Sep 09 2019

Mystery Foto #36: A Locomobile Limo with a Vanderbilt Cup Radiator Mascot

This weekend's never before published Mystery Foto needed to be examined very closely.

Answers to the Mystery Foto questions:

  • Link the Mystery Foto to the Vanderbilt Cup Races

The automobile has a Locomobile Vanderbilt Cup radiator​ mascot. This item was described by Joel Finn on this website in January 2010:

The Locomobile piece was first made in Sterling Silver and given out as favors to the invited attendees at the Vanderbilt Cup victory dinner held at the Stratfield Hotel in Bridgeport, CT on November 9, 1908. These were never made available for sale to the general public.  In March 1909, Locomobile began offering two different versions made in pewter to owners of their cars. When the cup was supplied with a radiator cap the price was $2.25. If the owner wanted a cup to install on his existing radiator cap the price was $1.50. Both prices included mailing. From a memo by the sales department in October 1910, it was stated that almost 900 had been sold to that point.

  • What year was this photo likely taken? Provide a rationale.

The photo was taken in 1909 to 1910 after the Old 16 Locomobile won the Vanderbilt Cup  Race in October 1908.​

  • Identify the manufacturer and model of the automobile.

​The automobile is a Locomobile. It appears to be a 1908 Locomobile Type E ,Limousine, KM or the Locomobile Touring Automobile Type/Class 40..

  • Where was this automobile manufactured?

​Across the Long Island Sound in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Comments (4)

Congrats to Greg O.,  Brian McCarthy and Steve Lucas for discovering the Locomobile Vanderbilt Cup radiator mascot.

Kudos to Brian McCarthy for identifying the possible model of the Locomobile.


Howard Kroplick

Close-Up 1908 Locomobile Type E Limousine, KM

The Locomobile Vanderbilt Cup radiator mascot

1908 Locomobile Type E Limousine, KM

Photo from the Standard Catalog of American Cars (1805-1942) by Beverly Rae Kimes and Henry Austin Clark, Jr. Note: The Vanderbilt Cup radiator mascot.


Sep 06 2019 Greg O. 5:04 PM

Looking veeeery closely you can see that little Cup trophy mascot sitting right there on the radiator of this Locomobile touring car.  A dinner cup version was also given out at a Bridgeport Conn. (where they were built) banquet in November 8,1908 to celebrate the Locomobile victory. This photo was probably taken in 1909.

A closeup of his photo was shown in the December 30th 2009 VCR blog entry.

Sep 08 2019 frank femenias 2:49 AM

This one is out of my league but possibly one of the first buses to hit the road.  Looking like a close 1910 model, this right side steering wheel adds to the mystery! Europe? You got me, gotta leave this one to the experts.

Sep 08 2019 Brian D McCarthy 7:04 PM

*Mystery Fotos relation to the VCR:  This Locomobile Transport Vehicle has a VCR Mascot Pewter Cup/Radiator Cap. A Sterling Silver miniature VCR cup were initially given as favors to invited guests of The Vanderbilt Cup Victory Dinner - Stratford Hotel, Bridgeport CT 11-09-1908. To honor the Locomobile’s 1st & 3rd place finishes for the 10-24-1908 VCR. These cups became a hot item, Locomobile Co. began offering 2 types of Pewter Cups for owners in March 1909. Radiator Cup/Cap $2.25 or Cup for existing Cap $1.50

*Image Date: Being that these caps and cups became available in 1909, I’ll say 1909 thru 1910.

*Vehicle Manufacturer & Model:  Locomobile Touring Automobile Type/Class 40 - 7 seater. Count 11 heads, they made it work. On their way to the 1909 or 1910 VCR?

*Manufacturing location: Likely the Locomobile Plant in Bridgeport, CT

Sep 08 2019 Steve Lucas 7:55 PM

Upon close examination of the photo, I believe there is a replica Vanderbilt Cup on the radiator as a mascot. Since they were manufactured by Locomobile to celebrate George Robertson’s victory in the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race, I’m guessing the car is a Locomobile; maybe a Model “H” Touring that’s either overloaded or converted to Station Wagon duty. Since the race was held in October, 1908, and the trees in the background have no leaves, I’m guessing the date to be either late 1908 or early 1909. Since we’re talking Locomobile here, I’ll say its place of origin was Bridgeport, CT.

Sep 10 2019 Dick Gorman 9:45 AM

I could have sworn that I sent in a comment on Mystery Foto #36, the Locomobile. Maybe my name wasn’t attached. Any way I didn’t see it in the comments.
Dick G

Howard Kroplick

The post is MIA!

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