August 19, 2021

REPUBLIC TRUCK

Alma Motor Truck Co. (1913-1914)
Republic Motor Truck Co. (1914-1916)
Republic Motor Truck Co., Inc. (1916-1929)

LaFrance-Republic Corp. (1929-1930)
Alma, Michigan 


This is a Republic radiator emblem (1922-1926;1929)     mjs
Size: 102mm wide 50mm high    MM: Whitehead & Hoag   

Republic started building conventional light trucks in the 3/4-ton to 1-ton range in 1913 and by 1917 had expanded to five models up to 3-1/2-tons capacity. Republic was one of the manufacturers of Liberty trucks during the First World War and was America's largest truck manufacturer in 1918 and 1919 with production of over 10,000 units a year. As well as a wide dealership in the United States, Republic trucks also had dealers in at least 56 overseas locations. Republic chose to finish their truck chassis frames in distinctive yellow paint and advertised their product as "the Yellow Chassis Truck".

After the war, Republic, which had a capacity of 30,000 trucks a year, decided to expand in anticipation of a large future market for trucks. Republic financed its expansion by issuing $3 million in gold notes. However, the postwar depression and the return to the US of thousands of Liberty trucks resulted in a big drop in demand for new trucks.

Republic was in serious financial difficulties during the 1920's and was forced into receivership in 1922. After reorganization, Republic increased the range of its trucks up to 5-tons capacity. In 1927, there were eight truck models available and six-cylinder engines were introduced. In 1928, Republic acquired the Linn Manufacturing Corporation. 

However, Republic's attempts to recover were unsuccessful and in 1929 Republic merged with the commercial vehicle part of American-LaFrance to form the LaFrance-Republic Corporation. Republic and American LaFrance were listed separately until May 1930 but, thereafter, all trucks were badged LaFrance-Republic. The possible exception to this were Republic models exported overseas, which may have continued into 1932.

Emblems

Early Republic trucks displayed the "REPUBLIC" name on a brass script mounted on the radiator, see original period photo shown below:

Republic truck showing rad script (1914)  ma

In the period from 1915 to about mid-1916, Republic trucks appear to show the "REPUBLIC" name in white letters on a decal displayed on the front of the radiator tank top, see examples shown below:

Republic truck with radiator decal emblem (c1915)  embarqspace

Republic truck with radiator decal emblem (1916) erbzine

From mid-1916, the Republic truck had a new radiator with a heavy ribbed top tank with the "REPUBLIC" name cast into the radiator tank top and with a "Republic" script decal displayed on the body side under the seat, see examples shown below:

Republic truck radiator (1916-1926)  moroz

This is a Republic truck with cast radiator emblem and body side decal (1916)    rmsothebys

Republic cast radiator emblem (1916)    rmsothebys

Republic radiator top mascot emblem (1916)   rmsothebys

Republic truck body side script decal (1916)    rmsothebys

This arrangement was continued on light duty Republic trucks until 1922 and on heavy duty Republic trucks until about 1926. On some models the body side script decal is replaced by a small Republic shield decal.

From mid-1916 also, some Republic models displayed the "REPUBLIC" name stenciled on the the sides of the yellow painted chassis frames, see example shown below:

Republic truck showing cast emblem, body side script decal & chassis frame stencil (c1924) wheelsage

The following red, white and blue enamel Republic emblem is listed as a 1919 Republic radiator grille emblem but I have no further details and cannot confirm this. It is possible that this was a prototype emblem used around 1921 before a decision was made on the emblems for the new radiator design introduced in 1922. If you can provide further details of this Republic truck emblem, please let me know, in order to update this post. If this is an authentic Republic truck radiator emblem, it would be extremely rare.

This is a Republic emblem (c1919)     moroz
Size: Unknown     MM: Unknown

From 1922 to 1926, light duty Republic trucks had a new flat faced radiator top and carried a Republic shield shaped emblem.  This Republic radiator emblem is believed to have been also briefly used in 1929 for the first Republic Fleetmaster trucks.This is the orange and black enamel Republic radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Republic radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Republic radiator emblem (1922-1926;1929)    mjs
Size: 102mm wide 50mm high    MM: Whitehead & Hoag

The following Republic radiator emblem is inscribed "Trade Mark" at the bottom and may have preceded the previous Republic radiator emblem. This Republic radiator emblem is also very rare.

