September 14, 2023


Dart Truck Co. (1903-1907)
Anderson, Indiana
Dart Mfg. Co. (1907-1912)

Dart Motor Mfg. Co. (1913-1914)
Dart Motor Truck Co. (1914-1918)
Dart Truck & Tractor Corp. (1918-1924)
Hawkeye-Dart Truck Co. (1925)
Waterloo, Iowa
Dart Truck Co. (1925-1961)
KW-Dart Truck Co. (1961-1970)
Dart Truck Co. (1970-present)
Kansas City, Missouri

This is a Dart radiator and hood side emblem (c1933)   mjs
Size: 325mm wide 73mm high    MM:

Dart trucks have been built for over 110 years under several company names and in three locations. The company started as a bicycle manufacturer in 1890. The first trucks in 1903 were chain driven 1/2-ton capacity high-wheelers powered by 20 hp two-cylinder engines. The company moved from Anderson, Indiana to Waterloo, Iowa in 1907 and, by 1912, the trucks were completely redesigned and three models were offered, 1/2-ton, 1-ton and 1-1/2-ton capacity all powered by four-cylinder engines. By April 1916, the Dart truck line-up consisted of seven models ranging from 500 lbs to 3-ton capacity. 

After the First World War truck models up to 3-tons continued to be produced. In 1925 the company was reorganized in Kansas City as the Dart Truck Company and production continued into the 1930's with trucks up to 5-tons capacity. During World War II, Dart trucks grew even larger with 10-ton trucks and 40-ton truck tractors used as tank transporters. In the late 1950's production focused on large off-highway trucks of up to 70-ton capacity and by the mid-1960's Dart was building 100-ton capacity dump trucks and 120-ton bottom-dump tractor trailers.

Dart has continued to build specialist heavy duty dump trucks and related vehicles of sizes up to 160-tons capacity to the present time (as of 2023) under a number of different owners.


The earliest Dart high-wheelers probably did not carry an emblem but would have displayed the "Dart" name on small nameplates and serial plates attached to the rear of the vehicle. By 1907, the Dart high-wheeler 1/2-ton light delivery wagon displayed the "Dart" name, either painted or on a decal, on the side of the wagon under the driver's seat, see illustration shown below:

Dart light delivery wagon with Dart side "emblem" (c1907)  rg 

Close-up showing Dart side "emblem" (c1907)

The now, well known "Dart" script logo is first seen around 1912 or 1913 in Dart advertisements, see example shown below:

Dart ad with logo (1913) ebay

The four-cylinder Dart trucks from about 1912 displayed an early form of the "Dart" script logo nameplate with a very long arrow on the sides of the body under the driver's seat, see example shown below:

Dart truck showing body side nameplate (1913)   ms

It is possible that these early Dart trucks also displayed the "Dart" name on a brass script mounted on the radiator core, as shown in the following illustration taken from a 1916 Dart advertisement:

Dart truck displaying a Dart radiator script (1916)   ebay

The Dart Model D light delivery car introduced in 1916 had a much smaller body side "Dart" script, which can just been seen in the following original photo:

Dart light delivery car displaying a small "Dart" body side script (1916)  ebay

Heavy duty Dart trucks had a heavy ribbed radiator with a Dart script emblem cast into the radiator tank to, see 1918 Dart sales bulletin illustration shown below:

Heavy duty Dart truck radiator & cast in emblem (c1916)   flp

The Dart truck is believed to have continued to have a radiator emblem cast into the radiator tank top up to the move to Kansas City in 1925, see slightly different heavy radiator with cast in emblem used in 1920:

Heavy duty Dart Model L truck with cast in radiator emblem (1920)    flp

The following photo shows much the same radiator and emblem used on a Dart tractor:

Dart radiator and cast in emblem (c1920)   ms

Dart truck designs and styling changed after the Depression in the early 1930's. The following photo of a Dart truck introduced in 1933 shows new radiator and hood side emblems, which look closely similar:

This is a Dart Model 60 truck displaying new radiator and hood side emblems (1933)    rg

This is believed to be the painted cast metal Dart emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Dart emblem is rare.

This is a Dart radiator and hood side emblem (c1933)   mjs
Size: 325mm wide 73mm high   MM:

The following Dart script was originally plated and was used as a hood side emblem on the Dart standard truck model in 1939. This Dart hood side script is scarce.

This is a Dart hood side script emblem (1939)    mjs
Size: 152mm wide   

The following red painted Dart emblem appears to date from the 1930's but I cannot confirm this. This Dart emblem is also rare.

This is a Dart emblem (c1930's)   mjs
Size: 73mm wide 48mm high   MM: None

The following Dart emblem is believed to be a hood side emblem from the 1940's, although I cannot confirm this date. This Dart hood side emblem is rare.

This is a Dart hood side emblem (c1940's)    lktec
Size: 308mm wide 70mm high    MM: None

Later Dart trucks became progressively heavy capacity and heavy duty, and displayed a new range of Dart radiator emblems, see late 1940's 35-ton Model 35T end dump truck shown below:

This is a 35-ton capacity Dart dump truck with radiator emblem (1940's)   rg

If you can confirm the use and dates of use of any of the Dart emblems shown earlier, please let me know, in order to update this post.

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