1906 Locomobile "Old 16" Race Car

Summary

In 1908 George Robertson drove this car to victory in the Vanderbilt Cup, America's first great automobile race. It marked the first time an American car had won a major international road race in the United States. Built at a cost of $20,000 (at a time when a decent house could be had for $1,500), the Locomobile set the fastest lap in the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup, but repeated tire failures resulted in a tenth place finish. There was no race in 1907, but in 1908, shod with improved tires and wearing race number 16, the thundering Locomobile swept to victory. It has been known forever after as "Old 16". The car is typical of pre-World War I race cars: a huge engine (990 cu. in.); mechanical brakes on the rear wheels and the transmission only; and minimal bodywork. A riding mechanic kept fuel and lubricating oil flowing and helped the driver change tires. Engine: Locomobile inline 4-cylinder, overhead intake valves, side exhaust valves, 990 cu. in., 120 hp

In 1908 George Robertson drove this car to victory in the Vanderbilt Cup, America's first great automobile race. It marked the first time an American car had won a major international road race in the United States. Built at a cost of $20,000 (at a time when a decent house could be had for $1,500), the Locomobile set the fastest lap in the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup, but repeated tire failures resulted in a tenth place finish. There was no race in 1907, but in 1908, shod with improved tires and wearing race number 16, the thundering Locomobile swept to victory. It has been known forever after as "Old 16". The car is typical of pre-World War I race cars: a huge engine (990 cu. in.); mechanical brakes on the rear wheels and the transmission only; and minimal bodywork. A riding mechanic kept fuel and lubricating oil flowing and helped the driver change tires. Engine: Locomobile inline 4-cylinder, overhead intake valves, side exhaust valves, 990 cu. in., 120 hp

Artifact

Racing car

Date Made

1906

Creators

Locomobile Company of America 

Riker, Andrew L. (Lawrence), 1868-1930 

Place of Creation

United States, Connecticut, Bridgeport 

Creator Notes

Designed by Andrew L. Riker; manufactured by the Locomobile Company of America, Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Driving America
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Driving America

Object ID

97.9.1.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Metal
Copper (Metal)
Wood (Plant material)
Leather
Rubber (Material)

Color

Gray (Color)
Black (Color)
Red

Dimensions

Height: 62.5 in

Width: 63 in

Length: 165 in

Inscriptions

Painted on front of radiatior and on sides of hood: 16 Lubricator on front wheel axle: LUNKENHEIMER CO. CINCINNATI, O - MARINE NO.1 Plate on front dash: LICENSED / UNDER / SELDEN / - PATENT / NO. 549,160 / PATENTED NOVEMBER 5, 1895 / 203781 Plate on wooden box on right: REGISTERED / MOTOR VEHICLE/ NO. 10576 / NEW YORK Other inscriptions, location not noted: 120 HP LOCOMOBILE / BUILT BRIDGEPORT, CONN. 1906 / DESIGNER, A.L. RIKER / 1906 WINNER VANDERBILT CUP TRIALS / JOE TRACY- DRIVER/AL POOLE- MECH / 1906 RECORD LAP VANDERBILT CUP RACE / JOE TRACY- DRIVER / AL POOLE- MECH / 1908 WINNER VANDERBILT CUP RACE / GEORGE ROBERTSON- DRIVER / GLEN ETHRIDGE- MECH BOSCH DUAL COIL / RUN START / NO.61161 6 VOLTS / PATENTS PENDING PST'D NOV. 3, 1895 APRIL 14, 1903 OCT. 14, 1902 APRIL 21, 1903 PAT'D PENDING

Specifications

Make & Model: 1906 Locomobile "Old 16" road racing

Maker: Locomobile, Bridgeport, Connecticut

Engine: Locomobile inline-4, F-head valves, 990 cubic inches

Transmission: 3-speed manual

Height: 62 inches

Width: 64 inches

Wheelbase: 110 inches

Overall length: 163 inches

Weight: 2204 pounds

Horsepower: 120 at 1000 revolutions per minute

Pounds per horsepower: 18.4

Competition History: Won the 1906 Elimination Race for American cars to qualify for the Vanderbilt Cup. Set the fastest lap during the 1906 Vanderbilt race. Won the 1908 Vanderbilt race and set the fastest lap.

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