December 11, 2018


S.G.V. Co. (1911-1915)

Reading, Pennsylvania

This is an S.G.V. radiator emblem (1911-1915)    mjs
Size: 82mm wide 45mm high    MM: Unknown

Herbert M Sternbergh, Robert E Graham and Fred Van Tine bought the Acme Motor Car Company (see Acme) in 1911 and proceeded to build the S.G.V. car, which was named from their initials. The S.G.V. was designed and engineered by Van Tine and was a fine, quality-built four-cylinder luxury automobile with walnut dashboard and several advanced technical features. The first S.G.V. introduced in 1911 was a 25 hp model offered in several body styles. Custom coachwork was also available. A 35 hp model was added in 1912.

The S.G.V. appears to have been a close copy of the then famous Lancia. The 1912 S.G.V. catalog stated that the S.G.V. design had been "taken from well known European makers".  It has been recorded that the S.G.V. people had bought a Lancia, taken it to pieces and made new production drawings based on inches instead of millimeters. 

The S G.V. was aimed at a wealthy clientele and was initially successful. The car was sold to several distinguished customers in America and also overseas, including the King of England, the Kaiser in Germany and the Czar of Russia.

Then calamity struck. A serious technical problem with an electrical gear shift resulted in the recall of an entire shipment of S.G.V. cars with damaging bad publicity. S.G.V. did not recover and in mid-1915 the entire S.G.V. plant and stock of cars and parts was sold to R.J.Metzier and a group of businessmen to make the Phianna (see Phianna).


The dark blue and white enamel S.G.V. radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post is very rare.

The emblem shown below is an S.G.V. hub emblem and is rare.

This is an S.G.V. hub emblem (1911-1915)    mjs
Size: 57mm diameter

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