VINTAGE POSTBAG, October 1967
“The American Invasion” Sir,
I read your account of this document with great interest, and although I have not had the opportunity to check who were the concessionaires for the various imported or foreign-inspired cars concerned, I have been trying to solve some of the problems of identity which have so far proved elusive.
First, I think that the ” Death ” must have stood for Mors (Latin mors =death), and -secondly, although this is more speculative, I can perhaps solve the ” Flemish,” which you say defies you. In about 1911, the Studebaker company matketed two ears in this country, one called the ” Flanders ” and the other the ” which I believe stood for Extra Model Flanders. I happen to know that the latter had “F M.F. 30 ” written on the badge on the header-tank of the radiator, the ’39 ” presumably ind:cating the hone-power. If the ” Flanders ” model, which was smaller, had ” Flanders. 23 ” similarly inscribed, then I suppose that ” Nailly Grocer 23 ” might have been a possible, if not particularly successful, pun for ” Stud-y Baker 23.”
I do not know whether this decision to market these Studebaker ears under model names represented an attempt to deceive buyers as to their country of origin, but it seems to have been one of the first examples of a habit still popular with American manufacturers, as a result of which they write messages in almost illegible script along the sides of their ears. When painfully deciphered, this writing turns out to be ” Galaxie ” or something almost equally uninformative. I am quite unable to understand the object of this exerefre.
I do not know either whether the ” Flanders ” and the ” E.M.F.” were marked in the United States as such or as Studebakers. But the E.M.F. at least was known as such in Canada where, I have been told, the initials were popularly supposed to stand for ” Every Morning Fixed.”