Welcome to the E-M-F Spotters Guide

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So you want to know how to identify an E-M-F Automobile? Sign My Guest Book Well, you have found the right page. This paper written by Bill Cuthbert is a great source of information. Thanks to Bill for allowing it to appear here.

The information used to compile the article came from period publications and articles. In some instances, the information may not line up completely with what was produced (i.e., not all 1911 Standard (open) tourings came with steel radiators). Please keep this in mind when considering this data.

EMF Spotters Guide

By Bill Cuthbert

In 1908 a group of people decided to form an automobile manufacturing company. The three principles of this group, alphabetically, were Everett, Flanders and Metzger. The name of the company, and of the proposed automobile, would be the hyphenated initials of these three men.

Had they decided to place the initials in alphabetical order, the car would have been known as the E-F-M, and an ideal advertising slogan would have been "the Exceptionally Fine Machine." this would have precluded derisive E-M-F comments such as, "Every Morning Fix-it" or "Every Mechanical Fault". But it did not happen that way and the name was E-M-F.

The 1909 E-M-F automobiles began to emerge from assembly in the fall of 1908, and these "exceptionally fine machines" were produced until the fall of 1912. This paper will examine the characteristics of the E-M-F for each of the four production years, following E-M-F's development until it became absorbed and lost within the Studebaker Corp.


Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal (CATJ) for September 1908 has a four-page advertisement with illustrations, and six pages of press release with different illustrations. From this we can learn that the 1909 line-up was intended to consist of three body-styles; a five passenger touring, a roadster and a four passenger demi-tonneau; each to be provided with side lamps, tail lamps, horn, tire repair kit and tools. The touring was well proportioned, had rear doors only, 12 spokes on the rear wheels and 10 on the front. The other body styles had 12 spokes all around. The
1909 EMF Touring and Roadster
1909 EMF touring and roadster. Note sweep of rear fenders, and 10-spoke front wheels on touring. Click on the picture to see the full size.
roadster came with either a single or double mother-in-law seat. The demi-tonneau looked exactly like the touring except for the extra spokes and the slightly raised headlamps. No tops or windshields were depicted in these illustrations. All body styles came with the same 30 horsepower four cylinder engine, which had a 4-inch by 4-1/2-inch bore and stroke cast in pairs with large 2-1/- inch diameter valves. The engine was equipped with a three-bearing crankshaft with 3/4-inch offset and employed splash lubrication with an automatic vacuum controlled gravity feed reservoir. Wheelbase was 106 inches and wheels carried 32 by 3-1/2 tires on quick detachable rims. An expanding clutch in the flywheel provided power through a shaft drive to the transaxle. Other characteristics were Splitdorf dual ignition, right hand drive, and color red. Water-cooling was provided with a brass radiator with "EMF 30" embossed in front. Circulation was initially thermosyphon, but Motor Age for December 31, 1908 cites the change to a large centrifugal water pump. The March 1909 CATJ informs us that the front semi elliptic and rear full elliptic springs each had five leaves. According to the April 1909 CATJ, there were more than 500 cars on the road, 25 a day were being shipped and the rate was projected to double in six weeks. The December 1909 CATJ confirmed that a production rate of 50 per day was reached during the World Series baseball games being held in Detroit.


An illustration from the Cyclopedia of Automobile Engineering, published in
1910 EMF Touring
1910 EMF touring. Note EMF script on radiator, addition of top and windshield, and 12-spoke front wheels. Click on the picture to see the full size.
1910, depicts the new touring car, which differed from the earlier model only in the use of 12 spokes on the front wheels, the brass "EMF 30" script on the radiator core, a minor change in the contour of the rear door, and the addition of a top and straight windshield. The March 1910 CATJ concurs that the new models were but slightly changed, and then it spent three pages proving it.
1910 EMF Touring photo
Three lucky men in a 1910 EMF Touring. Click on the picture to see the full size.
Three additional changes were sighted, however; the expanding clutch had been replaced with a cone clutch, the body was dark blue with yellow running gear striped in black, and the firm claimed the tires had been increased in size to 34 by 3-1/2.


The 1911 touring was shown in the December 1910 CATJ and the January 5,
1911 EMF Touring and Roadster
1911 EMF touring and roadster. Note new design of rear fenders, the cowl and addition of front doors on touring. Click on the picture to see the full size.
1911 Motor Age. The most striking change was the use of a steel radiator shell in place of the previous brass shell. All E-M-F automobiles now carried a full year guarantee, compared to the previous 90-day guarantee. There were now 20,000 E-M-F automobiles in the hands of owners, and E-M-F number 19,811 was touted as representing the last word in 1911 design. A new coupe was introduced with electric lights, plate glass windows and nickeled hardware. A mid-year change was illustrated in the June 1911 issue of CATJ. A five-passenger touring is depicted with front doors, short cowl, external brake lever and rear fender curvature that breaks sharply and points straight back; and the caption cites the use of adjustable ventilators in the dash.

The CATJ for July 1911 elaborates on the new 1911 model by proclaiming the
1911 EMF Open Touring
1911 EMF Standard (Open) touring. Except for the style of rear fenders, and the lack of cowl and front doors, it gives the appearance of 1910 vintage. Click on the picture to see the full size.
tire size to be 32 by 3-1/2 on a wheelbase of 106 inches. