June 07, 2019

TEMPLAR

Templar Motors Corp. (1917-1923)

Templar Motor Car Co. (1923-1924)

Cleveland, Ohio


This is a Templar radiator emblem (c1917-1922)    mjs
Size:76mm wide 53mm high   MM: Bastian Bros

The Templar car was a well designed assembled car with a sporty, stylish appearance. The first Templar cars appeared in 1917 and were 43 hp four-cylinder models offered in a variety of body styles. During the First World War the Templar factory was used for munitions production. In July 1919 the Templar enjoyed good publicity when Cannonball Baker drove a Templar from New York to Chicago in a new record time of 26 hours 50 minutes beating the previous record by more than six hours.

The Templar suffered from post war material shortages and after 1920 sales dropped. Then in December 1921 the Templar factory burned down and the company was in receivership in 1922. The company was reorganized in late 1923 as the Templar Motor Car Company and a new line of 27 hp six-cylinder cars appeared in 1924. It was all too late, however, and the Templar was finished before the end of 1924.

Emblems

The Templar was named after the Knights Templar but used the Maltese cross as a logo, although the Maltese cross was the symbol of the Knights Hospitaller and not the Knights Templar. No doubt the Templar designers felt that the Maltese cross was visually more appealing than the cross pattee used by the Knights Templar.

The Templar carried an attractive radiator emblem depicting a Knight Templar riding a horse in full armor with a lance. There are two different versions of this emblem and both are very rare.

The Templar radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post displays an elaborate design of the Knight Templar and his horse, which carries a banner with the Maltese cross. The Templar radiator emblem shown below has a simpler design of the Knight Templar and his horse, which does not display the Maltese cross.

This is a Templar radiator emblem (c1923-1924)    mjs
Size: 76mm wide 53mm high   MM: Unknown (poss Bastian Bros)

I do not know the actual dates of use of these two Templar radiator emblems. The dates noted are my best guesses. Advertisements of the Templar in 1918 and 1919 use the Maltese cross but from 1920 the Maltese cross is absent from the advertisements. This suggests that the Templar emblem shown immediately above without the Maltese cross may have been a later emblem. However, the Templar emblem shown at the top of this post with the Maltese cross has been seen on a 1922 Templar car, so it appears to have been in use at least until then. If you have details of the actual dates of use of these Templar radiator emblems, please do let me know, in order to update this post.

The photo below shows that the Templar radiator emblem was mounted on a specially designed collar at the top of the radiator under the motor meter.

This is a Templar radiator emblem and motor meter (1922)    caam

This is significant, because there is another, rather special emblem, which appears to have been designed to fit the emblem collar at the top of the Templar radiator.

This is the bright gold and black colored Cannonball Baker Special emblem, which displays the Maltese cross logo used by Templar and is exactly the same size as the usual Templar radiator emblems.

The Cannonball Baker Special radiator emblem shown below appears to have been designed to capitalize on the publicity arising from Cannonball Baker's record run from New York to Chicago in July 1919 in a Templar car. Whether this emblem was used on a car, either a specially produced Templar model or for a short time attached to Templar cars of the same model as driven by Cannonball Baker, is not known. If this emblem is indeed an original radiator emblem it would be extremely rare.

This is a Cannonball Baker Special radiator emblem (1919)     mjs
Size: 76mm wide 53mm high    MM: None

The following photo shows a white and black enamel Templar emblem. I have not seen the back of this emblem and I suspect it may be a reproduction emblem, but I cannot confirm this. If this is an authentic, original Templar motor car radiator emblem, it is extremely rare. If you have any further details about this Templar emblem, please let me know, in order to update this post.

This is a Templar emblem (dates unknown)      ms
Size: 76mm wide 53mm high     MM: Unknown

There is also another completely different Templar emblem. The blue enamel Templar emblem shown below appears to be a radiator emblem but I cannot confirm this. However, if this is a Templar motor car radiator emblem, it is extremely rare. If you have any further information, please send details to update this post.

This appears to be a Templar radiator emblem (dates unknown)    sam
Size: 71mm wide 71mm high    MM: Unknown

As mentioned earlier, the Maltese cross logo adopted by Templar Motors was the symbol of the Knights Hospitaller not the Knights Templar. The cross used by the Knights Templar was the cross pattee, as shown below:

This is a Knight Templar wearing the cross pattee    wiki








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