December 15, 2022


Southern Automobile Manufacturing Co. (1920)

Memphis, Tennessee

This is a Southern Six radiator emblem (1920)   mjs
Size: 103mm wide 52mm high   MM: Unknown

The Southern Automobile Manufacturing Company was established to build cars, trucks and tractors.

The car built in 1920 was called the Southern Six and was a five-passenger touring car powered by a 57 hp six-cylinder engine. It was a neatly designed automobile but was probably too highly priced, as only one or at most two cars appear to have been built. Beverly Rae Kimes notes that the first Southern Six was mounted on a float and paraded down Main Street in Memphis and was later damaged in a shootout between a bootlegger and the police. The second Southern Six was owned by a relative of one of the founders of the Southern Automobile Manufacturing Company. The second car may in fact have been the first with the bodywork repaired. 

The designer of the Southern Six was W F Drake, who a year later in 1921 came up with the Drake automobile in Knoxville, Tennessee. The six-cylinder Drake was identical to the Southern Six.


The Southern Six displayed a diamond shaped emblem on the front of the radiator, see Southern Six advertisement shown below:

Southern Six ad showing radiator emblem (1920)  ms

This is the blue, white and red enamel Southern Six radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post. This Southern Six radiator emblem has been used and is ultra rare.

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