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1932 Marmon Sixteen Rumble Seat Convertible Coupe
|1932 Marmon Sixteen Rumble Seat Convertible Coupe|
Offered For Sale at the: RM Auction - Vintage Motor Cars at Meadow Brook Hall August 6, 2005, Auburn Hills, Michigan RM Auctions One Classic Car Drive Blenheim, Ontario N0P 1A0 Canada Phone: 519-352-4575 Website: www.rmauctions.com 1932 Marmon Sixteen Rumble Seat Convertible Coupe LOT: 087 Estimate: $250,000-$300,000 US Chassis No. 144775 AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $247,500 200bhp 190 cu. in. overhead valve V16 engine with three speed transmission, leaf spring and solid axle front suspension and leaf spring and live axle rear suspension, four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 145" Howard Marmon was a brilliant engineer and completed his first automobile in 1902 at the age of 23. It was remarkably advanced for its time, featuring an overhead valve, air-cooled engine. This would be the harbinger of bigger and better things to come, as Marmon continued to modify and improve his automobile. Nine years later, Marmon’s mechanical genius was forever enshrined by a win at Indianapolis 500. In fact, the win came in a long-tailed Marmon Wasp, which was the first car in the winner’s circle at the very first race at the Brickyard in 1911. Some 50 more victories would follow over the next two years, earning the Marmon an enviable competition record. Financial success did not come so easily. A road-going version of the Marmon Wasp, called the Model 49, proved to be an excellent automobile, but at $5,000 a copy sales were slow. Later models were even better as 1916’s Model 34 offered a host of innovative features, including the most extensive use of aluminum to date. Much of the car, including the radiator, transmission, rear axle, body and fenders were constructed of the new wonder metal. Poor sales were soon rendered irrelevant when war intervened, and Marmon’s engineering and manufacturing expertise resulted in a contract for some 5,000 Liberty aircraft engines. Following World War I, a financially fortified Marmon Car Company resumed production of the Model 34. Sales remained dismal and soon the postwar recession began to erode Marmon’s balance sheet. Finally, in 1924, Howard’s brother resigned the presidency to make way for George M. Williams, an astute businessman who saw the future in more affordable Marmons. The result was the rather plebian-powered yet affordable straight eight driven Roosevelt model - the car that laid the foundation for the company’s recovery. Rather than building adventuresome exercises in engineering excellence, the Marmon Car Company finally achieved financial success by marketing a series of competent and reliable every day automobiles. By the late 1920s, sales were up dramatically, and the company was building more than 20,000 cars per year. Not satisfied with financial success, Howard Marmon the engineer was driven to create an automotive legacy. Working on his own, the result was the creation of one of the most remarkable cars of the classic era – the impressive Marmon Sixteen – completed in 1931. Powered by a state-of-the-art overhead valve engine that displaced nearly 500 cubic inches, the Marmon Sixteen produced 200bhp – enough to propel the car to an almost effortless 100mph. A triumph of pattern-making and foundry technology, the Sixteen’s all-aluminum engine construction harkened back to the legendary Model 34. Much of the chassis was aluminum as well, giving the Sixteen an unmatched power-to-weight ratio. Lightweight and powerful, it was certainly the most advanced production car of its time, outaccelerating the legendary Duesenberg Model J, while costing about one third as much. It was timing, however, that would be the undoing of Howard’s amazing new Sixteen. Cadillac’s V16 beat Marmon to the market by almost two years, a lead that would prove insurmountable in the face of the deepening Depression. Without a deep-pocketed backer like General Motors, the writing was on the wall, and the end came quietly in 1933. Today, we are left to admire Howard Marmon’s legacy, and to wonder what might have become of the mighty Sixteen had times been better. The deck certainly seemed stacked in its favor. In addition to its advanced specification, the Sixteen’s styling was equally ahead of its time. Though the bodies were built by LeBaron, and carried