August 22, 2021

MARMON

Nordyke & Marmon Co. (1902-1926)

Marmon Motor Car Co. (1926-1933)

Indianapolis, Indiana


This is a Marmon radiator emblem (c1910-1915)     mjs
Size: 62mm wide 32mm high    MM: Greenduck

The Nordyke & Marmon Company was a successful manufacturer of flour milling machinery when Howard C. Marmon became chief engineer of the family firm in 1902. That year he built his first two-cylinder, air-cooled experimental automobile, which was very progressive and utilised several novel features. A V-4 car was built in 1903 and six of these cars were sold in 1904. Full production of the Marmon began in 1905 and 25 cars were sold that year. Howard Marmon built an experimental V-6 engine in 1905 and a 65 hp V-8 engine the following year but these did not go into production.

In 1908 a water-cooled engine was offered by Marmon and became standard from 1909. The engines were conventional four-cylinder inline T-heads and the chassis was conventional also. Even so, the Model 32 offered in 1909 was a fine automobile and one of the longest lived from that year. A racing version of the Model 32 called the Marmon Wasp was driven by Ray Harroun to win the Indianapolis 500 in 1911. In 1916 a Model 34 six-cylinder Marmon was driven across the USA in less than six days and beat the record made previously by Cannon Ball Baker in a V-8 Cadillac. The Model 34 was continued in production through 1928.

But the Marmon automobile business was losing money, although the flour milling machinery business had been doing very well, and a new president brought in to try to improve the Marmon automobile business decided to expand production. To provide more space for automobile production, Nordyke & Marmon sold its flour mill machinery business in 1926 and reorganized as the Marmon Motor Car Company. The straight-eight Little Marmon arrived in 1927 but only lasted a year. It was followed by lower priced eight-cylinder models and by 1929 all Marmon cars were eight-cylinder models.

Marmon introduced the Roosevelt in 1929 as America's lowest priced straight-eight (see Roosevelt). Sales leapt from 12,369 cars in 1928 to 22,323 cars in 1929. But then came the stock market crash and the Marmon fortunes plummeted; 12,369 cars in 1930, 5,687 in 1931, 1,365 in 1932 and only 86 in 1933. Ironically, Marmon decided to abandon the automotive market just as it introduced a magnificent new car designed by Howard Marmon. It was a 16-cylinder model developing 200 hp and offered speeds up to 100mph, and it was a magnificent automobile but too late in the market. The Marmon Sixteen was the sole product for 1933 and that was the end of the Marmon.

The Nordyke & Marmon Company also made a 1/4-ton delivery van between 1912 and 1915. Howard's brother Walter Marmon later joined up with Arthur Herrington to produce trucks under the Marmon-Herrington name.

Emblems

The earliest air-cooled Marmon cars did not carry an emblem but are likely to have had a maker's nameplate or a serial plate attached to the body.

Original photos of 1907 air-cooled Marmon cars show a large brass "Marmon" script attached to the radiator core, see example below:

This is a Marmon car with a large radiator script (1907)     dpl

"Marmon" radiator scripts may have been used on air-cooled Marmon cars from 1906 and are seen in original photos of Marmon cars up to about 1908. Original Marmon brass radiator scripts with this design are very rare.

A large capital letter "MARMON" radiator script is seen in original period photos of the first water-cooled Marmon cars from 1908 to about 1910, see examples shown below. Original Marmon radiator scripts with this design are very rare.  

The first radiator emblems also appeared on water-cooled Marmon cars in 1908 and a similar large, oval-shaped emblem continued to be used into 1910, see examples below:

This is a water-cooled Marmon showing a radiator emblem (1908)    dpl

This is a Marmon car showing a radiator emblem (1909)     dpl

This large, oval-shaped, black painted brass Marmon radiator emblem is also seen on some restored 1910 Marmon cars, see example below. This Marmon radiator emblem is extremely rare.

This is a 1910 large painted Marmon radiator emblem (1908-1910)   samuel m purvis
Size: Approx 100mm wide

By 1911, the Marmon radiator emblem had been changed to a smaller oval-shaped emblem, see example shown below:

This is a Marmon Roadster showing radiator emblem (1914)  imsm

This emblem continued in use through 1915 and was also also for Marmon Model 41 cars in 1916, which were leftover from 1915. This is the white, blue and red enamel Marmon radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Marmon radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Marmon radiator emblem (c1910-1915)    mjs
Size: 62mm wide 32mm high    MM: Greenduck

The Marmon radiator emblem design was changed for the 1916 model year Marmon Model 34, to a smaller oval, metal emblem with the "Marmon" name finished in blue enamel, see example shown below.

This is a Marmon radiator emblem (c1916-1919)   dnc
Size: 58mm wide 28mm high    MM: Unknown

This Marmon radiator emblem may have been used for most of the 1916-1919 period, but I cannot confirm this. This Marmon radiator emblem is scarce.

Unfortunately, there are several Marmon radiator emblems, which appear to be similar to the emblem shown above but which are different in size or detail, and there are very few clear photos of Marmon emblems that can be dated with confidence, as many surviving Marmon cars have had incorrect emblems attached during restoration. As a result, the dates of use of the emblems shown here are best estimates based on available information. If you can confirm more accurate dates of use of any Marmon emblems, please let me know, in order to update this post.

