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1906 Locomobile "Old 16" Race Car

Riker, Andrew L. (Lawrence), 1868-19301906

The Henry Ford

The Henry Ford

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 race. 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

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