kgreen

Prewar Buick trunk emblem differences

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I require clarification, please, to determine the applicable emblem style for the 1940 trunk emblem.  I've seen two examples with both being referred to as 1940 specific. 

 

Look specifically at the width of the deer and the bottom leg of the cross.  Which one is correct for 1940?  

 

1802432210_BadgeID.jpg.8fbff0818c7e5de0222299fd7202fca1.jpg

grill badge 1.jpg

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Barney, the pattern between your two emblems is different.  Not sure what to make of that.

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Patterns are different because the overall dimensions are different.  They emblems themselves are not the same shape or size.  The patterns are made to fit in terms of the space they go in.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Ken:

 

This is about as clear as mud.  As you know, I have a '41 not a '40, but here's what I can tell you.

 

First, as Billy mentions, there is no correspondence between the front and rear emblems.  They are different.

 

Second, with regard to your question on the rear emblem, my car has one with the "longer leg" cross, as you can see here:

 

rear_emblem.thumb.jpg.edbc1cab53f5b89e08a4085eea54dd77.jpg

 

I believe this is a reproduction which Bob's sells for "1939-41" cars.  Here's a shot of one from Bob's in the original plastic bag:

 

rear_emblem2.thumb.jpg.36e993c4454d58676a19f45bf4e2ae37.jpg

 

This also appears to be what is on Barney's '39.  However, the photo that you posted, which also appears to be a '39, has the different cross.  Just to confuse things even more, in Bob's catalog under the entry for this item, they have a picture of the one with the different cross (and different than the actual item they sell):

 

https://bobsautomobilia.com/rear-deck-items/trunk-emblem-cloisonne-1939-41-te-391/

 

So there you have it.  You clearly need to find someone with an original '40 emblem to confirm what the heck is going on here.

 

Neil

 

Edited by neil morse (see edit history)

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I've contacted two other 1940 car owners that have low turnover ownership cars and find the emblem that you pictured from Bobs to be, by consensus, the original style.  However, that is not quite good enough.  After 80 years, consensus isn't as reliable as it was years ago when the likelihood of originality was more prevalent.  So far, I find that the equal leg cross was used in the later 40's. My question now boils down to a history of the Buick name and what is possibly the use of a family crest.  I now wonder what the crest symbolises!

 

I've been in touch via telephone with several of the 1940 and 41 Super and Roadmaster convertible owners to uncover details on their cars that would apply to my car.  I hope to uncover more reliable information.  I just love the search feature on the membership roster on the Buick website for the ability to reach out to other Buick owners.  I've met some really great people that happen to be Buick owners, and they are universally very willing to talk about their cars.

 

Neil, what am I going to do with my time when I finish this car?

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4 hours ago, kgreen said:

Neil, what am I going to do with my time when I finish this car?

 

Is any car ever finished? 😁

 

As far as the emblem, I found this from the Hemmings Archives:

 

The shield, first introduced on 1937 models, is the ancestral arms (or family armor) of company founder David Dunbar Buick, born in Arbroath, Scotland; the original spelling of his last name was Buik. Though no actual representation of the original crest has been found, company officials turned to a description in the Burke book of heraldry from 1851. The passage reads as follows: “Gu. A bend chequy, ar. and az. Detw. A Buck’s head erazed in chief, and cross couped and pierced, or, in base.”

 

 

The first sentence describes the background features of the now-famous shield. The red field is derived from “Gu,” while the bend reference is for a diagonal running from the upper left corner to the lower right. Next up is “ar.,” the color silver, and “az.” translates to azure, which is the color of the checks on the bend (blue).

 

The second sentence, part one: Buck’s head is exactly that, “erazed” means jagged edge of neck, and “chief” means placed in the upper right corner. The second sentence mentions the cross: “or” (gold was to be the intended cross color), “pierced” in the center with the red field showing behind, to be placed in the lower left corner.

 

From 1937 to 1941, the shield was in a slender, elongated form–vertically–placed between the grilles. With the grille redesigned in 1942, so too was the shield. A more conventional shield shape that continued, with minor trim variations, through the 1950 model year, replaced the slender silhouette. The single shield was again modified for the 1951-1953 models, this time elongated horizontally.

 

https://www.hemmings.com/blog/article/buicks-coat/

 

This doesn't really answer your question, but it's a start!

