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Locomobile

The Locomobile Company of America was an automobile manufacturer that was active from 1899 until 1929.  Locomobile began by selling steam-powered automobiles, which were known for being unreliable and exceedingly difficult to operate.  Still, Locomobiles proved attractive to the consumer-driven American middl...e class who seemed bent on owning the latest technologies.

The original Locomobiles utilized a simple twin-cylinder engine and a wire-wrapped 500 psi flash boiler burning naphtha.  In 1904, the company released the two-passenger Runabout, which found a market amongst doctors, salesman, and other persons who were in need of speedy transportation.  The Locomobile became the first automobile to be used in a war when it was used during the Boer Wars as a generator, searchlight tractor, and catering vehicle.  Locomobile entered into the motorsport industry, and became the first U.S. automobile manufacturer to win an international competition with George Robertson’s victory at the 1908 Vanderbilt.

In 1904 Locomobile moved into the internal combustion automobile industry with the Locomobile Touring Car, which featured a 16 hp straght-4 engine.  Locomobile released its 40 Runabout in 1908, marking the company’s drift towards the luxury car market.  The company was purchased in 1922 by Durant Motors, who used the Locomobile label on their high-end models until 1929.

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