April 26, 2018


Direct Drive Motor Co. (1919-1920)

Champion Motors Corp. (1920-1924)

Pottstown, Pennsylvania

This is a Champion radiator emblem (1919-1920)      mjs
Size: 91mm wide 52mm high     MM: Unknown

The Direct Drive Motor Company was organized in Philadelphia to build a car using a drive system where grooved rings on the rear wheels meshed with grooved pulleys on each end of a shaft, similar to a drive system first used by Duryea.

Initially the cars had been called Direct Drive (see Direct Drive) but, in 1919, it was decided to name the car the Champion and to build the car in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.  The first Champion was a 40 hp four-cylinder car offered in touring and tourist body styles. 

Very few Champion cars were built before the Duryea-style direct drive system was abandoned and a conventional rear axle fitted in mid-1920. The company was renamed as Champion Motors Corporation at this time.  The Champion was then offered as a 35 hp Tourist model or a 40 hp Special Model each distinguished with its own radiator design. However, the Champion was unsuccessful and only a handful of cars were built after 1920. 

Total production of the Champion is believed to have been less than fifty cars.


The red, white and blue enamel Champion radiator emblem shown above was made before 1921 and is extremely rare.

There was a similar Champion radiator emblem with the company name Champion Motors Corp. replacing the name Direct Drive Motor Co. This radiator emblem was used on the Champion Tourist models. There was also a Champion radiator emblem with the word "Special" in a small green enamel panel across the center for use on the Champion Special Models.

I do not have photos of either of these Champion Motors Corp. radiator emblems but both are extremely rare. If you have photos of either of these Champion radiator emblems, please send copies in order to update this post.

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