December 29, 2021

ROAMER

Streator Motor Car Co. (1916-1917)

Streator, Illinois

Barley Motor Car Co. (1916-1924)

Roamer Motor Car Co. (1924-1929)

Kalamazoo, Michigan


This is a Roamer radiator emblem (1916-c1924)    mjs
Size: 76mm high 63mm wide      MM: None

Claude Y Kenworthy, Karl H Martin and Albert C Barley, who was then building the Halladay car in Streator, Illinois, decided to come together to produce a car called the Roamer, named for a famous race horse. The Roamer was a good quality, assembled automobile with a Rolls-Royce style of radiator and used "America's Smartest Car" as the company slogan. 

The Roamer was introduced in late 1916 as a 23 hp six-cylinder five-passenger touring model. In 1917, production moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan and the Roamer was offered as a touring, sedan or town car. A larger 38 hp six-cylinder touring car also joined the line. By 1918, the six-cylinder Roamer was offered in a much wider range of body styles and a 75 hp four-cylinder touring model was also offered.

Sales of the Roamer increased through the early 1920's, by when both Kenworthy and Martin had left to make their own cars. In 1922 the Roamer was joined by a smaller companion car called the Barley (see Barley). But Roamer sales began to fall and in 1924 Albert Barley sold out and the company was reorganized as the Roamer Motor Car Company. The Roamer continued in production at a low rate and was finished by 1929.

Emblems

The Roamer had a Rolls-Royce style radiator which carried a fairly plain radiator emblem with the name "Roamer" across a diagonal, as shown in the example above at the top of this post. This Roamer radiator emblem is believed to have continued in use until the company reorganisation in 1924, although I cannot confirm this. This Roamer radiator emblem is scarce.

This Roamer radiator emblem is also found finished in black, see example shown below from a restored Roamer Model C-6-54:

This is a Roamer model C-6-54 radiator emblem (1918)  hyman


The "Roamer" name was also displayed on the hubcaps, sill plates and on a small dash nameplate on this restored Roamer, see examples shown below:

This is a Roamer wire wheel hubcap (1918)   hyman

This is a Roamer sill plate (1918)  hyman

This shows a Roamer dash nameplate (1918)   hyman

Close up showing dash nameplate (1918) 

The Roamer was advertised as "custom-built" and buyers could certainly choose their own color schemes. But, it is more than likely that some Roamer cars were indeed built to the customer's order. The following photo shows a Roamer car with a special radiator emblem displaying the letters " TRH", which may be the initials of the new car owner.

Special radiator emblem for custom built Roamer gcm

The following Roamer radiator emblems are believed to have been used following the reorganisation in 1924 but I cannot confirm their exact dates of use. These Roamer radiator emblems are rare.

This is a Roamer radiator emblem (c1924-1929)     mjs
Size: 63mm high 51mm wide    MM: Unknown

This is a Roamer radiator emblem (c1925)     mjs
Size: 63mm high 50mm wide      MM: Unknown

The emblem shown below is a Roamer hub emblem and is rare:

This is a Roamer hub emblem (c1921)     sam
Size: 56mm diameter

The following is a Roamer wire wheel hub emblem:

This is a Roamer wire wheel hub emblem   ms
Size: 69mm diameter






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