1920 Locomobile Dual Cowl Phaeton by Farnham & Nelson

Locomobile Model 48 Dual Cowl Phaeton by Farnham & Nelson

This picture was take by Dad at a meet at the Larz Anderson Estate in the mid-1950's. The car is a 1920 (possibly a 1919) Locomobile model 48 (the only model Locomobile was making at the time) with a very distictive body by Farnham & Nelson.

By 1919, Locomobile was in trouble and had entered into an agreement with Emlen S. Hare, president of Hare Motors. Hare Motors was assigned the sales and distribution for Locomobile (as well as Mercer and Simplex - two other firms in financial trouble). Hare had plans to consolidate production and sales of the three brands in order to reduce costs. It appears that Hare never really got his plan together as Locomobile entered into bankruptcy with William Durant purchasing the assets to add a luxury brand to his growing empire.

John T. Farnham, a sales agent of luxury automobiles in Boston, and F.D. Nelson, a former  superintendent of body construction at a Ohio manufacturer, joined together in 1908. According to Mark Theobald of coachbuilt.com, the firm settled in Jamaica Plain, MA (just outside Boston) and built bodies for the American Napier Company - their neighbors in Jamaica Plain. Soon after, they started building custom bodies for Boston’s Simplex-Crane, Locomobile, Packard and Pierce-Arrow distributors. 

Today, Farnham & Nelson bodied cars are extremely rare. I know of two Simplex-Crane cars bodied by the firm, and one or possibly two Locomobile Model 48s. There is a 1920 Locomobile Model 48, Farham & Nelson dual cowl phaeton (white) owned by Robert Joynt (IL), however I'm not sure it's this same car. If anyone knows where this car is today, please leave me a comment.

UPDATE: one of our faithful blog readers sent in photos of another Fanham & Nelson Locomobile. It looks to be a different car then the one photographed by Dad, but I'm not certain.

Farnham & Nelson Locomobile seen on the 2009 Modoc Tour (photo credit: Colin Feichtmeir)



Locomobile ad featuring a Farnham & Nelson dual cowl phaeton (photo credit: Alden Jewell)


ex-Cameron Bradley Simplex-Crane with Farnham & Nelson coachwork (photo credit: Bonhams)


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