 

Neil

 

 

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I just happened upon another clue to this emblem question.  This is a photo I took off eBay from an ad for a '41 Roadmaster convertible sedan for sale.  The car has been dismantled and there are many photos of various parts.  As you can see, this emblem has the cross with equal size legs and the slightly wider stag as shown in the photo posted by Ken.  I'm wondering whether it's possible that this iteration is, in fact, the original factory emblem for '39 through '41 cars, and that whoever made the reproduction that Bob sells (and that we've seen on other cars) just took some liberties for some reason and made the slight changes in the cross and stag?  The colors on the emblem in this photo also appear to be a bit richer, but that may just be an artifact of the photo.   More food for thought.

 

rear_emblem3.thumb.jpg.92f462ee5adcad68b95c74fbea9fca51.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Some photo's of front & rear emblems from my 1939 41's (in New Zealand).  Think I have some more somewhere

Had 1 car since 1980, so reasonably confident they are originals. Cars are not restored (just rusty). Some are in a load of parts I acquired

151-5104_IMGs.jpg

Rear emblem.jpg

Edited by 1939_Buick (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Thanks for doing some homework guys. 

 

The research that I've come up with so far is that a Buick employee created the crest in the 30's with the intent of basing the crest on what could have been a crest for David DunBar Buik's scottish ancestors.  A Hemmings article from July 2015 suggested the spelling was original and that the "c" was added later.   Since the circumstance of creating the crest was mostly marketing but in honor of Mr. Buick, it is possible that the GM employee had a good  degree of liberty in its' creation.  Then as suggested by "39buickeight", the emblem changes to accomodate required fitment to the body trim.  

 

The creation of the crest uses elements from original Scottish designs.  According to a UK genealogy website, the red background color represents a warrior or martyr of military strength and magnanimity,  The stag represents one who will not fight unless provoked, and strength and fortitude.  The cross is a variant of the Celtic cross which center is traditionally circled.  This Buick/GM employee provided a slight modification to the traditional Celtic cross by having the circle within the intersection of the arms of the cross.  I could only suppose the thoughts going through the Buick/GM employees creative mind.  As marketing goes, the crest was introduced in the middle of the depression and Buick certainly would have been interested in instilling confidence in their customers.

 

 

Edited by kgreen (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Hopefully these will help.

 

Restored 1940 Super convertible:

036.thumb.JPG.84f0b6a0bba5fdfa4b8211205fd65c81.JPG

 

Older restoration 1941 71C:

038.thumb.JPG.2cd05717d8caed470670c53470023620.JPG

 

Original 1941 56C:

027.thumb.JPG.72f5c0b82b39e1dde74a32eec18f76e7.JPG

 

1941 Limited 91 Touring Sedan (probably a repro):

029.thumb.JPG.4f6b124277af7ca61d126431481a02b5.JPG

 

1940 Special 41 (restored):

025.thumb.JPG.f8fbe300419eaa5db9ba1a311c08032c.JPG

 

My 1941 56C (sold). It was restored so probably a repro badge:

DSC_4791.thumb.JPG.0a07f778883675adeffc245f4a136137.JPG

 

 

I'll get a picture of my Limited's emblem tomorrow.

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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These cars are almost 80 years old and who know if the emblem is the one that came on the car.

30 years ago,  you could take a part into your Buick parts department and the guy behind the counter was not using a computer, so

he might go into the back room and come out with one or two parts and if they fit, you paid them and went home happy.

There is also the possibility that a part might have a supplier change during the year and the new tooling might be different.

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My awesome wife Melanie remembered that we have this original 1941 Buick ad on our wall in our offices that shows the trunk emblem in detail. It's just a drawing on an ad, but it appears that for 1941, the longer lower leg on the cross would be correct.

 

20200108_133459.thumb.jpg.c73f18dc9ce19dee2581781eb45d5e70.jpg

 

 

FYI, my Limited has the long-legged cross on its trunk emblem and I am 85% sure that it is original to the car.

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I don't know if this adds anything to the discussion at all, but the original badge on my 1939 heater has equal "legs."  Of course heaters aren't necessarily year specific.

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Could it be reasonable to assume that pre-1941 cars had the equal-length legs on the cross, while 1941 had the longer lower leg?

 

Or different suppliers and both are correct, as was mentioned above?

 

That said, there's absolutely no way anyone will ever get docked points at any meet at any level for having the "wrong" emblem on the car if it's one of the two styles we're discussing. It's one of those tiny little details that may not even have a "correct" answer. They just used whatever was on the shelf. Quite honestly, I've been looking at these cars for 40 years and I never even noticed the difference until this discussion.

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I have two of these emblems, one on my '40 Super and another that was purchased from Bob's. The cross with equal legs is on the car and the one that was purchased from Bob's (longer cross on bottom) has never been on a vehicle. So I believe the one on the car to be original. 

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