February 06, 2018


Rainier Motor Car Co.

Flushing, New York (1905-1907)

Saginaw, Michigan (1907-1909)

Marquette Motor Company (1909-1911)

Saginaw, Michigan

This is a Rainier radiator emblem (c1910-1911)     mjs
Size: 54mm diameter  MM: Unknown

John T Rainier had been involved with the Vehicle Equipment Company in 1900 making electric vehicles and by 1902 was making electric trucks with the Rainier Company in New York.

The Rainier Motor Car Company was organized by John T Rainier in 1905 to produce the Rainier motor car. The first Rainier car was a 22/28 hp four-cylinder touring model which did well in contests as a hill climber and in other events. The Rainier was assembled at a plant at Flushing in Queens, New York on chassis built by Garford in Elyria. A larger 30/35 hp four-cylinder town car joined the line in 1906.

In mid-1907 the company moved to Saginaw, Michigan to build the complete Rainier car including the chassis. By now the Rainier had grown to a larger and more powerful 40/50 hp four-cylinder car offered in touring and limousine body styles. But the company was unable to raise cash due to the financial panic of 1907 and was in receivership by November 1908.

John Rainier bought the New York assets of the defunct Rainier Motor Car Company, the "Rainier" name and the goodwill of the company, and moved back to New York City, where he reorganized the Rainier Motor Car Company.

The Rainier factory in Saginaw was acquired by General Motors in 1909 and the Marquette Motor Company was established to operate it. The Rainier car was continued in production in Saginaw through 1911 and was superseded by the Marquette automobile in 1912 (see Marquette). A total of 425 Rainier cars were built at Saginaw.

Some time later, in 1916, John T Rainier started a new Rainier truck manufacturing business in New York (see Rainier Truck).


The first Rainier cars in 1905 were unlikely to have carried a radiator emblem but may have had the Rainier name on the hub caps and on a serial plate, although I cannot confirm this.

The Rainier company used a script logo, which can be seen on the 1906 Rainier advertisement shown below:

This is an advertisement showing the "Rainier" script logo (1906)   ms

A Rainier brochure, also for 1906, includes a small illustration of the Rainier Model B, see below:

This is a factory illustration of the Rainier Model B showing a radiator emblem (1906)    hfrc

This factory illustration suggests that the 1906 Rainier Model B carried a small radiator emblem. Some early American cars had the radiator manufacturer's emblem on the radiator but it is possible that this may have been a Rainier emblem, although I cannot confirm this. If, indeed, this was a Rainier emblem, it would most likely have shown the Rainier script logo. This Rainier emblem would be extremely rare.

The small brass nameplate shown below may have been used on early Rainier cars but I cannot confirm this. It may have been cut from a larger maker's plate.

This may be a Rainier nameplate (date unknown)     mjs
Size: 90mm wide 19mm high

The following is an original photo showing a Rainier car taken in 1908. The car shown may be a 1908 or a 1907 model. However, this 1908 photo shows a small "Rainier" script probably soldered to the radiator tank top. This Rainier script would be very rare.

This is a Rainier car showing a small Rainier script at the top of the radiator (1908)  dpl

The following is a small brass Rainier script but I cannot confirm when this script was used:

This is a Rainier script (date uncertain)     john petersen
Size; 101mm wide 35mm high

The 1908 or possibly 1907 Rainier car photo shown earlier above does not show a "Rainier" script on the radiator core. The following much more recent photo shows a surviving 1908 Rainier Model D car with a large "Rainier" script attached to the radiator core. However, this may have been added some time after 1908.

This is a Rainier Model D showing a "Rainier" radiator script (1908)   bonhams

do not know exactly when such scripts were first used on Rainier cars but the following original photo of a Rainier car taking part in the New York to Atlanta Good Roads Tour in 1909 clearly shows a very large "Rainier" radiator script. It is also noted that the small radiator top "Rainier" script seen in the original 1908 photo is now absent.

This photo shows a Rainier car with a large Rainier radiator script (1909)    dpl

A Rainier script is also clearly visible on the original factory photo from about 1910 shown below:

This is an original photo of a Rainier touring car showing the radiator script (c1910)    hfrc

The Rainier touring car shown in the original photo above was built in Saginaw in 1909 or 1910 by the Marquette Motor Company but does not have a radiator emblem. However, it is likely that the Rainier did carry a radiator emblem in the later stages of production.

The enameled Rainier radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post is believed to have been used in late 1910 or 1911. This Rainier radiator emblem is extremely rare.

The Rainier emblem shown below is also extremely rare. It is a metal only emblem and was certainly used on a Rainier car built by the Marquette Motor Company. It may have been the hub emblem but could be a radiator emblem, although this is not confirmed.

This may be a Rainier hub emblem (1909-1911)     mjs
Size: 67mm diameter     MM: None

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