Locomobile the first automobile to climb Pikes Peak

The history of Spencer Penrose building the Pikes Peak Highway is easy enough to find on the web, not going to cover that for now. Let’s start in the beginning:

1900    Ben Walker attempted to drive to the top, ( car type unknown),  but only made it to the 11,000 feet mark. At the time it was claimed as the highest altitude any automobile had climbed.

1901     The first successful automobile to climb the Summit  was by William Felker and Charles Yont both from Denver Colorado.  Driving a steam engine Logomobile Runabout .  It was a 3.5 horsepower 2 cylinder steam powered car running a chain drive.  Not much was recorded about the trip up the old carriage road. on August 21 1901 . Trip took 24 hours but that time wasn’t recorded until years later. Manufactures were eager to test their machines on the Peak and Locomobile took full advantage of its conquest in newsprint nationwide.

50 years later at the 1951 Pikes Peak Hill Climb race, Sam Arnholz of Wichita Kansas brought his 1901 Locomobile to celebrate the anniversary. Photos were taken at the start line and at the Summit with Phil Hills’ Championship car showing the advancements in automobiles in the last 50 years.  Special guest of the day was Mrs Yont, the wife of Charles who made the trip fifty years ago.

Recently on the TV show “Chasing Classic Cars” a Locomobile was featured. Check it out.

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