This mighty Locomobile was photographed by member, Robert Evans, in 1958 at a “Duster’s Meet” on the grounds of the Larz Anderson Estate in Brookline, MA. This model 48 was owned at the time by James Demone of Southboro, MA, and wears a very distinctive body by Farnham & Nelson.
The iconic model 48 was introduced by Locomobile in 1911. Locomobile didn’t build its own bodies – instead, one could buy the chassis and have a custom body created by the coachworks of your choice. Alternatively, you could have a standard body, from the catalog, built at the direction of Locomobile by one of two local firms: Bridgeport Body Company or Blue Ribbon Body Company. Both of these enterprises were located in Bridgeport, CT, along with Locomobile. It’s said that Frank deCausse, Locomobile’s designer of the period, penned the first dual-cowl phaeton in 1916, on the model 48 chassis, for Mr. Wanamaker – the Philadelphia department store magnate.
John T. Farnham, a sales agent of luxury automobiles in Boston, and F.D. Nelson, a former superintendent of body construction at an Ohio manufacturer, joined together in 1908. The firm settled in Jamaica Plain, MA (just outside Boston) and built bodies for the American Napier Company – located close by. Soon after, they started making custom bodies for Boston’s Simplex-Crane, Locomobile, Packard, and Pierce-Arrow distributors.
Today, Farnham & Nelson bodied cars are quite scarce. The current owner of this majestic car, John McAlpin, states that there are three known surviving Locomobile’s bodied by Farnham & Nelson. His car, chassis number 13058 with engine number 10229, was delivered to Geo. Grow Auto Company of Boston in May of 1917 and its first owner, Louis Liggett of Untied Drug Company, commissioned the coachwork.
Mr. McAlpin completed an 18-year restoration in 2019 and won the Buddy Palumbo Award at The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.