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Some assembly required – 1907 Locomobile Model E project sells for $67,100 at Philadelphia auction

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1907 Locomobile Model E project. Photos courtesy Bonhams.

There aren’t many manuals to assist with the restoration and reassembly of a 1907 Locomobile Model E, but on a positive note, the brass-era automobile is far simpler, mechanically, than many later vehicles. Restored examples have fetched as much as $155,500 at auction in recent years, so if the disassembled 1907 Locomobile Model E sold on October 3 in Philadelphia for $67,100 (including buyer’s fees) is complete, its new owner should consider it well-bought.

1907 Locomobile Model E

The Locomobile Company of America took its name from “locomotive” and “automobile,” fitting in the company’s early days of building steam-powered cars under license from Stanley. These proved problematic for owners, as small water tanks required frequent refills, boilers took time to develop pressure (and could be prone to explosions) and kerosene fires were a common occurrence. In 1903, Locomobile switched from steam to internal combustion power, and by the following year no longer built steam-powered vehicles.

1907 Locomobile Model E

Introduced in 1905, the Model E was the smallest and most affordable offering in Locomobile’s lineup, selling for $2,800 equipped with a four-cylinder T-head engine, rated at 15/20 horsepower. Offering seating for five, the automobile featured a rear-mounted transmission that sent power to the rear wheels via a dual chain drive, considered state-of-the-art at the time.

The early history of the example sold in Philadelphia isn’t known, but in 1964 the Locomobile was owned by Edward C. Eisele of Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey. Under his stewardship, the car received regular maintenance and restorative work as needed, and in the early 1970s, the car was sold to the Harrahs Automobile Collection. By 1974, the Model E was the property of Movie World in Buena Park, California, but it remained there for a single year before being sold to Joe Brenner.

1907 Locomobile Model E

Brenner disassembled the car and completed restoration of its engine before the project came to a halt. Perhaps realizing that the car wouldn’t be finished under his care, Brenner donated the Model 30 to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry in 1980. Today, it awaits further restoration, presenting a unique opportunity for the right buyer to purchase a Locomobile Model E at a discounted price.

1931 Lincoln Model K convertible coupe

1931 Lincoln Model K convertible coupe with a LeBaron body.

Other lots in the top-10 at Bonhams Preserving the Automobile sale included a 1901 Locomobile Style 5 “Locosurrey,” one of three known survivors, which sold for $121,000;a 1926 Packard Eight 243 seven-passenger touring, which sold for $93,500; a 1987 Ferrari Testarossa, which sold for $85,800; a 1950 Jaguar XK120 competition roadster, which sold for $82,500; a 1931 Lincoln Model K convertible coupe with coachwork by LeBaron, which sold for $79,200; a 1930 Lincoln Model L seven-passenger touring, which sold for $72,600; a 1954 Jaguar XK120 SE drophead coupe, which sold for $62,700; a 1967 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 4.2-Liter coupe 2+2, which sold for $62,700; and a 1936 Rolls-Royce Phantom III 40/50hp sunroof landaulet with coachwork by Baker, which sold for $59,400.

For complete results from the Philadelphia sale, held annually at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, visit