that company’s prestigious cowl tags, it was a father and son team of industrial designers who penned the car’s svelte lines. Although credit is conventionally given to Walter Dorwin Teague Sr., it was his son who sketched the lines and details that ultimately entered production. A student at MIT, Walter Dorwin Teague Jr. was a gifted designer who would go on to design some of the most influential automobiles of his time. His talent was abundantly evident in the lines of the new Marmon Sixteen. Sleek and graceful, its appearance belied its huge size. An almost complete lack of gratuitous ornamentation allowed the intrinsic beauty of the car’s lines to shine through. Composed of simple shapes with bold beltlines, low rooflines and raked windshields, the cars were both elegant and imposing. It has often been said that in any automotive design it is the coupe that most often reflects the designer’s intent – other body styles are attempts to translate the lines of the coupe without undue compromise. Although we will never know for sure, it is certainly true that the Marmon Sixteen Rumble Seat Coupe, as offered here, offers breathtaking proportions. The car’s long hood and long gracefully curved rear deck seem perfectly paired with the trim lines of the close-coupled passenger compartment. In total, just 390 Sixteens would be built, 44 of which were convertible coupes. The example offered here is one of just eight survivors known today and is recognized as the lowest mileage convertible coupe known to exist. Remarkably, the entire history of this vehicle is known, as the most recent owner painstakingly researched the vehicle and contacted all of its former owners to put together a complete dossier on the car, which will of course accompany the car in its sale. Not only is the history of this car is documented, including letters from some former owners, but the dossier also tracks the location and condition of the eight other existing Marmon Sixteen Convertible Coupes. This Marmon Sixteen was underwent a restoration in the early 1960s by its second owner. When the current owner acquired the car in 1985, he had the car mechanically restored at the Stone Barn by the owner Rich Fass of Vienna, New Jersey. Some highlights of the work executed include: a complete engine rebuild utilizing new sleeves, new “O” rings, radiator recorded, reinstalled existing pistons, reinstalled existing connecting rods and crank, everything balanced, fabricated oil slinger, rebuilt starter, installed new drive flywheel drive, rebuilt water pump, rebuilt generator, refaced clutch, restored clutch assembly, restored fuel pump, installed electric fuel pump (not used, for emergency only), new exhaust system including pipes, muffler, extensions fabricated and installed, rebuilt shocks, checked and adjusted brakes, checked and adjusted hand brake, gas tank and fuel system cleaned and reinstalled. Cosmetic work included having the running boards totally restored, new carpets, new top and boot, redid window crank assembly, polished valve covers, new chrome wire wheels, new arm rests in rumble seats, new rubber grommets and door stops, rechromed selected pieces, new red pinstriping, sidemount covers and mirrors and new chromed hubcaps. Today this remarkable Marmon remains in presentable overall condition. During the time of this writing, a mechanical service was being performed to ensure proper mechanical performance. Items corrected as of time of publication included refurbishing the brakes and exhaust. Complete details of this service will be presented with the vehicle. Finished in white with a tan top and red leather interior, the car is accented with red pin stripes. The car features dual sidemount spares with covers, rumble seat, golf bag door and chrome wire wheels. The paint and most of the chrome is a result of the 1960 restoration of this car and is approaching an age and condition where it may need to be redone. Most impressively though, this genuine convertible coupe, with body number 519, shows less than 27,000 miles from new. Few experts today would argue the fact that the Marmon Sixteen was the most advanced design of the classic era – and the extraordinary beauty of the rumble seat convertible coupe is undeniable. With just eight known remaining this must surely represent a nearly unique opportunity to acquire one of the most important and low mileage examples of this legendary marque.
