing plate with the chassis number and the Selden Patent plate.



Other equipment includes Sibley & Pitman “Climax” acetylene headlights, Corcoran side lamps, and a Dietz kerosene “Dainty Tail Lamp.” The original, Attwood-Castle, vertical canister, acetylene generator has been retained but replaced with a more serviceable, modern, acetylene canister that sits in a brass container. As offered, the paint, leather upholstery, and chassis finish are still virtually flawless. The engine is very clean and as presentable as an early T-head can be. This car is accompanied by an original instruction book for a 1906 Locomobile, which is applicable to this model. Although costlier today than its original $2,800 price, the opportunity to acquire one of these early gasoline-powered cars from the revered Bridgeport, Connecticut manufacturer does not come often.

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

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+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

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
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

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
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

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
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

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+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

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
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