This is a Republic radiator emblem (1922-1926)   dnc
Size: 102mm wide 50mm high    MM: Whitehead & Hoag

The following Republic radiator emblems, for the "Rapid Transit" model introduced in 1924, and "Express" model introduced in 1925, were used up to 1926. These Republic radiator emblems are very rare.

This is a Republic "Rapid Transit" radiator emblem (1924-1926) mjs
Size: 102mm wide 50mm high    MM: Whitehead & Hoag

This is a Republic "Express" radiator emblem (c1925-1926)  mjs
Size: 102mm wide 50mm high  MM: Unknown (poss Whitehead & Hoag)

There was a new Republic radiator with a cast alloy tank top and a red painted integral radiator emblem, which was first introduced in mid-1925 for the new 3-ton models, see Republic advertisement shown below:

Republic ad showing new rad & emblem (1925) ebay

Detail showing cast radiator emblem (1925)  

The following is an example of this Republic truck radiator and emblem:

Republic radiator & emblem (1925-1929) brc 

The same radiator and emblem was in general use across the range of Republic trucks by mid-1926 and was also displayed on the chassis side frame members, see examples shown below:

Republic Model 60R truck with cast radiator emblem (1929)  brc

Close-up showing radiator emblem (1929)

Republic truck with chassis side frame emblem (c1928)   ms

Close-up showing chassis side frame emblem  

Close-up chassis side frame emblem (1929)     brc

A separate Republic emblem of the same design was also used as a radiator emblem on some light duty models when the new radiator style was adopted, see example in the poor photo shown below:

Republic truck with separate rad emblem (1926)  shobeauction.hibid

This is the red painted, pressed aluminum Republic radiator emblem shown below. This Republic emblem is rare.

Republic radiator & chassis frame emblem (1925-c1929)  mjs
Size: 215mm wide 116mm high    MM: None 

The same emblem was also used as a rear chassis frame emblem, see example below:

Republic truck with rear chassis frame emblem (1926) shobeauction.hibid

Some Republic models displayed "Republic" nameplates attached to the sides of the body under the seat, see example shown below:

This is a Republic truck displaying body side nameplate (c1925)  searcharchives.vancouver.ca
 
Close-up showing body side nameplate 

This is the black painted Republic body side nameplate shown below. This Republic body side nameplate is rare.

This is a Republic body side nameplate (c1925-1929)  mjs
Size: 247mm wide 87mm high

A new Republic Fleetmaster truck was introduced in 1929, see the following advertisement, which shows the Republic radiator emblem previously used in 1922-1926:

Republic Fleetmaster showing emblem (1929)  ms

The following shows the Republic radiator emblem in the 1929 Republic Fleetmaster advertisement:

This is a Republic radiator emblem (1922-1926;1929)   mjs
Size: 102mm wide 50mm high     MM: Whitehead & Hoag

However, a new Republic radiator emblem was introduced in 1929 and continued in use after the merger with American-LaFrance until about May 1930, see examples shown below.

The following Republic Fleetmaster truck carries the new radiator emblem and also displays a "Fleetmaster" hood side nameplate:

Republic Fleetmaster truck with new rad emblem & Fleetmaster hood side nameplate (c1929)  aths  

The Republic Model F2R truck shown below carries the new radiator emblem and also displays a "Republic" hood side nameplate:

Republic truck showing radiator emblem & hood side nameplate (1930) brc

This new emblem is the blue, white and gold enamel Republic radiator emblem shown below. This Republic radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Republic radiator emblem (1929-1930)    mjs
Size: 97mm wide 66mm high   MM: Unknown

This Republic radiator emblem was replaced in America by a LaFrance-Republic radiator emblem from May 1930 but continued to be used for exports of Republic trucks to overseas customers until 1931 or 1932, see example shown below:

Republic truck in the Netherlands with Republic rad emblem & hood side nameplate (c1931) alamy







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