September 03, 2019


Garford Co. (1907-1908; 1911-1913)

Elyria, Ohio

This is a Garford radiator emblem (late1907-1908-early 1909; 1911)    mjs
Size: 58mm diameter     MM: Unknown

Arthur L Garford had been involved in bicycle manufacturing but decided to move into the automobile component business and established the Federal Manufacturing Company in 1903. Garford then widened his operations and to supply the automotive industry with complete chassis. Auto companies using Garford chassis included Ardsley, Gaeth, Cleveland, Rainier and Studebaker. 

The contract to supply chassis to Studebaker, which commenced in late 1903, did not allow Garford to market an automobile in their own name. Motor cars produced by Garford were referred to as Studebaker-Garford (see Studebaker-Garford) or Studbaker (see Studebaker). But, in October 1907 Garford introduced their four-cylinder Models A and B at the Grand Central Palace Show as Garford cars. They were sold in 1908 and entered the Glidden Tour and other competitions as Garford. Studebaker objected to this infringement of their contract with Garford and the Garford name was dropped. The contract with Studebaker was finally terminated in 1910 after when Garford was able to put the Garford name to its cars again.

The first legal Garford car was the four-cylinder 40 hp Model G-7, which was shown at the New York Automobile Show in January 1911. This was also the last Studebaker-Garford car marketed by Studebaker. Garford produced improved versions of the Model G for 1912 and 1913, including six-cylinder models, which were introduced in 1912. 

Garford suffered difficulties, however, because, having relied on its contract with Studebaker, it had not developed a dealership network of its own. The Garford automobile manufacturing business was sold to Willys-Overland in 1912 and the final Garford cars appeared in 1913. Some reports indicate that unsold Garfords were advertised and sold in 1914 as Willys-Garford. Thereafter, the Garford name continued on commercial vehicles only.


The first cars produced by Garford in late 1903 and 1904, were marketed as Studebaker-Garford or Studebaker, and did not carry an emblem. They would have displayed the Studebaker name on small plates attached to the outside of the body or under the driver's seat.

Cars built by Garford in 1905 and 1906, were still Studebaker-Garford and displayed Studebaker radiator emblems and/or Studebaker radiator scripts (see Studebaker).

Cars built by Garford from 1907 carried a round, painted Studebaker-Garford radiator emblem mounted on the radiator tank top. The Studebaker-Garford radiator emblem was used until 1911.

In October 1907 and through 1908, Garford infringed their contract with Studebaker by marketing some of their four-cylinder Models A and B as Garford cars. The 1908 Garford advertisement shown below includes two Garford logos, the "Garford" script logo at the top and a logo consisting of a stylized letter "G" within a diamond surround at the bottom:

This is a Garford ad showing two logos (1908)   ms

The following original photo shows a Garford car taking part in the 1908 Glidden Tour:

This is a Garford car taking part in the Glidden Tour showing a radiator emblem (1908)     dpl

The Garford car shown above is carrying a round, domed radiator emblem, which displays the stylized letter "G" in a diamond logo. An example of this round, domed, black enamel Garford radiator emblem is shown above at the top of this post. This Garford radiator emblem is believed to have been used on Garford automobiles in late 1907 and through 1908, into early 1909 and again from 1911 after the cancellation of the contract with Studebaker and is extremely rare.

Original photos taken in 1908, 1909 ad 1911 clearly show this Garford radiator emblem. Original photos of Garford cars taken after 1911, that I have seen, are not clear enough to show the detailed design of the radiator emblem.

Original photos taken in 1908 also show Garford automobiles carrying the radiator emblem shown above and the two forms of Garford logo displayed in the form of brass scripts attached to the radiator core, see examples shown below:

This Garford car displays the Garford script logo (1908)    dpl

This Garford car displays a brass "G" in diamond logo script (1908)   dpl

Original Garford radiator logo scripts, as shown above, would be extremely rare. If you have better photos of these scripts, please send copies in order to up date this post.

By about 1912, the Garford script logo had changed slightly, see below:

This Garford Six ad shows a revised Garford script logo (1913)  ms

This is a Garford radiator script (c1912-1913)     sam
Size: 350mm wide

The original Garford radiator script shown above is very rare.

The following Garford radiator emblem is closely similar to the first Garford radiator emblem shown at the top of this post, except that it is a metal only emblem. It is possible that this Garford radiator emblem was used on early Garford commercial vehicles produced from 1908 or, alternatively, on some Garford automobile models in 1911. This Garford radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Garford radiator emblem (date uncertain)      sam
Size: 60mm diameter     MM: Unknown

A surviving 1912 Garford Six Fifty displays a painted circular radiator emblem, see photo below:

This shows a painted Garford radiator emblem (1912)     conceptcarz

The Garford radiator emblem shown above appears to be nickel plated and has been painted to match the green body color. I cannot confirm whether this emblem was originally fitted to the car in 1912 or was added later. It is also possible that these emblems were used on a Garford commercial vehicle. Original photos of Garford cars from 1912 are not clear enough to identify the detailed design of the radiator emblem.

The same Garford radiator emblem is found in a metal finish with the central motif and lettering finished in black, see example below. This Garford radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Garford radiator emblem (c1912)     sam
Size: 54mm diameter    MM: Unknown

The following is a Garford hub cap, which follows the same design as the Garford radiator emblem shown above:

This is a Garford hub cap (c1912)     dkc

If you have further details about any of the Garford emblems shown above, please let me know, in order to update this post.

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