November 13, 2016

BIRMINGHAM

Birmingham Motors Corp. (1921-1923)

Jamestown, New York


This an extremely rare Birmingham radiator emblem (1921-1923)     mjs
Size: 65mm high 56mm wide  MM: Bastian Bros

The Birmingham had a 55 hp six-cylinder engine and a Wright-Fisher independent suspension system advertised as the "easiest riding car ever put on the market". The first Birmingham prototype cars were built and tested in Detroit in 1921 and five other demonstration Birmingham cars were built in Falconer, New York in 1922. These demonstration cars were used to try to secure finance for the company.

Birmingham Motors Ltd was formed in 1921 and a factory was acquired in Peterborough, Ontario with the intention of building the Birmingham car in Canada, as well as in the US. In the event, no Birmingham cars were built in Canada.

Efforts to obtain finance began successfully but then in August 1922 there were reports that some prominent backers of the Birmingham were being charged with fraudulent use of the US mail to sell worthless stock. During the next two months 26 Birmingham cars and chassis were assembled to try to overcome the bad publicity but disaster struck when a meeting of Birmingham stockholders in October 1922 ended in chaos when one stock salesman was stabbed and died.

In June 1923 the charges made against the Birmingham backers were thrown out of court but it was too late and financial support for the Birmingham was not found. The Birmingham was finished by the end of 1923 after a total production of about 50 cars.

Emblem

The Birmingham radiator emblem shown above is extremely rare.

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