Dec 1, 2019

WIIMA / Finland

The WIIMA, founded by Antti Wiima, was the most famous coach builder for  buses in the nineteenfifties and sixties in Finland.
The used VOLVO engines and so it  seems to be logical that they were bought out by VOLVO in 2008.

first WIIMA bus badge with winged chrome base

 7.6 x 7.5 cm (emblem only )
1958 - 1965

left: early enameled version              right: later plastic version

In 1957 Antti Wiima constructed a microcar that was based on the German Goggomobil.
As there was no demand for this car a prototype was built only.

For more car and truck emblems see older posts or top right ( list of car makers ).
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Nov 15, 2019

The six most funniest radiator emblems

Why be serious ?  You always have the chance to make the public smile. Here you see six
radiator emblems mounted on the car by  factory.  These are not accessory badges !
Five emblems were made in the nineteen - twenties in Germany resp. Great Britain. One in the States in 1969 / 71.
Why not put a bee, a devil, Batman or two scalawags  (designed by Wilhelm Busch) on the radiator ?

Here are my personal favorites:

1.  DIABOLO / GERMANY  ( 1925 - 1927 )
even a devil can be sympathic

2.  PLUTO / GERMANY ( 1924 - 1927 )

1926 PLUTO cyclecar radiator emblem

3. DODGE / USA ( 1968 - 1971 )
Why not using a bee with sunglasses and wheels for a muscle car ?

4.  OMIKRON / GERMANY ( 1921 - 1925 )

25 years before the first Batman comic !

5.  PETER und MORITZ  / GERMANY ( 1921 - 1925 )

1921 radiator emblem showing two famous German guys

6. MASCOTTE / UK ( 1919 - 1921 )

In spite of the attractive women the MASCOTTE cyclecar became not a bestseller

And here is one more. You find this emblem on the hood of the GORDON KEEBLE (1963 -1967 ).

Why not put a turtle on a sports car with 4.6  L.  V8 engine !

Thank you John for the advice !

For more emblems see older posts or top right ( list of car makers ).
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Nov 10, 2019

Carhartt / USA

Contrary to all expections you find a lot about the Carhartt Automobil Corporation of Detroit / Michigan that was founded by Hamilton Carhartt who made his money in the clothing manufacturing business. He started car production in 1910 offering two models, the  Junior  "25-30" and the "30-35".
The company still announced a new model for 1912, but probably it was never produced.
It seems that not a single car  survives today. The only remaining things are  radiator emblems showing the car with a lot of details:  the rear brake drums, the hand brake, the klaxon etc.. This is a very sought - after emblem !
Giving up the automobile production in 1912 the company put all energy into the production of clothing for working women and men. The company is still in this business and well known for quality clothing products. For more information go to:

When your family name is Carhartt and your are producing a car,  the heart behind the car seems to be a logical emblem design:

 You can read the latin words: ECCE SIGNUM, that means: what a sign !

Size 6.1 cm
Year1910 - 1911


backside with makers mark from Whitehead & Hoag

contemporary photo showing the radiator, the script and the emblem

1911 ad for the CARHARTT THIRTY - FIVE

For more emblems see older posts or top right ( list of car makers ).
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Oct 11, 2019

Cubitt / UK

The Cubitt car company started car production in 1920. The only model was too heavy, with high centre of gravity and a cheap body.  S.F. Edge and J.S. Napier became directors in 1924, improved the engine and lowered the body. But it was too late. There was never a mass production. The last car was built in 1925.

Dimension3.9 x 3.9 cm 
Year1920 - 1925

backside without makers mark

For more emblems see older posts or alphabetical  list of car makers ( top right )
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Oct 4, 2019


The Woods Motor Vehicle Co. was founded in Chicago in 1899. The Woods was a long lived electric car maker. They became famous for the Woods Dual Power, a petrol - electric car. Production of this Hybrid car started in 1915. It had a 4 cylinder petrol engine of Woods own manufacture and an electric motor using the electric power at speeds below 15 mph ( 24 km/h). Then the petrol engine took over for speeds up to the modest maximum of 35 mph ( 56 km/h).  It took 80 years until the Toyota Prius  used the same technical idea !
The Woods Dual Power had a wonderful radiator emblem showing two race horses, the coachman and the key - words "GASOLINE" and "ELECTRICITY"  but not the name of the company. May that it was a big public relation mistake.

