Sport Phaeton, rare, high quality and handsome.
1930 Marmon Model 8-79 Sport Phaeton
s/n 102560B, Eng. no. W2330
Black with Classic Red Accents and Black interior
With a foundational beginning rooted in the seminal years of the American Industrial Revolution, the Marmon brand began as an outgrowth of the heavy industry equipment that would contribute to the foundation of American manufacturing for more than a century. Founded in 1851, the Marmon automotive division produced their first car in 1902. Initially powered by a V2 and later V4 air-cooled engines, Marmon was the first to develop V6 and V8 engines, eventually building a powerful but reliable straight 8 engine to power their later model cars. As a key figure in the development of the brand, Howard Marmon leveraged the growing relationship between the budding motorsports industry and personal cars. Having been the winner of the first Indianapolis 500, Marmon chose their location in that very city, ensuring they would be on the cutting edge of performance technology. Marmon cars were well built, luxuriously appointed, and remarkably reliable, in a time when durability was paramount to wealthy owners. And while Marmon cars were considered affordable, the build quality, coachwork, and accessories offered notable patrons a distinguished appearance for a reasonable price.
In 1929 Marmon had introduced the straight 8 model “Roosevelt” just in time for The Great Depression. Though this certainly impacted sales, Marmon developed the Model 79 with advances that included a larger 303 cu. in. engine, and improvements to the brakes and suspension. Sales experienced a precipitous drop, but the company soldiered on, desperately attempting recovery including the introduction of the opulent yet oddly timed Marmon V16 models, which, given the worsening economic conditions, offered some hope, but it was simply too late. By 1933 the company had exhausted all resources and manufacturing under the Marmon name came to an end. Volume production for the last few years was scant at best, with very few surviving examples of these impressive vehicles remaining today. And while the V16 Marmon continues to occupy a revered position in value and status, the straight 8 models are equally impressive, with the added benefit of being easy to own and maintain.
This rare and beautifully restored example is one of only three Model 79 Sport Phaetons known to exist. Remarkably, this Marmon had been sequestered to storage disassembled and many of its parts boxed when it was purchased in the 1990s by noted Marmon collectors, Bruce, and Mary Williams. Bruce, the former Marmon Club President in the 1990s, was intent on the car being restored to former glory. In 2001, the Williams’ commissioned renowned restoration expert Jim Capaldi to perform a complete restoration. Working closely with another original Model 79 as a guide for accurate assembly, the two cars aided each other in mutual restoration as the process evolved and the restoration was completed. Upon completion the car was shown at various car club events and remained professionally serviced under the Williams family ownership. Under current ownership, the car has benefited from a highly skilled and exhaustively capable enthusiast with both the passion and capacity to mechanically refine the car. As such this car has more recently benefited from a rebuilt oil pan pick up and screen, the cooling system has been flushed, new transmission and differential oil has been replaced (Swepco 201 Blue), and a rebuilt water pump has been installed, which included a replaced shaft, new seals and bushings, and a new impeller (a spare casting is also included). The current owner also replaced all the water hoses and installed new clamps, cleaned the fuel tank, and reviewed all mechanical systems to ensure the car was in proper running order.
Today this beautiful Marmon offers a powerful presence, reflective of the professional restoration and recently completed mechanical work performed on this fine car. The years of ongoing dedication from expert Marmon ownership has yielded a wonderful automobile. The unique and rare factory Sport Phaeton coachwork is both stately and sporting with gleaming black paint showing excellent finish accented by red details and red wire wheels. The fluid fender line and sporty wire wheels beguile the large seating space for four or five occupants, making it ideal for family tours or events. The upright grill and prominent headlamps convey an authentic and fitting presence to the power and prestige of this thriving American era, yet historically contrasted by the impact of The Great Depression. The impressive presence and remarkable survival of this car conveys the determination of the Marmon company, the fortitude of the restoration team, and the passion that continues for cars of this era. Period accessories include a woven metal grille guard, dual wire wheel side mounts, Trippe road lamps, dual horns, wind wings, and cast aluminum step-plates adorning the running boards. The rear of the car is outfitted with a shipping trunk reminding viewers of the origin of the term as these trunks were often removed and loaded on trains or ocean liners for traveling passengers.
The tufted black leather interior is supple and properly padded with wraparound architecture reminiscent of Edwardian era cars. Here again a fine combination of refined instrumentation and elegant details from the door panels to the detailed metal casting delight the eye at every corner. Seated inside the car, the low cowl and sporty nature is evident behind the commanding steering wheel with the opulence conveyed in the sterling silver instrument panel nestled into the black dashboard. Beautifully trimmed with red perimeter accents and finished with pride, even with the canvas top in place, the Marmon has a wonderfully sporty presence capable of handily transporting four fortunate passengers in ample comfort.
Under the hood, the correct 303 cu. in. straight 8 engine offers plenty of power and torque befitting a vehicle of this presence. The engine was rebuilt by Capaldi during the restoration following the original specifications with the exception of installing a more suitable carburetor in place of the often fire prone Scheibler type used during original production. The engine block is finished with proper grey paint, correct porcelain enamel for the manifolds, and selected bright hardware, all of which contributes to an impressive engine compartment. The underside of the car was restored with the same attention to detail. The restoration quality is evident at every corner of the chassis which only now displays some evidence of modest road use from previously enjoyed events and tours.
In addition to being a visually handsome classic, this Marmon is a genuine pleasure to drive. The car is easily started using a pull-out choke and electric fuel pump to prime the carburetor. A gentle pull from the horn button brings the straight 8 to life. The engine idles smoothly on choke with a commanding rumble from the exhaust. Once off choke, the car idles at 500 rpm with great oil pressure, cool operating temps, and a properly functioning generator. Outfitted with a non-synchromesh 3-speed gearbox, slow shifting with a gentle pause in neutral, moves the car along quite efficiently in modern traffic. The rear end gearing has been revised to offer smoother low rpm highway driving without compromising mid speed power needs in city traffic. The mechanical brakes are certainly capable but require some planning and learning for general city driving. Though the tires are still supple, age dictates prudent replacement should one intend to participate in extended driving events.
This wonderful Marmon is accompanied by copies of recent service invoices, multiple spare parts including a spare water pump impeller and manifold. Also included with the car is a detailed photo book containing images documenting the restoration, an original 1931 Marmon information book (and a second reprinted copy), various period diagrams, and copies of more recent Marmon Club newsletters.
Great cars from this Classic Era are becoming more and more sought after for vintage events and classic car shows. Rarely does one see such a fine example of one of America’s greatest automotive legacies from the pre-war era. Offering power, prestige, and Sport Phaeton design, this Marmon 8-79 delivers all the glory of this nostalgic era with the ease and comfort of a wonderfully restored and mechanically sound example ready for your next touring event or classic car show.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
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