February 23, 2018


Clyde Cars Co. (1917-1918)

Clydesdale Motor Truck Co. (1918-1930; 1936-1938)

Clyde, Ohio 

This is a later period Clydesdale emblem (1934-1938)     mjs
Size: 57mm diameter    MM: D L Auld

The Clydesdale Motor Truck Company was established in 1917 through a merger of Krebs Commercial Car Company and Clyde Cars Company both of Clyde, Ohio and Lincoln Motor Truck Company of Detroit, Michigan. Initial production of Clydesdale trucks was by Clyde Cars Company but this transferred to Clydesdale Motor Truck Company in 1918.

The Clydesdale was a typical assembled truck made in capacities from 3/4-ton to 6-tons initially using four-cylinder engines. The first orders for Clydesdale trucks in 1917 were for the Red Cross in Paris and later for the British Army for use during World War I. The Clydesdale was initially a successful truck and in 1918 a second production plant was opened in Toronto, Canada.

Clydesdale made six-cylinder engines available between 1925 and 1930. However, there were difficulties and the company was in receivership in 1925 but was re-established in 1926. Production of Clydesdale trucks ceased through the depression years from 1930 to 1936, during when Clydesdale developed a new diesel powered truck. A range of diesel powered Clydesdale trucks in sizes from 1-ton to 10-tons was offered in 1936. In 1937 a smaller and lighter range of trucks was added to the line but the Clydesdale was finished the following year.

A detailed history of Clydesdale trucks is given in the excellent book "The Clydesdale Motor Truck Company: An Illustrated History 1917-1939" by Tiffany Willey Middleton & James M Semon.


The Clydesdale carried a large pentagonal shaped radiator emblem, see example below. This radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Clydesdale truck radiator emblem (1917-1930)   ms
Size: 210mm wide 89mm high  MM: Unknown (probably None)

This distinctive radiator emblem was used on Clydesdale trucks from the start in 1917, see below:

This is an early Clydesdale ad showing the radiator emblem (1917) 

This radiator emblem continued in use on most Clydesdale vehicles until about 1930.

Clydesdale trucks also displayed the Clydesdale name on aluminum hood side nameplates, as shown on the detail below taken from a Clydesdale advertisement:

Detail from a Clydesdale ad showing the radiator emblem and hood side nameplate (1920) 

The following is a Clydesdale hood side nameplate. This Clydesdale hood side nameplate is rare.

This is a Clydesdale hood side nameplate (c1936)  ms 
Size: 300mm wide approx

I have seen a rather poor quality photo showing a "Clydesdale" script cast into the radiator tank top and early Clydesdale advertisements sometimes show the name "CLYDESDALE" also cast into the radiator, see example below. Most likely these were used on the heaviest capacity Clydesdale trucks.

This Clydesdale ad shows the name cast into the radiator (1918)

There was a complete change in the radiator and emblem design from 1934 when prototypes of the new diesel engine trucks were introduced by Clydesdale with production commencing in 1936, see the Clydesdale brochure cover below:

This is a Clydesdale diesel engine brochure showing the new emblem (1934)

The new emblem is shown above at the top of this post. This emblem is very rare.

The new Clydesdale emblem was mostly attached to the radiator grille, although in a few cases it was attached to the top of the radiator and was sometimes also displayed on the side of the hood. 

The hood side nameplate was also changed to "CLYDESDALE DIESEL". 

I do not have photos of this Clydesdale hood side nameplates. If you have a good photo of a Clydesdale diesel hood side nameplate, please send me a copy to update this post.

The heavier capacity Clydesdale diesel powered trucks used a large cast radiator with "CLYDESDALE DIESEL" cast into the radiator tank top.

The following is a black painted Clydesdale Oil Field Special emblem but I do not have a date of use of this emblem, which is rare:

This is a Clydesdale Oil Field Special emblem (date unknown)    ms
Size: 222mm wide 95mm high

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