Jun 26, 2020


This french company was founded near Paris by Jean Marie Corre in  1901. J. M. Corre started producing bicycles before he decided to manufacture his own car. He regulary raced his cars and won the  Circuit des Andennes in 1902. In 1907 the cars were called CORRE LA LICORNE.

Shortly afterwards J. M. Corre left his firm and founded a new company in Rueil ( Seine et Oise) called CORRE & Cie. For a short period ( 1908 - 1914 ) he offered small 4-cylinder cars .
Later his old company offered all cars under the name LA LICORNE only.
On every radiator emblem you see a unicorn because "Licorne" is the french word for this mythical creature.

Jean Marie CORRE started producing bicycles

advertisment of the new CORRE & Cie factory

first enameled radiator emblem

  c. 7.0 cm

large LICORNE emblem

Size  7.7  cm
Year1920 - 1929

reverse with out makers mark

the emblem was attached to the radiator core

In 1928 LA LICORNE offered the small type H0 2, 5CV. It was a one year only model. So this particular emblem is a hard to find item.

  4.7 cm 

1928 radiator shell with emblem

In 1929 the emblem became much smaller and was mounted on top of the radiator shell, but the design wasn´t changed:

Size  4.4  cm ( emblem only )
Year1920 - 1929

backside of the small emblem. It was fixed with stripes of sheet metal

1933 type L760 radiator (unrestored ), showing the small emblem ( car part of the Michael Schlenger collection ).

During  WW2 LICORNE built a 4WD artillery tractor which had an oval emblem with painted letters in red, white and blue, the national colors of France:

After WWII  LA LICORNE tried to restart but had no chance. The last car was built in 1947 showing this emblem:

Last LA LICORNE automobile made in 1947

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For more emblems see older posts or  top right( list of car makers ).

May 31, 2020


The French company  CLESSE & Cie of Levallois-Perret ( near Paris ) is unknown to most prewar car enthusiasts. It was a very, very short lived company ( 1907 - 1908 ), offering a friction drive voiturette using a 6.2 hp single-cylinder engine. Only a handful seems to have been produced.
In the Beaulieu Encyclopedia of Motor cars you will just find  one line  about the company´s  history and no picture is shown. The same applies to Nick Georgeano´s Complete Encyclopedia of Motorcars.
On the internet nothing (!) is available regarding CLESSE automobiles. So it was amazing to find a CLESSE radiator in this collection, considering as none of the cars are known to have survived.

My son and me visting a radiator collection. The CLESSE is on the left side of the table

Several years later I had the chance to buy another CLESSE radiator:

CLESSE radiator emblem in "found as" condition

Size9.2 cm x 7.0 cm
Year1907 - 1908


I was intrigued to see the backside of this emblem:

backside without makers mark

CLESSE   radiator now in my collection

Finally my personal story of the  CLESSE radiator acquisition:

In 2019 my friend and car mascot enthusiast Matthias Dressler drew my attention to this very rare radiator in Bordeaux / South of France in 2019,   some 1,250 kilometers (775 miles) away from my home in Berlin and too heavy to ship. The seller threatened to sell it to another person so we drew up a plan: In connection to his next summer vacation in South Germany he would bring the thing to a friend of mine in Karlsruhe, located in the western part of Germany.  From there it was picked up by another friend as we planned to travel together to the biggest British autojumble (swap meet)  in Beaulieu ( South of England ). So we met near the Dutch border and put the item in my car.  Now the radiator traveled all the way to England and one week later - finally - to it´s new home in  Berlin / East Germany. A voyage of more than 3,150  kilometers  (1,950  miles). I´m sure the CLESSE car never made such a long journey when new.

For more emblems see older posts or top right ( list of car makers ).
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May 23, 2020

FARMAN / France

The AUTOMOBILES  FARMAN were founded by three brothers in France in 1919. The years before the FARMAN brothers were very succesful in the aviation industry selling large  numbers of  their airplane while WWI.
In peacetime they had to find a new product. Like HISPANO SUIZA, VOISIN and other they entered the luxury car segment. In twelve years they sold no more than 120 cars, so the original emblem is a hard to find item.

1920 advertisment showing in the background the production plants for the airplane

very large radiator emblem attached to the radiator core made of thin brass sheet metal

Size 21.7 cm x 10.0 cm
Year1919 - 1931


backside without makers mark but still showing traces of old solder  ( attention : there repros on the market showing no wear at the backside of the emblem )

1922 Salon de l´Automobile Paris

The FARMAN also had a radiator mascot showing the flying ICARUS

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For more emblems see older posts or top right ( list of car makers ).

