1906 Locomobile "Old 16" road racing
Built by: Locomobile, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Engine: Locomobile inline-4, F-head valves, 990 cubic inches
Horsepower: 120 at 1000 rpm
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Height: 62 inches
Width: 64 inches
Wheelbase: 110 inches
Overall Length: 163 inches
Pounds per horsepower: 18.4
Competition history: First American Car to win the Vanderbilt Cup
The first Vanderbilt Cup Race was held in 1900 in none other than Newport, Rhode Island at the
Aquidneck Park Horse track. William K. Vanderbilt Jr. competed in the race on September 6th,
and won three five mile races along with winning the championship that year driving a Daimler
White Ghost. The Newport race was four years before the Vanderbilt Cup that was moved to
Long Island. In 1906 the first checkered flag was waved and there was an accident that caused
the death of a spectator.
In 1908, there were changes to the race track layout, which included nine miles of a concrete
road. This stretch of road became the first automobile highway in the world. The concrete
allowed the cars to travel faster than ever, and they were able to travel around the track in a
blistering pace. A crowd of 250 thousand people attended, to watch the 17 cars race.
Locomobile was made in Bridgeport, Connecticut and they first used “Old 16” in the 1906
Vanderbilt Cup Race. The car was constructed with a pressed alloy steel chassis that helped to
support the 1,197.2 cu in four cylinder engine that developed 120 hp. The car went on to win the
American Elimination round, but only finished tenth in the Vanderbilt Cup race that year.
Locomobile returned to the stage in 1908 with George Robertson behind the wheel. Even though
the car was two years old, it was fitted with improved tires. Robertson went on to break the track
record and win the race, becoming the first American car to win.