Dimension ca. 8 cm x 6 cm
Year1915 - 1919


Very few cars were produced and it seems that only two cars survived today. You can see one of these survivors in the Louwman Museum in Den Haag / Netherlands:

No script on the radiator core

1916 advertisment showing the emblem
For more emblems see older posts or top right ( list of car makers ).
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Sep 27, 2019


The STORERO Fabbricca Automobili was founded by Luigi Storero who worked years for Fiat as a seller and race driver. In 1912 he launched his own make. The Storero was produced by Cesare Scacchi because L. Storero contracted C. Scacchi that the Scacchi automobile was sold under his name.  So in fact we have a Scacchi car with a Storero badge.

Dimension7.5 cm

Year 1912 - 1916


backside without makers mark

There was also a black version:

STORERO race car. I can´t explain why the radiator emblem is mirror turned ?!

Because of WWI  car production ceased in 1916. In 4 years very few Storero cars were produced.

For more emblems see older posts or top right ( list of car makers ).
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Sep 20, 2019

Hildebrand / Germany

Martin Hildebrand founded this short lived company ( 1922 - 1924 ). The Hildebrand car was built in Singen / Hohentwiel (South Germany ) near the ruins of the castle Hohentwiel. That´s why the emblem shows a kneeling knight with a sword in his hands.
Not much is known about this firm but is it likely that there was a very small production only. The specialist of car production numbers, Mr. Hans Lipp, made a research. If we trust him around 100 cars were built, so it is nearly impossible to find an emblem. It seems that not a single car survives today.

emblem showing the knight of the castle Hohentwiel

Dimension  6.7 cm x 4.6 cm
Year1922 - 1924


reverse without makers mark

Here you see one of the very rare privat contemporary pictures of a Hildebrand car.  This picture was for free as no one could identify the car.   But no doubt this is a Hildebrand ( just have a close look at the radiator emblem )

This HILDEBRAND car obviously had a break down  !                                                                                                              

In the " Beaulieu Encyclopaedia of the Automobile " you can read that the Hildebrand was a three-wheeler. This not right. The Hildebrand was always a conventional four wheeler as you can see on the next picture.
HILDEBRAND stall at the Automobil show in Berlin 1924

contemporary picture showing the radiator with emblem

For more  emblems see older posts or top right ( list of car makers ).
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Aug 20, 2019


More than 115 years after the first OPEL - Darracq,  the oldest German car manufacturer is still in business.  Today the French P.S.A.  ( Peugeot ) owns the Opel company.
In 1902 Opel was able to present their own model, the "OPEL MOTORWAGEN" with a two-cylinder engine and a top speed of 40 km/h  ( 25 miles/hour). On the hood this  car you see the first Opel emblem.

1902 hood emblem 

In 1904 there was a firewall emblem in the Art Nouveau style, a very decorative trademark.
I have never seen an original, but there is a repro made by Goede:

five stars for an original !

Dimension  8.0 cm x 5.5 cm


1904  Opel with firewall emblem

The first radiator emblem that was mounted on top of the radiator shell was seen in 1909. It was a honeycomb emblem made in the same style as the NAG ( Neue Automobil Gesellschaft ).

Finally  the famous OPEL EYE  ("Opel Auge") was designed by the Grand Duke of Hesse in 1910.
In its basic form this emblem remained the identification symbol for 27 years.