1922 Marmon Model 34 Touring
|1922 Marmon Model 34 Touring |
1922 Marmon Model 34 Touring Forney Museum of Transportation in Denver, Colorado Website: www.forneymuseum.com Photo By: Douglas Wilkinson
1911 Indianapolis Winner #32 Marmon Wasp
|1911 Indianapolis Winner #32 Marmon Wasp |
1911 Indianapolis Winner #32 Marmon Wasp Chassis: Marmon Emgine: 6-Cylinder, Normally Aspirated, 447.1 cid, 4.5 x 5.0 Bore & Stroke Driver: Ray Harroun Entrant: Nordyke & Marmon Company Starting Position: 28th (Assigned by order of entry) Finishing Position: 1st Race Speed: 74.59 mph Ray Harroun drove this 6 Culinder Marmon Wasp to victory in the first 500-mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 30, 1911, at an average speed of 74.59 miles per hour. Harroun drove the Marmon, which was built in Indianapolis, without the assistance of a riding mechanis, and he was the only driver to do so in the race. When some of his rivals objected, claiming he would be a hazard on the course because he might not be aware of cars overtaking hime, Harroun built and installed what many authorities believe to be the very first rear-view mirror ever used on an automobile. Photo By: Douglas Wilkinson Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hall of Fame Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana
1931 Marmon Sixteen LeBaron Convertible Sedan
|1931 Marmon Sixteen LeBaron Convertible Sedan |
1931 Marmon Sixteen LeBaron Convertible Sedan Photo By: Douglas Wilkinson Date: November 8, 2008 Location: Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum (A-C-D) in Auburn, Indiana
1911 Marmon Wasp Replica (Under Construction)
|1911 Marmon Wasp Replica (Under Construction) |
1911 Marmon Wasp Replica (Under Construction) Photo By: Douglas Wilkinson Date: November 20, 2009 Location: The Coker Collection, Chattanooga, Tennessee
1914 Marmon Model 48 3-Passenger Roadster
|1914 Marmon Model 48 3-Passenger Roadster |
1914 Marmon Model 48 3-Passenger Roadster Manufacturer: Nordyke & Marmon Company, Indianapolis, Indiana Engine: 6-Cylinder, L-Head, 572.5 cid, 76 hp Wheelbase: 131.5 inches Weight: 3800 lbs Fuel Economy: 12-14 miles per gallon Price New: $5,000 This model included a channel steel pressed frame, semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear, 3-speed selective-sliding transmission and shaft drive. This particular car was not a regular production model and was probably one of the early Marmon racers which won 54 of 103 races during a 3 year period. Photo By: Douglas Wilkinson Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hall of Fame Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana
1911 Marmon Wasp Indy 500 Winner (Replica)
|1911 Marmon Wasp Indy 500 Winner (Replica) |
1911 Marmon Wasp Indy 500 Winner (Replica) Photo By: Douglas Wilkinson Date: November 12, 2008 Location: Kruse Auto Museum in Auburn, Indiana
1931 Marmon 16 Convertible Coupe
|1931 Marmon 16 Convertible Coupe |
1931 Marmon 16 Convertible Coupe Photo By: Douglas Wilkinson Date: June 5, 2005 Location: The Grand Experience CCCA Concours at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan
1924 Marmon Model 34C Touring
|1924 Marmon Model 34C Touring |
1924 Marmon Model 34C Touring Photo By: Douglas Wilkinson Location: The Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum (A-C-D) in Auburn, Indiana.
1931 Marmon 16 Coupe
|1931 Marmon 16 Coupe |
1931 Marmon 16 Coupe Photo By: Douglas Wilkinson Date: June 5, 2005 Location: The Grand Experience CCCA Concours at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan
Nordyke & Company, the forerunner of the Marmon Motor Car Company, had its beginnings around 1850 and was was a well known producer of flour milling machinery. Howard Marmon and his brother Walter were mechanical engineering graduates of the University of California and it was Howard that pushed the development of automobiles by the company. Their first experimental model was built in 1902 and by 1905 they were in full production.
Originally they used air-cooled engines but by 1909 they were building only cars that were water-cooled. Also in 1909 they built a race car that they named the Marmon Wasp. With Ray Harroun driving, the Marmon Wasp won the very first Indianapolis 500 Race in 1911.
In 1926 Nordyke & Marmon sold its milling machinery manufacturing operations to Allis-Chalmers and reorganized as the Marmon Motor Car Company.
In 1929, Marmon introduced a low-price car, the Roosevelt which was the first 8-cylinder car to sell below $1,000. In 1930, the Roosevelt was again offered, but now as just one of the Marmon models. In 1931 it became the Marmon Model 70.
Even though the Depression was taking a heavy toll, Marmon came out with a top-of-the-line luxury 16-cylinder car with a 500-cid, 200-hp engine advertised as being well able to do 100 mph.
By 1933, Marmon was in receivershp. Howard's brother, Walter, aligned with Arthur Herrington and formed the Marmon-Herrington Company that built 4-wheel drive trucks. This lasted into the 1960's.