STOCK PLAQUES

(Click on any photo below to enlarge it)


In the 1950's, generic plaques were sold by various companies that advertised in custom car and hot rod magazines of the day. Clubs were formed using these "stock" names and plaques were ordered for the members. The plaques shown below were pictured in the ads and are listed under their known sellers. Some of the ads also mention that custom designed plaques could be ordered from them.


CLUB PLAQUES - IN COLOR

Stylized Emblem AdThis ad for Stylized Emblem Co. appeared in the October, 1954 issue of Rod & Custom magazine. The ad states "Style plaques are made of heavy weight cold rolled steel, and are GUARANTEED not to CHIP, BREAK, BEND or DISCOLOR. Five examples were shown for the Pacers (Pasadena), Tee-Totalers (Salt Lake), Flippers (Miami), Drillers (Milwaukee) and Turtles (L.A.).

When this ad appeared, Stylized Emblem was on No. Western Ave. in Los Angeles. They would later move to Hollywood and go on to become a major supplier of cast aluminum plaques. Their Catalog No. 29 with cast plaque examples is shown farther below on this page.


Shell Speed Shop AdAfter I saw the ad above, I wondered if this ad for "CUSTOM CLUB PLATES" that was in the September, 1956 issue of Hot Rod magazine, was talking about the cold rolled steel plaques that Stylized advertised. The ad says "These are heavy, quality plates - not funny paper cartoons on tin." and the plaques (plates) could be ordered through Shell Speed Shop in Los Angeles, CA. They also offered "Free Data" about how you could form a car club in the ad. The ad had photos of four plaques for the Jesters (Van Nuys), Saints (Westchester), Headers (Venice) and Rod Knockers (Culver City). It's unknown which foundry Shell used for the cast plaques they were selling.


In the February, 1958 issue of Custom Rodder, an ad for J. C. Whitney & Co. in Chicago, IL advertised 10 plaques as "NIGHT-GLO LUMINOUS CAR PLAQUES". These plaques, with glow-in-the-dark paint,  were priced at $3.98 each. These same plaques could also be ordered without the "night-glo" coating. 

Angels  Dragons  Jokers

Pacemakers  Road Knights  Rod Aces  Rod Benders

Sinners  Stockers  Wolves

At least one of the above plaques was also made in two different styles,
with and without the horizontal lines as shown below.

Jokers  Jokers (Without Lines)

Whitney also advertised a "Plaque Mounting Kit" for $1.00 Postpaid, and the ad stated "Makes the mounting of plaques a quick and easy job. Two lengths of rust-resistant chain & 4 chrome plated hooks can be adjusted to any length by raising or lowering hooks." This kit was used to hang the plaque under the rear bumper. In some areas, plaques were called drag plates because they often drug on the ground if the car was lowered.


The following plaque wrappers are from the Gem Manufacturing Company in Chicago, IL and are for the Hot Sparks, Night Prowlers, Pace Makers, Red Devils, Rod Aces and Rod Benders plaques. Note that the Pace Makers, Rod Aces and Rod Benders plaques were also being sold by the J. C. Whitney Company and that the some of the wrappers have pictures of  the same plaques that were featured in Whitney's ad.

Hot Sparks Plaque   Hot Sparks Wrapper

Night Prowlers Wrapper   Pace Makers Wrapper   Rod Aces Wrapper   Rod Benders Wrapper

Red Devils Plaque   Red Devils Wrapper

Here's another example of a Gem wrapper for the Rod Aces (#612) with "Silver Trim". The unusual thing about this wrapper is that in addition to Gem's 612 number, it has what looks like a stock number 20323 for Sears. Could these have also been sold through the Sears Roebuck catalog?

Plaque & Wrapper - Rod Aces


These plaques were shown in a J. C. Whitney ad in the August, 1958 issue of Hot Rod magazine and the heading said "SIX BRAND NEW CAR PLAQUES".  The price for these plaques in 1958 was $2.98 each. 

Beast Builders   Have Goodies - Will Travel   Night Fliers

No Club Lone Wolf   Piston Knockers   Ruff Riders


A later ad by J. C. Whitney, in both the June, 1959 issue of Hot Rod magazine and the June, 1959 issue of Rod & Custom, was advertising CAR PLAQUES and Matching Jacket Emblems with a "Choice of 10 New and Different Designs". The ad went on to say "If you are proud of your club, here are club plaques and jacket emblems that will reflect your pride. Dress up your car - dress up your jacket with these new plaques and emblems. Beautiful shield design makes these car plaques and jacket emblems real stand-outs." The price for one of these 5-3/8" x 9-3/4" plaques was $4.95 each. Felt Emblems were $1.50 each while Silk Emblems were $1.98 each. In addition to the nine plaques shown below, there was also a picture of a Vampires plaque.

Aristocrats   Black Widows   Coachmen   Crusaders   Hot Heads

Nomads   Outlaws   Rebels   Road Runners

The  Whitney ad in the Hot Rod issue also had some other plaques shown under the heading "SIX BRAND NEW CAR PLAQUES" but actually had the 10 plaques shown below. The price for these 5"x 9" plaques was $2.29 each compared to $4.95 for the above plaques. These same plaques, advertised in their August 58 ad, had dropped from $2.98 each.

Boy! Are You Close   God Bless This Lousy Car   Goes Real Good Downhill

Have Goodies - Will Travel   I'm From Dixie   It's A Peach   Made In Detroit By Idiots

No Club Lone Wolf   Not In A Rut - In Orbit   Now - Eat My Dust


Some companies selling plaques in the 50's and 60's were Chicago Metal Craft,  in Port Chicago, CA, Speed Gems in Minneapolis, MN and Stylized Emblem in Hollywood, CA. Some of the plaques being sold during this period were actually manufactured by the Koehler Foundry in Bell, CA. Here are some examples of the marks these foundries used to identify their products.

Chicago Metal Craft - Port Chicago, CA   Koehler Foundry - Bell, CA   Speed Gems - Minneapolis   Stylized Emblem Co - Los Angeles

There were also smaller foundries that made plaques for local clubs. Some of those also marked the back of the plaque to identify where they were cast.

Alumicrafters - Los Angeles, CA   Custom Engraving   Custom Engraving - Dayton, OH   English Bros -  Hayward, CA   Gordon Wight - Wight's Cast Signs
Grandview Alum Prod - Grandview, IN
   By Hayward Shop   Johanson Mfg - Coventry, RI   Mohawk Arts - Harrisburg, PA

 


Speed Gems furnished this plaque to auto parts stores and speed shops to promote the sale of car club plaques.  It was hung on the wall of the store to let customers know that custom made plaques could be ordered from them.

Speed Gems Promo Plaque

This is a vintage photo of a wall in Vic Hubbard's Speed Shop. It was used to display many Northern California club plaques that were probably ordered from this business. This was a good way to convince new clubs being formed that they too should have plaques made for their members.

Vic Hubbards 


Stylized Catalog Front Cover
Stylized Emblem Company had a catalog for their products. This one, titled "Catalog 29", sold for 25 cents and had pictures of many products they had produced or sold through their store on No. Wilton Place in Hollywood, CA.

Stylized Catalog - Custom PlaquesOne page, titled "Club Plaques of Cast Aluminum" showed 66 different custom designed club plaques.

Stylized Catalog - Royal Lancer PlaquesThis page pictured their New Royal Lancer line of plaques, which are the same 10 plaques advertised by J. C. Whitney in their June, 1959 ad (shown above).

Stylized Catalog - Stock PlaquesThe page showing their "Stock Plaques of Cast Aluminum" had pictures of plaques for Aces, Angels, Devils, Knights, Stockers and Wolves.

 

 

Stylized Emblem AdStylized Emblem also placed ads in car magazines. This ad on the left appeared in the November, 1957 issue  of Hot Rod magazine and stated they sold the "FINEST CLUB PLAQUES IN THE NATION". No prices for plaques were mentioned in the ad. The Hot Heads (Culver City) plaque was pictured.

 

This decal for the National Hot Rod Association is an example of some of the other things Stylized was selling. 

NHRA Water Slide Decal   Water Slide Decal Instructions


Chicago Metalcraft Ad
The small ad for Chicago Metalcraft (Metal Craft), that appeared in the August, 1958 issue of Hot Rod magazine, advertised that their 5"x 8" plaques were selling for $2.00 each and there was no pattern charge if you ordered 10 or more plaques. They also offered a 5"x 9-1/2" plaque for $2.25 each in the ad. The plaque shown is the Exterminators (So. Cal.).



Other Speed Shops, that had printed catalogs, would often have information about ordering club plaques from them. The following is an example of this type of ad and all 10 of the plaques shown are pictured on this site. Notice that the price was $2.97 each..

Plaque Ad From Speed Shop Catalog

The Sparkomatic Corporation in Milford, PA printed a Wholesale Automotive Catalog. In Catalog No. 135 there is a page showing 12 different plaques that were also being sold by other companies. The description in their "Club Corner" says "New Deluxe Plaques are heavy cast aluminum with ground RAISED letters and designs. Colorful "leatherette" baked-on enamel background. Rustproof. Approx 5" x 9". Shpg wt 1 lb." and the price was $1.89 Each.

Sparkomatic Catalog No. 135   Sparkomatic's "Club Corner" 

Dave Burns placed this ad in an unknown publication. He was located in Huntington Park, CA and the ad had images of the Jokers (Burbank), Krawlers (Huntington Beach), Accelerators (Los Angeles), Sidewinders (Glendale) and Cam Twirlers (Pomona Valley) plaques that were available in three sizes.

Ad - Dave Burns


Speed Gems Plaque Hanger Set
Here is a package of Speed Gems' SG 100 Universal Car & Club Plaque Hanger Set which sold for "Only $1.95 Pair". The package has instructions on how the hangers could be mounted and a picture of the "Have Goodies - Will Travel" plaque that was advertised in a J. C. Whitney ad (shown above). 

 

 


George Barris, a well known custom car builder in the 50's, was located in Lynwood, CA. On the back of a price list he had printed, there was an ad and application to join his Kustoms of America. For $2.00 per year you could become a member and get a decal and membership card, and have the option to purchase items like Club Emblems, Jackets, T-Shirts & Plaques. Your membership would also provide opportunities for discounts on various auto parts.

Kustoms Of America Ad 


O'Brien Truckers in Charlton, MA has made thousands of plaques for thousands of clubs. They have a large number of original patterns from the 50's and 60's that they can duplicate. They also have the ability to make a custom designed plaque for your new club. Their website is www.obrientruckers.com and you can reach Dennis O'Brien at (508) 248-1555.

If your club is in the Northwest and looking for a source that makes traditional type car club plaques, check with Creative Casting in Tacoma, WA. Their website is www.creativecastingco.com and they have made many of the plaques pictured on this site. Their phone number is (253) 475-2643.

Achinback Foundry provided pictures of some of the plaques they have made for Canadian clubs. They are located in Victoria, BC and their website is www.achinbackfoundry.com. You can contact Gord Betts at (250) 474-0037 or (800) 474-0037 for additional information about their services.



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