1914 OPEL emblem missing the blue enamel

 11.5 x 5.3 cm 
1910 - 1928

Later the skinny letters used in the first Opel eye were strengthened and the holes left and right were integrated to screw the emblem to the radiator.
There were black and blue versions. I don´t know the use of the blue version and when. But I can tell you that the blue enameled emblem is much much rarer than the black one:

Dimension11.5 x 5.4 cm
Year1920 - 1926

In 1927 instead of the integrated fixing  holes two attachment rings were added:

1927 OPEL emblem with attachment rings

Dimension11.5 cm x 5.8 cm
Year1927 - 1929

Pay attention there was a very bad repro made in Germany by Goede.

repro size: 6.0 x 3.0 cm

back of the repro

In 1929  the Opel eye was simplified and became smaller:

Dimension6.5 cm x 3.0 cm

Another strange emblem appeared in 1930 for a short time. It had the form of a weapon and was used on the type 1.8  with 8/40 hp.
wanted: if you have one to sell  don´t hesitate to contact me ! Thank you !

Design  of an one year only Opel radiator emblem

Don´t forget that there was a very popular Opel  3-ton truck. Production started in 1930.
For this truck a big name-finding contest was launched . It is said that more than a million proposals were sent to Ruesselsheim .  The proposition "OPEL - BLITZ " won the first prize.

1930 truck emblem with original water cap. The emblem is a hard to find item as nearly all trucks were destroyed in WWII

Dimensions?? cm x ?? cm
Year1930 - 1931

1933 sales brochure

In 1935 the next generation of the Opel Blitz truck was shown to the public. The prototype had large metal Blitz on the radiator grill. But it was used for prototypes only, may be because it was too big or because it ran vertically and pointed downwards.

The regular Opel Blitz emblem, that was used from 1936 onwards, was a two words plaque.

two different prewar Opel Blitz emblems 
Dimension30 cm x 8.0 cm

In the middle of the nineteenthirties the goverment of the German Reich decided to stop foreign car imports by asking extremly high import taxes. Nevertheless the German car industry tried to sell German cars to other countries like France , Sweden, Norway and more. Therefor a special radiator emblem was invented. On the first version you can read "GENERAL MOTORS" and "OPEL" on the typical Opel eye. On the second version no more "OPEL", now it became a "GENERAL MOTORS" product, type 102 or type 108 only. Obviously the buyer should think to buy an American product....

Export emblem

Dimensions7.1 cm x 3.8 cm
Yearca 1935 

another Opel radiator emblem for export, type 108

Dimension7.1 cm x 3.8 cm
Yearca. 1936

Opel export emblem for type 102

Dimension7.1 cm x 3.8 cm
Yearca 1936

In 1934 the Opel eye was modified once more. Now there was a pointed black enameled oval with chromed wings. You can find this emblem on different models until 1936.

Dimension13.4 cm x 2.8 cm
Year 1934 -1936

picture of the 1934 Opel sales brochure showing the emblems and a mascot

In February 1935 for the first time  the Opel Olympia used  a stylized  zepplin as a radiator mascot.
A plaque with a discus thrower was mounted on the radiator grill. It was a marketing gag for the Olympic Games, the major event in Germany in 1936.

emblem made of thin sheet metal

Dimension4.4 cm x 9.2 cm
Year 1935 - 1936

Opel launched the modern P4 in September1935. This car had a very small chromed sheet metal emblem :
emblem made of thin sheet metal
Dimension3.8 cm x 6.8 cm
Year1935 - 1936

In 1936 the first Opel named "KADETT" was  produced:

emblem made of thin sheet metal

Dimension6.8 cm x 15.0 cm
Year1936 - 1938

In 1937 Opel models were not marked with the word Opel, but with a brand symbol an abstract zepplin flying through a ring. This zepplin was placed on the spare tire cover at the rear of the car.

 emblem seen on an 1937 Opel Super Six 

Late in 1937 the Opel Super Six had a radiator emblem in a stencil style.

