Mar 24, 2024


 CHARLES YALE  KNIGHT  (1868 - 1940 )

Charles Y. Knight was not the name of an automotive company, but the inventor of the so-called valveless engine. Although Charles Knight had no technical training, he experimented with engines and their valves, as previous designs were noisy and unreliable. He even received several patents for his inventions. America's auto industry was less interested in the new engine, however, because at that time it could hardly satisfy customer orders with the production of conventionally powered vehicles and therefore saw no reason to get involved with the new technology.


very sought after  emblem with the KNIGHT name on it ( 1914 - 1919 )

One of the first companies to apply for a production license was Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in Stuttgart in 1909  further, also Panhard & Levassor and Hotchkiss in France, Minerva in Belgium, Laurin & Klement in Austria-Hungary and other companies also produced these engines under license.

In the U.S., the F.B. Stearns Company was the first to acquire a patent for this engine design in 1911, and the car with the new engine was so successful that sales doubled. 

It was followed in the years 1911 / 1912 by numerous companies such as Columbia, Stoddard Dayton, Atlas Engine Works, Lyons - Atlas , Edwards .

The most successful licensee was Willys. Production of the Willys Knight ceased in 1933 with a
total of around 417,370 vehicles having been produced during the twenty years.


early WILLYS KNIGHT emblem ( 1914 - 1919 )

Interestingly, Charles Knight managed to enforce the contract clause in the USA that all licensees always had to add his name "KNIGHT"  to the company name or th show a knight. And so it comes  that the American emblems are bearing the word "Knight" or showing a knight.

Willys KNIGHT emblem ( 1917 - 1928 )

 WILLYS KNIGHT also sold to Germany:

1928 advertisment in a German magazine explaining the Knight motor patent


1928 - 1929 WILLYS KNIGHT emblem, look at the knight helmet on top of the emblem

1929 - 1931 WILLYS KNIGHT emblem

Then the emblem became much simpler:

1929 - 1930 brass emblem (photo Mike Shears)

The truck emblem has also been simplified:

1929 -1930 truck emblem (photo Mike Shears)

 One of the first brands to install the Knight engine in the USA was STEARNS Company, then also known as STEARNS KNIGHT. They started  selling KNIGHT engines in 1911 and doubled sales figures with this  new engine.    

STEARNS KNIGHT emblem ( 1923 - 1928 )

STERLING KNIGHT was founded by James Sterling, who had previously worked successfully as an engineer at STEARNS KNIGHT. Less than 550 cars were built in 5 years.

STERLING KNIGHT ( 1921 - 1926 )

The FALCON KNIGHT was introduced in 1927. Only two years with the Knight engine, but around 200,000 cars sold !

FALCON KNIGHT emblem ( 1927 - 1929 )

The EDWARDS KNIGHT was a short lived company ( 1912 - 1913 ) so the emblem is very, very rare .

EDWARDS KNIGHT emblem of the Swigart collection ( photo M. Shears)

The HANDLEY - KNIGHT was another sohort lived company. Production of the Handley Knight automobiles was minimal.

HK  =  HANDLEY KNIGHT  (1921 - 1922)

MOLINE KNIGHT sales brochure showing the KNIGHT emblem


The production of the MOLINE KNIGHT continued in 1920 under the ( new ) name R & V Knight. This also explains why the knight is identical to the one on the MOLINE emblem:


1923 - 1924 R & V KNIGHT emblem ( showing Sir Galahad )

R & V KNIGHT emblem ( no more Sir Galahad ) c. 1924

The YELLOW KNIGHT company was quite successful as a bus manufacturer and offered the vehicle with the KNIGHT engine for 5 years.

the same knight weapon as seen on the Moline Knight and the R & V because the rights to the R & V company were sold to the Yellow Cab Company in 1923 ! (photo  M. Shears )

The STODDARD KNIGHT was one of the first user, but not very succesful (1912 - 1913 only) :

STODDARD KNIGHT emblem ( photo M. Shears )

In Europe  some French car makers like PANHARD and MINERVA  added two letters to the name:  SS  .These two letters are an abbreviation for "SANS SOUPAPES", which stands for valveless engines.

