1899 Locomobile Type 2 3½hp Spindle-Seat Runabout Registration no. EL 205 Engine no. 827
This Locomobile steam car is believed to be one of the first 200, which had the narrow body and a Mason engine. Car number '770' is powered by a 3½hp two cylinder, double-acting steam engine with slide valves operated by Stephenson's link motion. Steering is by central tiller, final drive is by a single block-chain and the contracting brakes operate on an open-type differential. This car was originally supplied to the Mayor of Olean in New York State and used until 1910 when the boiler was allowed to run dry, causing terminal damage. The car remained in storage remarkably intact, changing hands in 1939 and then in 1975 being discovered by American steam car enthusiast Chuck Figge. Four years of meticulous restoration saw the Locomobile returned to full working order and in 1979 it was brought to England to participate in the London-Brighton Run. John Paterson then bought the car from Chuck Figge and it subsequently completed several more Brighton Runs and took part in the VCC's Golden Jubilee Rally in 1980. In the early 1980s it failed a boiler inspection and has been unused since. The vehicle is featured in an article entitled 'The Chicken Coop Special, a story about the location and procurement of an 1899 steam car by Chuck Figge' published in the Horseless Carriage Gazette (May/June 1977 edition) and recently reprinted in Steam Car World (Vol. 4, No. 4, 2014).
Its owner having died, the Locomobile was offered for sale (in a partially dismantled state) at Brooks' Beaulieu auction in July 2000 (Lot 837) and purchased there by the current vendor, a prominent member of the Veteran Car Club. Made by John Gould, a new boiler has been fitted recently and is still unused. Other noteworthy features include a super-heater, water pre-heater and a double Ottaway burner with new venturi tubes. The base plates and spacers have been replaced. We are advised that some finishing of pipe-work may be required but otherwise the boiler is ready for commissioning, inspection and final lagging. New tyres were fitted recently. Manufactured in 1899, 'EL 205' commands an early start on the London-Brighton Run and is eligible for the VCC's 'Class 1' and 'Steam' awards, and the Steam Car Clubs' Rallies. The car comes with a V5 document and a very comprehensive history file.