Dimension5.2 cm x 22.5 cm
Year 1937

The 1938 Olympia model had an emblem with stencil-form gothic letters:

Dimension6.0 cm x 9.8 cm
Year 1938

Since 1938 the new OPEL Kapitän had this Zepplin emblem on the trunk. When production started again after WWII in 1947 the rear emblem wasn´t changed until 1951 when the next generation of the Opel Kapitän was launched.

emblem made of aluminium

Dimension25.5 cm x 14.8 cm
Year 1938 - 1951

For a short time Opel also built a motorcycle called OPEL MOTOCLUB ( 1928 - 1930 ).
It was a fantastic looking motorcycle in silver with red tires ex work and three emblems.
A small one on  each side of the fork  and a large one on the rear fender

Dimension5.9 cm (small badge)
9.0 cm ( large badge)
Year 1928 - 1930

backside of two original Opel Motoclub emblems

Once upon a time it has been an OPEL Motoclub emblem ( victim of WWII )
1930 Opel Motoclub with rear fender emblem

The prewar Opel Kadett must have been a very solid car, because in 1945 / 1946 the Russian goverment decided to transport all Opel factory equipment and all machines to Russia. Then they started to produce the Opel Kadett for their own. The only changement I could find was the emblem:

Russian Opel Kadett emblem

OPEL KADETT made in Russia after WWII

Dimensionca. 5 cm x 14 cm
Year1948 - 1959

After WWII the Opel Blitz truck had a large free standing  aluminium blitz:

After 1950 trucks exports resumed, but for the export trucks the Blitz symbol was not used.
The word "Blitz" was too closely associated abroad with "Blitzkrieg".

rare Opel Blitz Export emblem

Dimension30 cm x 8.5 cm
Year1950 - 1952

Opel Blitz with export emblem

In 1947 - two years after WWII - when car production started again the Opel Olympia had a new metal shield on the middle of the radiator shell  with two yellow and black sections. From 1950 onwards the colors white and yellow became the typical Opel colors.

Dimension4.6 cm x 7.6 cm
Year1947 - 1948

In 1950 and 1951 Opel used the next emblem, this time a white and yellow coat of arms showing three winged wheels. The three winged wheels are symbolizing  speed, reliability and durability ( winged wheels with the same meaning  were used by different companies ).

Dimension7.2 cm x 6.9 cm
Year1950 - 1951

In 1951 the zeppelin - still mounted on the rear of the car -  was modernized as the old kind of air - ship was outdated. The emblem was now fashioned into a airplane - in a shape  with a dorsal fin, giving a new look of speed, elegance and dynamism. This year the emblem was chromed.

Dimension24.2 cm x 13.0 cm

Year 1951

In 1953 the airplane emblem - made of brass  - was redesigned  and became three dimensional:

Dimension17.5 cm x 9.6 cm
Year1953 - 1954

In 1954  the Opel Kapitän had on the left and on the right in the radiator grill a white / yellow painted emblem, similar to the 1947 Opel Olympia plaque.

Dimension5.1 cm x 8.5 cm
Year1954 - 1955

Also the 1954 Kapitän had a very nice three color hubcap emblem showing the airplane, while the smaller Opel Olympia - Rekord only had a two color emblem without an airplane.

Dimension7.1 cm x 4.8 cm (emblem only)
Year1954 - 1955

In 1959 the airplane symbol had a more oval ring. Now the emblem is made of anosised sheet metal.

Dimension26 cm x 10.5 cm
Year1959 - 1961

From 1964 onwards the modern Opel emblem was fixed on the hood:  a simple blitz in a ring.

Dimensionsdifferent sizes
Yearsince 1964

The Opel Olympia was built under licence in Austria by Steyr in 1932.
They a used an  emblem combining the two company emblems:

ca.  6.5 x 7.0 cm 

Don´t forget that there was also a famous refrigerator made by Opel in the nineteenfifties.  The fridge also had an emblem, similar to the car emblems:

OPEL dashboard emblem covering the hole when there was no clock

mysterious OPEL emblem in arabian style. Who knows more ?

another mysterious Opel Blitz emblem ( large and heavy ). Who knows more ?

For more emblems see older posts or top right ( list of carmakers )
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