August 13, 2020

MARION

Marion Motor Car Co. (1904-1914)

Indianapolis, Indiana

Mutual Motors Corp. (1914-1915)

Jackson, Michigan


This is a Marion radiator emblem (1912-1914)     mjs
Size: 56mm diameter     MM: Robbins

The Marion was initially an air-cooled 16 hp four-cylinder side entrance tonneau but water-cooled models were added later. A six-cylinder engine was used for 1908 but was not used again in a Marion until 1914. The best-known sporting car from Marion was the rakish Bobcat roadster of 1913. 

Early members of the Marion team included Robert Hassler, who went on to build his own car, and Harry C. Stutz, who was Chief Engineer at Marion from 1907 to 1910. The Marion was a good car but the Marion business had been under capitalized from the start and struggled to survive.

However, the company was recapitalized in 1912 with the help of J. I. Handley, who became company president. In December 1914 he reorganized as Mutual Motors Corporation, acquired Imperial of Jackson, Michigan and moved the Marion to Jackson as well. The cars were kept quite independent from each other and had separate sales organizations. The Imperial was discontinued in 1915 and the Marion became the Marion-Handley in 1916.

Emblems

The earliest Marion cars did not carry an emblem but, no doubt, carried small maker's nameplates attached to the body. 

By about 1908 or possibly earlier, the Marion displayed a large brass "Marion" script on the radiator core, see example in the original photo of a Marion race car from 1909 shown below:

Marion race car with large radiator script (1909)     dpl

I do not have a good photo of this radiator script but original large sized "Marion" radiator scripts are very rare.

Marion factory illustrations for 1910 show a small sized "Marion" radiator script but with no radiator emblem, see example below:

Part of Marion factory illustration showing small rad script (1910)

This small "Marion" radiator script is seen in original photos of Marion cars from 1910 and 1911 and on surviving cars, see example below:

Small brass "Marion" radiator script (1911)     bonhams

An interesting blue and white enamel radiator emblem featuring a Marion car and driver appeared on Marion cars in 1912, see example below:

This shows the radiator emblem on a Model 33 Marion (1912)    sotheby's

This Marion radiator emblem is finished in polished metal, as shown in the emblem photo above at the top of this post. The same Marion radiator emblem can also be found finished in nickel plate, see example below. Both versions of this Marion radiator emblem are very rare.

This is a nickel plated Marion radiator emblem (1912-1914)     sam
Size: 56mm diameter     MM: Unknown (probably Robbins) 

This Marion radiator emblem is sought after by emblem collectors but beware, as there is a Pulfer reproduction Marion emblem. The reproduction emblem has a flat shiny back and the front design is cruder and lacks the in depth detail of the original emblem, see example shown below:

This is a reproduction Marion radiator emblem  showing the lack of detail  ms

By 1915, the Marion had a new blue and white enamel radiator emblem following the company reorganization in 1914, see example below. This Marion radiator emblem was in use for one year only and is extremely rare.

This is a Marion radiator emblem (1915)    sam
Size: 68mm wide 32mm high    MM: Unknown


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