June 09, 2021

GRAY-DORT

Gray-Dort Motors Ltd. (1915-1925)

Chatham, Ontario


This is a Gray Dort radiato emblem (dates uncertain)     mjs
Size: 50mm diameter   MM: Unknown

The Gray-Dort was one of the most successful and popular cars built by a Canadian company and represented the typical Canadian family car of the period.

The Gray company was a successful builder of horse drawn wagons, carriages and sleighs and had taken an interest in the automobile business by taking on body manufacture and auto sales for auto manufacturers. In 1914, the Grays decided to enter the automobile production business and formed a relationship with Josiah Dallas Dort. 

Gray-Dort Motors Limited was formed in 1915 and the first Gray-Dorts were American built Dort roadsters and touring cars with Gray-Dort emblems and hub caps. Real production with Canadian made components began in 1916 and grew over the years and eventually reached about 60 percent Canadian content. Gray-Dort also produced some de luxe sports "Specials" designed in Canada and some were exported to America. The Gray-Dort developed a reputation for quick starting, reliability and economy, which helped to boost the popularity of the Gray-Dort. 

Gray-Dort sales boomed at the end of the First World War but fell in 1921 as the post war depression took hold. However, sales recovered in 1922 and 1923 with the introduction of new models. All was going well with the Gray-Dort but this came to an end when, in 1923, Josiah Dort decided to pull out of the automotive business. The last Gray-Dort production was in 1924 and it was all over in 1925 after a lifetime sales of 26,000 units.

Emblems

The Gray-Dort radiator emblem was finished in blue and white enamel, see example shown above. 

The following Gray-Dort radiator emblem is similar but has a slightly different design for the wreath and may be the earliest Gray-Dort radiator emblem. However, I cannot confirm the actual dates of use of these emblems.

This is a Gray-Dort radiator emblem (dates uncertain)     mjs
Size: 52mm diameter   MM: Unknown

If you can help by confirming the actual dates of use of the Gray-Dort radiator emblems shown above, please let me know, in order to update this post.












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