Originally a steam car builder founded by the Stanley brothers, Locomobile became America's premier luxury car builder under the guidance of S.T. Davis, Jr., son-in-law of asphalt magnate Amzi Lorenzo Barber, who commissioned Andrew Riker's design for a gasoline automobile in 1902. In the following years Locomobile built an impeccable reputation for quality, reliability, power and luxury, maintaining its quality control by manufacturing nearly every component in its Bridgeport, Connecticut factory. The success of "Old 16" driven by George Robertson in the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup firmly established Locomobile's competition legacy while J. Frank de Causse's talented coachwork designs provided the visual distinction which made Locomobile the favorite of the wealthy. After Davis's untimely death the company struggled, entering receivership after over-expanding in the post-WWI recession. It was acquired in succession by Emlen Hare, then by Billy Durant who broadened the company's line. This 1928 Locomobile 8-70 5-passenger sedan has an exceptional history. It was delivered new on January 24, 1928 to Lee F. King in Santa Ana, California and was owned by the King family until 1987 when it was acquired by the second owner, Bill Thompson who undertook a complete body-off the frame restoration, with a photo documentation file that accompanies the car, in 1997. Thompson was told by the King family that the odometer reading reflects the actual miles driven. Since the restoration it has been driven only about 1,000 miles and remains in fine overall condition, epitomizing the conservative design and high standards of Locomobile. Built only a year before the company's demise, it is finished in dark burgundy with cream coachlining and equipped to very high standards including beautiful burl wood interior trim, comfortable brown and beige broadcloth upholstery, a subtle grey headliner, chrome headlamps, bumpers and step plates, whitewall tires on wood spoke artillery wheels, attractive interior wood trim and a hefty wood rim and spoke steering wheel that conveys to the driver's hands the power and performance of the substantial Locomobile chassis. Power comes from a 247 cubic inch Continental 10 S L-head inline eight good for 70 brake horsepower at 3,000 rpm, plenty of power and torque to keep up with modern traffic. Four-wheel three-shoe Bendix Perrot-type brakes were standard and an electric fuel pump has been added for reliability and easy starting. Locomobiles would be built for only one more year, making this one of the penultimate examples of this legendary American marque. Only about 21 eight-cylinder 1928 Locomobiles are known to the Locomobile Society, attesting to its rarity.
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