March 31, 2017

ELCAR

Elkhart Carriage & Motor Car Co. (1916-1921)

Elkhart Motor Co. (1921-1931)

Elkhart, Indiana


This is an Elcar radiator emblem (1923-1928)     mjs
Size: 60mm high 50mm wide     MM: Unknown

Late in 1915, the Pratt brothers decided to abandon their Pratt motor car (see Pratt) and build a new car to be called the Elcar instead. Although their new company was called Elkhart Carriage & Motor Car Company, the Pratt brothers gave up the horse-drawn carriage business to concentrate on their new car. The Elcar was introduced in 1916 as a low priced 35 hp four-cylinder motor car, with a 40 hp six-cylinder model added to the line in 1918. All Elcar models were available in touring, roadster or sedan body styles.

The Pratt brothers sold the company in 1921 and the company name was changed to Elkhart Motor Company. In 1922 Elcar entered the taxicab business and produced a variety of taxicabs over the following years. A powerful straight-eight Elcar was introduced in 1925 culminating in a top of the range 140 hp eight in 1926. However, the stock market crash hit the Elcar business and it was all over by 1931.

Emblems

Auto historian William S Locke, see References page, reports that the first Elcar radiator emblem in 1916 was a small round emblem with the name "ELCAR" in stylized black letters with wings above and below and with a dark border. I have not seen an Elcar emblem of this description. If you have details of such an emblem, please let me know, in order to update this post.

The following red, white and blue enamel Elcar radiator emblem shows the same stylized "ELCAR" name and the wings above and below but not a dark border. It seems most likely that this extremely rare Elcar emblem is indeed the first Elcar radiator emblem.

This is an Elcar radiator emblem (1916-1917)     eBay
Size: 516mm diameter    MM: None

A similar stylized form of the name "ELCAR" was also used on the first Elcar hub cap, see example below:

This is the first Elcar hub cap (1916)    mjs

The radiator emblem design was changed to a rectangular shape in 1917 with a new registered Elcar trademark in blue in the center. This emblem was used in 1917 only and is very rare, see example below:

This is an Elcar radiator emblem (1917)    mjs
Size: 57mm wide 34mm high    MM: Unknown

The above design was retained when the radiator emblem was changed in 1918 but the blue Elcar panel was reduced in size and placed in the center of a small round metal background, see example below. The emblem was die stamped and is rare. I do not know, if there was also a version of this emblem with the patent registration mark. If you have details of such an emblem, please let me know, in order to update this post.


This is an Elcar radiator emblem (1918-1919)    mjs
Size: 44mm diameter   MM: Unknown

This radiator emblem was used through 1919 but in 1920 the size of the emblem was increased and the central blue Elcar panel was changed to red, see example below. This emblem was also die stamped and is rare. However, there are reproductions of this emblem but they can be identified by their flat backs.

This is an Elcar radiator emblem (1920-1922)     mjs
Size: 60mm diameter    MM: D L Auld

There is also a variation of this Elcar radiator emblem with a patent registration mark, see example below. This Elcar radiator emblem is also rare.

This is an Elcar radiator emblem (1920-1922)     sam
Size:   MM: Unknown

In December 1922, the new management of the Elcar Motor Company redesigned the Elcar radiator emblem. The new emblem design was shield shaped with a winged Pegasus above the name "ELCAR" and the company slogan "A Well Built Car" below, see example shown at the top of this post. This emblem was used on all Elcar models from 1923 until 1928, except for eight-cylinder models which had a special emblem in 1927. Although the emblem shown at the top of this post was widely used it is, nevertheless, a scarce emblem.

The eight-cylinder Elcar had a square radiator and, in 1927, was given a new emblem showing a large figure "8", apparently to make the Elcar look more like a Rolls-Royce, see example below. This new emblem was replaced in early 1928 following complaints from Rolls-Royce, making this a rare emblem.

This is an Elcar eight-cylinder radiator emblem (1927-1928)    mjs
Size: 78mm high 57mm wide    MM: Unknown

The revised radiator emblem design for the eight-cylinder Elcar models in 1928 was a three piece hood ornament attached by a collar under the radiator cap and with a curved metal emblem in the front, see example below. This radiator emblem appeared in February 1928 and was used for less than a year making this a rare emblem.


This is the hood ornament and emblem for the eight-cylinder Elcar models (1928)  ms

This is an Elcar eight-cylinder radiator emblem  (1928)   mjs
Size: 70mm high 37mm wide    MM: None

A new radiator design appeared in 1929 to be used on all Elcar models until production of the Elcar ended in 1931. The radiator emblem followed the shield shaped design used since 1923 with the winged Pegasus but without the Elcar slogan and in black instead of blue. Elcar production reduced as sales fell, making this a scarce emblem, see example below:

This is an Elcar radiator emblem (1929-1931)    mjs
Size: 60mm high 50mm wide    MM: Unknown

The emblem shown below is an Elcar hub cap center disc from the mid-1920's.

This is an Elcar hub cap center disc (c1926)    mjs
Size: 44mm diameter

From 1927, Elcar used the Fedco serial numbering security system with a Fedco plate attached to the dash board, see example below:

This is a Fedco security dash board plate (1927-1931)    mjs
Size: 80mm wide







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