There was a change to a slightly larger Marmon radiator emblem for the period from 1920 to 1927, see example shown below:

This is a Marmon radiator emblem (1920-1927)    mjs
Size: 64mmwide 33mm high    MM: Unknown

The following blue enamel Marmon radiator emblem has a similar design to the emblem shown above but appears to be smaller:

This is a Marmon radiator emblem (1920-1927)   mjs
Size: 59mm wide 29mm high    MM: Unknown

However, this emblem is designed to be attached to a bezel, which was screw fixed to the radiator, see complete, restored blue enamel Marmon radiator emblem sitting in its bezel shown below, which has the same overall size as the emblem show earlier:

This is a Marmon radiator emblem in a bezel (1920-1927)  mjs
Size: 64mm wide 33mm wide    MM: None 

The following round Marmon emblem with the "Marmon" name finished in blue enamel was a hubcap emblem used briefly from about 1916 and possibly earlier. This Marmon hubcap emblem is rare.

This is a Marmon hub emblem (c1916)   dnc
Size: 42mm diameter    MM: None

The following, slightly larger version without enamel was widely used as a Marmon hub emblem on wire wheel models from about 1916 to about 1922.

This is a Marmon wire wheel hub emblem (c1916-c1922)  mjs
Size: 45mm diameter    MM: None   

The Marmon radiator emblem was changed again in 1927 for the new Marmon Little 8 model and the same emblem continued in use for all Marmon models, except Marmon Roosevelt models, from 1928 to 1930. This is the blue enamel, gold plated Marmon radiator emblem shown below:

This is a Marmon radiator emblem (1927-1930)    mjs
Size: 56mm wide 29mm high    MM: Unknown

The Marmon Roosevelt for 1929-1931 carried a special black enamel radiator emblem, see example below. This Marmon Roosevelt radiator emblem is scarce.

This is a Marmon Roosevelt radiator emblem (1929-1930)  mjs
Size: 56mm wide 27mm high    MM: D L Auld

In 1930, Roosevelt cars sent for export carried an oval-shaped, black and white enamel Marmon "M" radiator emblem, see example shown below:

This is a Roosevelt export model radiator emblem (1930)  mjs
Size: 44mm high 36mm wide    MM: Fox

The Marmon hub emblem was changed after about 1922 to the emblem shown below with mounting holes. This Marmon hub emblem was used for wood spoked artillery wheel hubcaps and subsequent wire wheel hubcaps also.

This is a Marmon hub emblem (c1922-c1930)     mjs
Size:    MM: None

The larger Marmon models for 1928-1929 and the 1930 Marmon Model 79, displayed a "Lightning Bolt" ornament mounted on the radiator core and a black painted front bumper emblem in the shape of a radiator carrying the "Lightning Bolt" motif, see example shown below:

Marmon Model 78 with Lightning Bolt ornament & bumper emblem (1928)    hemmimgs

The Marmon radiator emblem was changed yet again for 1931 for all Marmon eight-cylinder models. This is the two-piece oval emblem shown below with the "Marmon" name finished in orange/gold enamel on a plated panel:

This is a Marmon radiator emblem (1931)    mjs
Size: 58mm wide 28mm high    MM: D L Auld

The following shows a similar two-piece Marmon radiator emblem with no plating on the front panel:

This is a Marmon radiator emblem (1931)    mjs
Size: 58mm wide 28mm high    MM: D L Auld

Marmon Eight models for 1932 had no radiator emblem but carried a large oval shaped emblems mounted in the center of the headlight bar and on the luggage rack, see example shown below:

Marmon Eight headlight bar emblem (1932)    ms

This is the blue, white and red enamel Marmon Eight headlight bar and luggage rack emblem used for the 1932 Marmon Series 125. This Marmon radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Marmon Eight headlight bar & luggage rack emblem (1932) mjs
Size: 80mm wide 57mm high    MM: Fox

The following blue, white and black enamel Marmon Eight emblem is believed to have been used for the 1932 Marmon Eight Series 70 and is also rare:

This is a Marmon Eight headlight bar & luggage rack emblem (1932) mjs
Size: 80mm wide 57mm high    MM: Fox

The Marmon Sixteen, which first appeared in 1931, did not carry a radiator emblem but did display the "Marmon Sixteen" name on the octagonal hub emblems, see examples shown below:

Marmon Sixteen hubcap (1931)   rarecars

The following is an example of the painted Marmon Sixteen hub emblem. This Marmon Sixteen hub emblem is scarce.

This is a Marmon Sixteen hub emblem(1931-1932)   ms
Size: Unknown    MM: Unknown

The "Marmon Sixteen" name was also displayed on a rectangular black enamel nameplate mounted in the top front center of the dash board, see example shown below: 

This shows the Marmon Sixteen dash emblem (1931)     hyman

This is the black enamel Marmon Sixteen dash emblem:

This is a Marmon Sixteen dash emblem (1931-1933)   mjs
Size: 93mm wide 17mm high    MM: Fox

The Marmon Sixteen Victoria Coupe of 1932 did carry a metal radiator grille emblem, see example below. This Marmon Sixteen radiator grille emblem may have been used on some models built in late 1931 for the 1932 model year. This Marmon Sixteen grille emblem is very rare.

This is a Marmon Sixteen radiator grille emblem (1932) gooding
Size: Unknown   MM: Unknown

The Marmon Sixteen for 1933 did not have a radiator emblem but did display the "Marmon 16" name on an octagonal red and black enamel Marmon Sixteen hub emblem. This Marmon 16 hub emblem is scarce. 

This is a Marmon Sixteen hub emblem (1933)     mjs
Size: 67mm high 67mm wide   MM: D L Auld












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