December 19, 2016


Southern Motors Manufacturing Association, Ltd. (1920-1923)

Houston, Texas

This is a Ranger radiator emblem (1920-1922)     sam
Size: 88mm wide  MM: Unknown

The Southern Motors Manufacturing Association, Ltd. was established for the manufacture of trucks, tractors and an automobile called the Ranger. The Ranger announced in September 1920 was a rakish-looking car with a 31 hp four-cylinder engine and offered in touring and roadster body styles. A 57 hp six-cylinder model was announced in 1921 but Southern Motors was in receivership in late 1922 followed by a merger with National Motors Corporation.

In 1924 a number of people associated with Southern Motors and National Motors were indicted for fraud. It was alleged that the six-cylinder Ranger had not been built at all and that only a few of the four-cylinder Rangers had actually been built and were mainly used to help defraud investors. The same few cars were apparently moved back and forth between the company's showrooms in downtown Houston and the factory, which was little more than an elaborate stage set on the edge of town. The same cars were effectively being driven out of the factory and then back again at the rear to start all over again, thereby making it appear that sales of the Ranger were good and that there was a steady production of new cars.

The few cars that were produced were mostly sold to stockholders. Ranger did offer a 2-ton truck with a smaller 1-1/2-ton model advertised in 1923. How many, if any, were actually built is not known.

The Emblems

The enamel Ranger radiator emblem shown above is very rare. 

The Ranger emblem shown below is a two piece enamel emblem and is extremely rare. The precise use of this emblem is unknown. The design of the emblem is exactly like the central motive on the above radiator emblem. It is possible that this was an early Ranger radiator emblem, which was then replaced by a less expensive emblem design.

This is a two-piece enamel Ranger emblem (dates unknown)     mjs
Size: 75mm wide tip to tip  MM: Unknown

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