June 06, 2018


Saxon Motor Co. (1913-1915)

Saxon Motor Car Corp. (1915-1922)

Detroit, Michigan

This is a Saxon radiator emblem (1914-c1917)     mjs
Size: 54mm wide 51mm high     MM: Bastian Bros

The Saxon was a 12 hp four-cylinder motor car with a water-cooled engine, shaft drive and electric lights but was offered at a very low price. Production began in December 1913 and the first Saxon cars appeared at the New York Automobile Show in January 1914. One of the first Saxon cars was driven across America with an average fuel consumption of 30 mpg. It was also one of the first cars to use the new Lincoln Highway.

The Saxon was a success and sales grew. The company changed ownership and was reorganized in late 1915. In 1916 a 19.8 hp six-cylinder model joined the Saxon line. Sales went from nearly 12,000 in 1915 to just above 28,000 in 1917. By now, the Saxon was ranked at number eight in the industry in America and everything seemed fine.

But there was trouble ahead for the Saxon. In the rush to increase production to meet the predicted growth in sales, large orders for materials were made and construction was started on a large new manufacturing plant. The company then ran out of operating cash. The outbreak of the First World War added serious problems on the supply of materials and the company was in serious trouble. The new factory was sold to General Motors and in 1918 and 1919 only the six-cylinder Saxon model was produced. Sales dropped to only about 3,400 units in 1919. 

The Saxon cars for 1920 were a totally new design and included both four-cylinder and six-cylinder models. In 1921, the new Saxon models were four-cylinder only and were given the name "Saxon-Duplex".

There were several changes in the management and the Saxon parts business was sold. Outstanding loans and debts were repaid but the Saxon company was bankrupt by the end of 1922. 


The first Saxon radiator emblem was beautifully designed with a translucent image of a Saxon warrior wearing a horned helmet and was finished in blue and white enamel, see example above at the top of this post. This emblem is highly regarded by emblem collectors.

There is a variation of this Saxon emblem with a different design of the Saxon warrior head and helmet, see example shown below. Both of these Saxon radiator emblems are scarce.

This is a Saxon radiator emblem (1914-c1917)     jbec
Size: 54mm wide 51mm high     MM: Bastian Bros

The following photos show in detail the different Warrior head and helmet designs used in the blue and white enamel Saxon radiator emblem, both of which were made by Bastian Bros.

The two different Saxon warrior head and helmet designs

There is also a Pulfer reproduction of the blue and white Saxon radiator emblem. It has a flat back, no maker's mark and a less detailed Saxon head design.

There are two versions of this emblem without the translucent Saxon warrior. One is finished in opaque white and blue enamel and the other in opaque white enamel only, see examples below. These Saxon radiator emblems are both scarce.

This is a Saxon radiator emblem (1915-1917)     mjs
Size: 54mm wide 51mm high      MM: Bastian Bros

This is a Saxon radiator emblem (c1917)      mjs
Size: 54mm wide 51mm high      MM: Bastian Bros

A variation of the blue and white Saxon radiator emblem shown at the top of this post displays a translucent green Saxon warrior, as shown below. This Saxon emblem is believed to be an original radiator emblem and may have been used in 1916, when the Saxon car body was finished in green paint. This Saxon radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Saxon radiator emblem (c1916)   sam
Size:54mm wide 51mm high    MM: Unknown

There is also a version of the Saxon radiator emblem with a red Saxon warrior, see example below from the Smithsonian emblem collection, but, in view of the fact that several emblems in this collection have been restored in strange colors, I suspect that this emblem has also been restored in the wrong color.  

This Saxon emblem is believed to be finished in wrong color    sac

The Saxon motor car and the radiator emblem were completely redesigned for the new Duplex engineered models appearing in 1920, see example advertisement and emblem shown below. The new Saxon radiator emblem is scarce.

This is a Saxon advertisement showing the changed radiator emblem (1920)    ms

This is the changed Saxon radiator emblem (1920)     mjs
Size: 56mm high 50mm wide    MM: Bastian Bros

The Saxon radiator emblem was changed again in 1921 when the name "Saxon- Duplex" was introduced, see example below. This Saxon radiator emblem is also scarce. Be careful, there is a Pulfer reproduction of this emblem with a flat back and no maker's mark.

This is a Saxon-Duplex radiator emblem (1921-1922)    mjs
Size: 56mm high 50mm wide    MM: Bastian Bros

If you can help by confirming the exact dates of use of the Saxon radiator emblems shown in this post, please let me know in order to update the post.

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