May 17, 2020

BIGNAN / France

The Automobiles BIGNAN was founded  by Jacques Bignan in Courbevoie near Paris in 1918.
Yet the first cars were assembled in the GREGOIRE factory and were sold in England by Malcom Campell under the name Gregoire - Campell.
BIGNAN cars came to be made in immense and confusing varities but to my knowledge there were only three different emblems. They all showed a flying  stork  and a circle.
The first years the car was called BIGNAN SPORT and the stork wings were larger than the circle:


  13.0 cm x 10.0 cm

Poster of  the 1921 BIGNAN SPORT

emblem with stork wings inside the outer circle

  9.0 cm 
 1923 - 1926 

1923 advertisment with stork flying through the circle

In 1926 Automobiles Bignan collapsed and were sold to Societé La Cigogne. Now you can read La Cigone on the front of the emblem:

left:   La Cigogne                                            right: BIGNAN

When looking at the backside of these two emblems you recognize that the new owner still used the old emblems. They just soldered a disk with the new name over the old name !!!

For more emblems see older posts or top right ( list of car makers ).
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May 11, 2020


The SKODA  factory started car production under this name in Plzen ( Pilsen ) Czechoslovak Republic in 1925. The factory was named after the famous engineer Emil Skoda who worked for the predecessor company. SKODA built HISPANO SUIZA automobiles under licence from 1923 to 1926 using the well known HISPANO SUIZA emblem. In 1925 SKODA took over the LAURIN & KLEMENT works so the first SKODA showed an oval emblem on top of the radiator and a Laurin and Klement script on the radiator core.

1925 first SKODA with Laurin & Klement script

The first enameld SKODA emblem had a laurel wreath around the oval:

You still have a good chance  to find this emblem as  SKODA cars sold well during this period
Size  9.2 cm  x 5.4 cm
Year1926 - 1933

Backside of the emblem: you see the sheet metal frame that was soldered onto the radiator, the emblem was then inserted and the frame was beaded with special wood tool

1931 SKODA 430 with emblem and fantasy mascot ( photo collection Michael Schlenger )

The next emblem appeared in 1934.  Now you find the famous SKODA trademark in the emblem: a three feathered arrow in a circle. The arrow is (mostly ) pointing to the right . SKODA is using this trademark still today.

one year only radiator emblem

Size  3.4 cm  x  6.2 cm

1934 SKODA 420 front with mascot and emblem ( photo collection Michael Schlenger )

Size  6.0 cm  x 2.3  cm
Year1935 - 1938

The SKODA POPULAR even had two emblems. On top of the radiator shell the emblem shown above and in the middle of the grill the emblem shown on the next photo:

Size  15.0 cm  x 6.0 cm
Year1935 - 1938

1936 SKODA POPULAR ( photo collection Michael Schlenger )

The next generation of the SKODA POPULAR had an upright fixed emblem:

SKODA POPULAR emblem in as found condition

Size  2.3 cm  x 7.4 cm
Year1938 - 1939

SKODA was also very active in the truck field:

very large SKODA 256 truck front emblem made of sheet metal ( about 5,500 trucks were built )

Size  36.0 cm  x 15.0 cm
Year1939- 1944

SKODA truck type 256 showing the front emblem

After WWII SKODA started with the new type 1101 TUDOR in 1946. It had a simple mascot on the hood and a grill emblem made of red painted aluminium:

Attention: the feathered arrow is pointing to the left ! May be a political requirement.....

Inside you found a steering wheel with an attractive horn button:

horn button made of bakelite

1955 SKODA 440 sales brochure

SKODA 445 grill emblem made with red vitreous enamel

Size  8.9 cm  x 5.3 cm (with wings)
Year1955 - 1959

From 1976 to 1990 SKODA used a very simpel chromed sheet metal emblem:

In 1985 SKODA offered the SKODA FAVORIT with a design from Carozzeria Bertone.
Some models had a special BERTONE badge:

emblem with original hole to fix it

From 1993 onwards - starting with the model FELICIA  - until 2016  SKODA used a very    appealing emblem made of chromed plastic with a green feathered arrow.

In 2016 was the last change of the design. The emblem was again simplified. No more green, no letters SKODA,  black and chrome only:

recent SKODA emblem

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For more emblems see older posts or top right ( list of car makers ).