January 10, 2021

RUXTON

New Era Motors, Inc. (1929-1930)
St. Louis, Missouri & Hartford, Wisconsin


This is a Ruxton radiator emblem (1929-1930)   mjs
Size: 84mm wide 68mm high     MM: Fox

William Muller developed a front-wheel-drive prototype car in late 1928 while he was working at the Budd car body manufacturing company. The car was to be called the Ruxton. Archie Andrews was a board member at Budd and decided to produce the Ruxton himself. He organized New Era Motors in April 1929 and then looked for a suitable factory to build the car. In November 1929 it was announced that the car would be built at the Moon factory in St. Louis.

There followed a fight between the original Moon management and the new management that Archie Andrews wanted to install, including William Muller as president. By June 1930, after a court action, Andrews was in control at Moon and the Ruxton was built alongside the Windsor in St. Louis, Missouri (see Windsor) and, at the same time, the Ruxton was being built alongside the Kissel in Hartford, Wisconsin (see Kissel). Kissel went into receivership later in 1930 to avoid the company falling into the hands of Andrews. As Kissel was to manufacture the final drive assemblies and transmissions for all the Ruxtons, production of the Ruxton ceased.

Moon had no cash left and went into receivership and no further Ruxton cars were built. Total production of the Ruxton was about 500 cars only 25 of which were built at Kissel. Some of the Ruxton cars built but not sold previously were finally sold in 1932. A few special custom-built cars were made but most Ruxtons were roadsters or sedans. The Ruxton was an excellent car and strikingly handsome, especially the sedans, some of which sported multi-coloured striped paint schemes.

Emblems

The Ruxton carried a large blue and black enamel radiator emblem with a stylized rendering of a griffin, see example shown above at the top of this post. This Ruxton radiator emblem is extremely rare.

The Ruxton radiator emblem is much sought after by emblem collectors. But, emblem collectors should take great care, as there are reproduction Ruxton emblems, which are not only very closely similar to the original Ruxton radiator emblem but which also display Fox maker's marks. Original Ruxton emblems have a flat head slotted screw soldered to the back of the emblem, see example shown below, so if a Ruxton emblem has a different fixing stud, it is certainly a reproduction. However, there are other differences and comparison with a known original is the best way to identify a reproduction Ruxton emblem. 

Fixing screw on an original Ruxton emblem

The Ruxton radiator emblem was mounted in a specially molded space at the top of the radiator, as shown below:

Ruxton emblem attached to the radiator shell (1930)   bonhams

The Ruxton griffin motif was also applied to the Ruxton hubcaps, bumper emblems and tail lights, see examples shown below:

Ruxton hubcap showing griffin motif (1930)  bonhams

Ruxton bumper emblem showing griffin motif (1930)  rmsothebys

Ruxton tail light showing griffin motif (1930)   rmsothebys






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