November 29, 2022


Briggs-Detroiter Co. (1912-1915)

Detroiter Motor Car Co. (1915-1917)

Detroiter Motors Co. (1917)

Detroit, Michigan

This is a Detroiter radiator emblem (c1916-1917)      mjs
Size: 41mm wide 31mm high     MM: Unknown

Claude S. Briggs, previously with the Brush Runabout Company, and John A. Boyle of Detroit established the Briggs-Detroiter Company in October 1911. The 25 hp four-cylinder five-passenger Detroiter touring car was unveiled at the Detroit Automobile Show in January 1912. 

Sales of the Detroiter were initially very good and a two-passenger roadster was introduced for the 1913 model year and a wide range of body styles was offered for 1914, including an unusual two-passenger Kangaroo Speedster. 

However, all was not well and the company was in receivership in the summer of 1915. The company was sold to A. O. Dunk and reorganized as the Detroiter Motor Car Company. The Detroiter range was limited to a touring model only for 1915. For 1916, however, the Detroiter was available as a touring or as a sedan with the choice of a 23 hp four-cylinder model or a 31 hp V-8 model. 

In March 1917 the company was reorganized again as the Detroiter Motors Company. The Detroiter now became a 45 hp six-cylinder model available in a range of body styles but it was all over by the end of 1917.


The first Detroiter cars did not carry a radiator emblem but did display a brass "Detroiter" script attached to the radiator core, see surviving 1912 Detroiter Type A speedster shown below:

This is a Detroiter radiator script (1912)      sotheby's

The Detroiter continued to use this radiator script without a radiator emblem for some years, see the original Detroiter factory photo shown below:

Detroiter factory photo showing radiator script (1915)  hcg

This Detroiter photo shows the front view of a 1915 Detroiter but the photo was clearly taken in 1914, as it appears in a Detroiter advertisement in 1914, see below:

This is a Detroiter ad showing the radiator script (1914)    ms

The following is an example of the Detroiter radiator script, which is believed to have been used into 1916. Original Detroiter radiator scripts are rare.

This is a Detroiter radiator script (1912-1916)    ms
Size: Unknown

The Detroiter radiator script was replaced by a small radiator emblem by 1917, see original factory photos of Detroiter Six-45 models shown below. These photos were likely to have been taken in 1916 to advertise the 1917 Detroiter Six-45 models.

Detroiter Six-45 Roadster showing radiator emblem (1917)  flp

Detroiter Six-45 Touring Sedan showing radiator emblem (1917)   flp

This small Detroiter radiator emblem is the blue and white enamel emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Detroiter radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Detroiter radiator emblem (c1916-1917)   mjs
Size: 41mm wide 31mm high    MM: Unknown

The larger dark grey and white enamel Detroiter radiator emblem shown below also appears to be an original Detroiter radiator emblem. This Detroiter radiator emblem is extremely rare.

This is a Detroiter radiator emblem (c1916-1917)    sam
Size: 85mm wide 64mm high    MM: Unknown

If you can help by confirming the first dates of use of these Detroiter emblems, please let me know, in order to update this post.

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