How to Identify Old Car Emblems

Written by elizabeth punke
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How to Identify Old Car Emblems
Classic cars can have a style unmatched by any contemporary vehicles. (car image by Goran Bogicevic from

Car emblems from the 30s, 40s and into the 50s are a part of the dynamic history of automobiles. Each car maker and sometimes even the model itself had a specific emblem. Distinguishing these markings from one another is helpful to collectors who treasure vehicles no longer in production or in limited release.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pictorial guide to classic car emblems

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  1. 1

    Search the emblem for lettering. The Anderson of Anderson Motor Co. is in basic white letters. The tail of the A is curved beneath Anderson and holds the words Motor Co. in silver. Note the slender emblem of the Fergus brand. A large brassy F is on the left side of the emblem with the letters e, r, g, u and s running horizontally beside the F.

  2. 2

    Examine the vehicle markings for distinctive colours. Study the Biddle Motor Car logo on a shieldlike emblem. The name Biddle is in a downward diagonal with an orange coating above and below the golden letters. See how Mitchell is written in white cursive letters on a green oval. Examine the wing-like emblem of REO Motor Co., and find the hint of baby blue spreading in the centre of the wings.

  3. 3

    Evaluate the old car emblem for designs or a specific style. Study the blue and white emblem of Haynes Automobile Co. and the silver centre with a picture of a bicycle. See the lightening bolts that surround the logo of the Owen Magnetic car emblem. See the silver figure of a man reaching into a sunburst design of the Holmes car emblem.

  4. 4

    Note the overall shape of the emblem. See how the Pan America emblem is an eagle facing left, encased in two red circles. The eagle also holds a blue-striped flag with five silver stars on an upper blue banner. Study the Romer Motor Corp. emblem in a four-leaf clover design. The symmetrical clover, coated in blue, holds the lettering of Romer in standard white lettering.

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