M 8 = MINERVA Eight cylinders  SS = valveless engine

If you can add more photos with "KNIGHT" radiator emblems, don´t hesitate to send them to me at:

so I can update this post.. Thank you.

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

When using a smartphone please use the button webview.

Mar 23, 2024


 BORGWARD / BREMEN / GERMANY  ( 1939 - 1961 )

The BORGWARD automobile brand was one of the most important in Germany. The production of vehicles named after the owner Carl Borgward began in 1939. However, 1939 was also the year of the beginning of the Second World War, so that only a few civilian vehicles were produced until 1941. These were upper mid-range vehicles with 2.3 liter engines. 

1939 / 1940 first emblem with the BORGWARD name

 29 cm x 8.0 cm with wings
Year1939 - 1941

You see the prewar BORGWARD emblem down right  on the civil automobile:

1941 front page of the MOTOR und SPORT magazine


close up showing the hood emblem

Before 1939, the Group's vehicles still bore the name HANSA. The middle section of the emblem was already designed identically to the red and white fields. 

predecessor emblem

still a HANSA, no BORGWARD name yet

After the Second World War, Borgward resumed production of civilian vehicles and again used the design of the emblem with the red and white rhombus introduced in 1939, this time on the trucks.  

The passenger vehicles, on the other hand, were given a large rhombus made of chrome-plated metal.

Postwar BORGWARD rhombus for passenger cars ( here Isabella )

Last not least: in China, the brand was revived under the name Borgward after the grandson of the company founder sold the rights to use that name. The project was not successful and in  Borgward / China was declared bankrupt in 2022.

Chinese BORGWARD emblem

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

When using a smartphone please use the button webview.

Feb 18, 2024



AGA /  BERLIN / GERMANY  ( 1919 - 1928 )

Finally I´am able to present you an enameled emblem from AGA / Germany built in my home town Berlin.
In 1919 the AGA started their car production with a small 1.4 liter with 4-cylinder 16 hp engine. In the mid - twenties they sold quite well, offering a better 20hp engine. So there were a lot of AGA taxi cabs in Berlin. The last AGA was the AGA - SPEZIAL still proudly presented at the International Automobil exhibition in Berlin in 1928.
But there was never a regular production and AGA closed the car production still the same year.

I was told that this emblem may be a advertisng emblem. I don´t think so because of it´s size. 5.4 cm x 7.0 cm are a normal size for a radiator emblem.  Promotional emblems such as brooches or pins are always much smaller.

AGA emblem
 5.4 cm x 7.0 cm


the last AGA advertisment for the AGA -SPEZIAL, published in 1928

the AGA logo was patented in 1920

AGA  on the Motor Show / Berlin 1921

1922 advertisment: the complete AGA program

1923 AGA with angular fenders and v - shaped radiator  ( photo collection Thomas Ulrich ).

1921 advertisment showing the AGA with angular fenders

1924 advertisment   AGA in Egypt

AGA with v- shaped radiator and brass emblems


1926 advertisment with red emblem, although this color was never on any radiator emblem

1925 AGA with conventional fenders  (photo collection Thomas Ulrich ).

1925 advertisment, again showing the emblem in red 

AGA merchandising in the nineteentwenties:  something to smoke and something to write

AGA brass emblem mounted in the middle of the radiator when the v - shaped radiator was gone on the type C 6/20

Although numerous AGA vehicles were used as cabs, especially in their home city of Berlin, photos of AGA cabs are extremely difficult to find, so I am pleased to  show one here:

my AGA type C 16/20 radiator

to my knowledge  the AGA hubcap was not modified during the 10-year production period of the vehicles.

not dated, but one of the last AGA ads

Built in 1919, the building still exists. It was even listed as a historical monument in the nineteen-nineties. I took the photo in 2023.

In Sweden the AGA car was marketed under the name TV = Thulinwerken. Around 300 vehicles were sold. This car also had a triangle emblem but the other way round:

If you want to know all about the AGA history just buy the book from Kai-Uwe Merz:
Der AGA- Wagen, published in 2011.

For more emblems  see older posts or top right of this page ( list of car makers ).
When using a smartphone please use the button webview.