How to Identify Classic Car Emblems


In 1908, Henry Ford brought the Tin Lizzie to the American people. From that day, classic cars began to drive an interest in speed-lovers across the globe. The distinctively built bodies, streamlined dashboard and hard leather seats were soon a collectors item to enthusiasts. With the classic design of the cars themselves came the emblem that distinguished it from other models.

Things You'll Need

  • Guide to classic car emblems (see references)
  • Review the overall design of the emblem. The Le Baron, for example, was designed with an upside-down spade encompassing a four colored flag within. A crown sat on the top of the upside-down spade, and the words, "Le Baron, Coachwork," were written to the side. The Cadillac emblem was written in a circle stating, "Cadillac Motor Car Co." and had a large "V" that pierced through the center of the circle.

  • Look for peculiar characteristics. The vintage Lincoln was produced with a distinct flag/shield design. This design rested below a metalic person which held the shield/flag. The shield/flag was divided into four parts, two white and two blue in a cross pattern. The white sections have small gold dots within them and the blue sections appear to be marbled with black streaks. The Mercury emblem was made as a half-moon shape, lying flat on the fender with the word "Mercury" written in Black. The half-moon piece was red with the head of Heracles set in the center of four stars.

  • Determine the make of an emblem with minimal writing. The Kaiser brand logo has a large K with a buffalo standing beneath it. The Studebaker car emblem is a circle divided in half by a disfigured S.

  • Search the emblem for the name. Many classic cars are branded with their name, such as Cadillac, Ford, Plymouth, Morgan and Bugatti. This is an effective way to find the make of the car.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your vehicle is an exotic make or a rare model that is hard to determine, refer to the reference, which has hundreds of manufacturers listed.

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