1927 Locomobile Model 90 Sportif

1927 Locomobile Model 90 Sportif

Available Upon Request


• Unrestored, highly original including paint and interior
• Extremely rare - one of as few as four survivors known to the Locomobile Society
• Purchased new by Cliff Durant, son of famed early auto executive Billy Durant
• Sold by Durant family to early L.A. car collector, “Bud” Cohn in 1950
• Limited roster of owners; documented with letter by Mr. Cohn
• An enduring exemplar of Locomobile’s legendary quality and durability
• A CCCA Full Classic®

372 cid L-head inline six-cylinder engine, 86 HP, solid front and live rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs, manual transmission, two-wheel rear mechanical brakes; wheelbase: 138”

Rooted at the dawn of motoring with small steam cars built to a Stanley brothers design, Locomobile switched to luxurious internal-combustion cars by 1903. Victory at the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup race, with George Robertson piloting “Old Number 16,” brought Locomobile international accolades as the first American-built car to win the prestigious event and solidified the company’s reputation for manufacturing fast, top-quality automobiles for the era’s elite buyers. In 1922, Locomobile was purchased by auto-industry legend and General Motors founder William C. “Billy” Durant as the jewel in the crown of his new Durant Motors automotive group.

In late 1925, the company’s mainstay Model 48 was officially discontinued and succeeded by the Model 90 as the new top-of-the-line Locomobile offering, positioned above the more affordable new Junior 8 line. As described by the Locomobile Society, “Unlike the Junior 8, the Model 90 was indeed a true Locomobile. The mono-block six-cylinder engine developed 86 horsepower and was built entirely at Locomobile’s Bridgeport, Connecticut plant with the same high-quality materials and painstaking craftsmanship. These were priced between $5,000 and 7,500.” Sadly, despite its well-deserved reputation for quality, power, and prestige, Locomobile succumbed to the widening economic chaos following the October 1929 stock panic. Just four Model 90s are known remaining by the Locomobile Society today.

According to its known history, this 1927 Locomobile Model 6-90 Sportif is a three-owner vehicle from new. It was special-ordered and purchased new by “Billy” Durant’s son Cliff, who was an accomplished Indianapolis 500 racing driver, team owner, aviator, and businessman who served as president of Durant Motors at the time. Numbered 33464 and equipped with a dashing dual-windshield ‘Sportif’ touring body and many special features, this Model 6-90 was sold circa March 1950 by the Durant family to noted and long-running classic car collector and enthusiast M.L. “Bud” Cohn of Los Angeles, California. Well-known for his appreciation of top-quality classic cars, Mr. Cohn’s highly publicized purchase of a Mercedes-Benz 540K Roadster at a 1979 Christie’s auction redefined the classic-car auction market at one stroke. Documented by a letter on file from Mr. Cohn, he sold the Locomobile to the current owner on February 26, 1976. Only shown publicly at four events since then, 33464 placed 3rd at it’s only competitive showing, the Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance, on June 26, 1976.

Clearly benefiting from climate-controlled garage storage for many years, the Locomobile remains wonderfully unrestored and retains its original and nicely patinated Forest Green paint finish accented by black fenders, 21-inch wood-spoke wheels, six-ply Gehrig tires, a flying Eagle radiator mascot, a rare special-order, stanchion-mounted spotlight, rear luggage trunk, and twin mounted spare tires. The interior compartment is similarly original and excellent, including as are the wooden items. All gauges are factory-original, including the clock. A fuel-pressure gauge is also present; however, the fuel-level gauge is mounted on the tank. A cut-glass light provides ease of entry and exit on the passenger side of the vehicle, and the rear-passenger compartment is equipped with foot bars, reading lights, and an ashtray. The wooden convertible top bows remain wonderful to match and the top is held down by leather straps. While equipped with electric starting, this Model 90 can be hand-cranked as necessary; the starter crank, jack, and tools that came with the car accompany it at sale. Simply striking and incredibly original in presentation and quick starting, this extremely rare three-owner 1927 Locomobile is a highly sporting CCCA Full Classic® automobile that will provide a welcome entry into a multitude of highly enjoyable events and a sophisticated and capable experience belying its age. Given its extreme rarity and early ownership by former Locomobile president Cliff Durant, it also provides a wonderful link to America’s early automotive heritage.

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