Feb 26 2015

Mystery Friday Foto #9: Can You Identify This Old 16 Locomobile Photo?

Ariejan Bos of Netherlands needs your help in solving this Mystery Foto of Old 16 Locomobile, the winner of the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race.

Mystery Foto questions:

-Identify the poster handing on the wall on the right.

-What is the approximate date of the photo? Provide a rationale.

-Where was this photo taken? Provide a rationale.


All comments will be held until Monday night. Please forward all supporting jpegs and documents to Howard@Kroplick.com .


Howard Kroplick



Feb 27 2015 Greg O. 7:27 AM

I guess we’ve been through enough mystery photos that we’re beginning to repeat them! I’ll just copy and paste my answer from mystery photo 33 on Sept 17 2013…

I don’t know the painting, but as per your entry from the website, there’s two places the car could have been; either Riker’s farm, or in a garage on his Bristol, Connecticut depending on if the picture is pre, or post 1914.

  “Locomobile used “Old 16” extensively to promote its manufacturing prowess after the race, but as the novelty faded, it was placed in storage in a barn on Riker’s farm. Joseph Sessions, whose firm did much of the casting for the Locomobile engine, purchased the car in 1914. It was housed in a garage on his Bristol, Connecticut farm that was specially built to care for the car. There it was revered for 27 years and only driven by Sessions who occasionally took it to meets of the Veteran Motor Car Club.”


Although I’ll add for this guess that the artwork looks like some sort of promo poster for Continental tires.

Feb 27 2015 frank femenias 6:55 PM

Nice enlargement of the tire ad, that wasn’t possible back in 2013. The artists’ signature can be clearly seen! If memory fails, I believe it was Mr. Helck that stated this mystery garage was not the one in Bristol.

Feb 28 2015 frank femenias 8:30 PM

Photo possibly taken when racer was held at the Grand Palace in New York City. (Image from ‘The Automobile’, January 21, 1909), though the objects on this side of the room don’t match the mystery photo. http://theoldmotor.com/?p=98090

Mar 02 2015 frank femenias 9:17 AM

Though not affecting its performance, the racer’s block is cracked and use is limited by the museum.


ED MINNIE · December 16, 2012 at 9:27 pm
Dave, Last time I was at the Henery Ford I was told the block was cracked on OLD 16 and they will no longer run it. It this correct? Ed Minnie

DAVID GREENLEES · December 17, 2012 at 7:03 am
Ed, Yes Old 16 is now silent as the conservators at the Henry Ford discovered small cracks starting at the top of some of the cylinders. They could very well have been there for years and are not affecting its operation, but in the interest of not causing any harm to this “Mona Lisa” of American treasures they made the decision to at least for now not run it.


Mar 03 2015 Robert Greenhaus 7:36 PM

I’m still puzzled by this photo.  According to Ray Cunningham, president of the Homer Historical Society, this photo was taken by Wilbur Tudor, sometime in the [19] teens.  Wilbur Tudor lived in Homer Illinois, about 140 miles south of Chicago.  The Homer Historical Society has dozens of Tudor’s photos taken in the Homer area.  It seems likely then that the photo would have been taken somewhere in the midwest rather than in Connecticut, as some have suggested.

I thought that the photo might have been taken while it was making the rounds of the Locomobile showrooms, perhaps at the Chicago branch, during 1909 or 1910 but in the photo, the car appears to be wearing black tires.  Photos taken during the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup race as well as one showing the car on display with the NY to Paris Thomas Flyer in 1909, in NY, show the car wearing white tires (albeit often quite dirty).  This suggests that the photo was taken sometime later, after the tires had been changed.

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