Q&A with Kit Foster: January 9, 2014

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Q. I have an interesting antique emblem that I have been unable to identify. It comes from my father’s estate. He was born in 1912, and the story goes that he had, in his early driving years, a Stutz Bearcat straight eight. He has long been known to keep insignias and other trinkets from vehicles that he owned. Can you or one or your readers tell me what I have, what it is from and what is it worth? It is 3-7/8 inches in diameter, a quarter-inch thick and weighs 10 oz. At first, I thought it was a hood ornament, but as it is not finished on the back side, that idea fails. My next guess is a bumper emblem that would affix on the top edge of a bumper, in front of the front fender or grille.

— Al Becher, Lincoln, Neb.

A. The original Stutz Bearcat, 1912-24, had a four-cylinder T-head engine. Stutz’s first eight was the Vertical 8 of 1926, and its emblem did have an asymmetric “8” of the same general shape as yours. A Bearcat model was revived in 1932 with the DV-32 engine, a dual-valve version of the Vertical 8. Hupmobile seems to have used an 8 of that shape, too. I haven’t yet come across that exact emblem in any period literature or car photos of Stutzes, Hupps or any other eight-cylinder make. Does anyone recognize it?


Q. I have two complete sets of the Sunoco antique car coins (Q&A Dec. 12), one in aluminum and one in bronze. They are 25 to a set. The first set came in aluminum. As you bought your gas, you got one of these coins. When you filled the 25 slots in that card, you were sent a bronze set of 25, and also a book. The book was printed in 1968 by Floyd Clymer. I’ve had them since the 1960s.

— Bob Sharp Sr., Glassboro, N.J.

A. Thank you. I was sure someone would be familiar with these collectibles. If there are other readers with a full set, perhaps someone can give us the complete list of cars depicted on the coins.


Q. I recently found this post card in a garage my family owns. I would like to know if you or any of the readers are familiar with service stations giving out these cards to their customers?

— Don Schneider, via e-mail


A. There was a time when all service stations gave away free road maps, and the oil companies had tourism departments, too, to help customers plan their trips. This 1933 card must have been part of such a program. I think, however, that this card was for the retailer, to pass on road information to customers, and also tell the company about customers’ travel plans so that itineraries could be prepared.

To submit questions to this column: E-mail angelo.vanbogart@fwmedia.com or mail to: Q&A, c/o Angelo Van Bogart, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990-0001.

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