December 23, 2017


Little Motor Car Co. 

Detroit, Michigan (1911)

Flint, Michigan (1912-1913)

Republic Motor Company (1913)

New York City, New York

This is a Little radiator emblem (poss 1913)    sam
Size: 45mm diameter  MM: Unknown 

The Little was one of the cars that Billy Durant decided to build after he was pushed out of General Motors. The first, experimental Little car was built at the Chevrolet plant in Detroit in November 1911 but was a complicated design and expensive to build. Production of the Little began in January 1912 at the Flint Wagon Works, which had previously produced the Whiting. The first Flint built Little Four appeared in April 1912 and was essentially a re-badged Whiting Model 22. The Little Four body was restyled soon after the first few Little Fours had been built. 

The Little Four was a relatively low-priced 20 hp four-cylinder roadster. A 26 hp Little Six touring car appeared early in 1913. The Little sold well but was not a well made car, whereas the Chevrolet was well made but was too expensive to sell well. 

Billy Durant decided to concentrate on improving the Chevrolet (see Chevrolet) and discontinued the Little in May 1913 after 3,500 had been built, including about 250 units built in New York by the Republic Motor Company, which had been incorporated in 1912 to handle Little car sales and production in New York City.


The Little Four carried a round radiator emblem mounted on the top center of a black painted radiator shell. However, there are very few original photos of the Little automobile clearly showing the emblems. Little automobile advertisements also do not clearly depict the emblems.

Exceptionally, one of the earliest photos of a Little automobile is a side view, which shows a "Little" script mounted on the ends of the fuel tank, see below. 

Little Automobile showing fuel tank script (c1911/12)   dpl

Close-up showing the Little fuel tank script

I have not seen this specific Little script design elsewhere or on any surviving Little scripts or emblems, so original Little scripts with this design would be very rare. There were two later developments of this early Little script, as shown later below, but I cannot confirm the order of appearance with confidence.

The following photo shows a "Little" script on a surviving but well restored Little Four from 1912:

Little roadster fuel tank script (1912)   conceptcarz

This is the small brass "Little" script shown below, which was most likely originally plated:

This is a Little fuel tank script (c1912)     mjs
Size: 100mm wide 65mm high

Surviving Little cars often display the "Little" name on larger sized scripts mounted on the radiator core, see example shown below, although it is possible that these scripts were not original but may have been added later during restoration.

Little Four with radiator script (1912)    bernard spragg

This "Little" script design is seen on the most commonly found Little radiator emblem, see example shown below on a surviving and reasonably original Little Four from 1912:

Little Four Roadster radiator emblem (1912)    mecum

This is the red and white enamel Little radiator emblem shown below. This Little radiator emblem is scarce.

This is a Little radiator emblem (1912)    sam
Size: 45mm diameter    MM: Unknown (some Childs)

The following is a blue and red enamel color variation of this Little radiator emblem. This Little emblem is believed to be original and is extremely rare.

This is a Little radiator emblem (c1912)    sam
Size: 45mm diameter   MM: Unknown (poss Childs)

The following red, white and black enamel variation of the Little radiator emblem has a slightly different style of lettering for the "Little" name and is rare:

This is a Little radiator emblem (c1912)    kmc
Size: 44mm diameter      MM: Childs

The following page from a brochure for the Little Six that was introduced in early 1913 includes a rather different "Little" script design:

Little Six brochure page (1913)   veikl

Little Six brochure detail showing "Little" script logo (1913)

A brochure illustration of a Little Six shows this same "Little" script logo in the form of a small script mounted on the top of the radiator shell, see below. Original Little radiator script emblems with this design would be very rare.

Little Six showing radiator script emblem (1913)

I do not know if all Little Six cars carried this radiator script emblem but there is a Little radiator emblem with a closely similar "Little" script style, which may have been used for the Little Six also, although I cannot confirm this.  

This is the red and white enamel radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Little radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Little radiator emblem ( poss 1913)   sam
Size: 45mm diameter    MM: Unknown

Emblem collectors should beware as there is a Pulfer reproduction of this Little radiator emblem but with the "Little" name in black enamel instead of red enamel, see example shown below:

This is a reproduction Little radiator emblem     ms
Size: 45mm diameter  

The following large sized brass radiator script has some similarity to the style of the "Little" script logo shown above. Original Little radiator scripts of this design are scarce.

This is a Little radiator script (c1912)     mjs
Size: 392mm wide

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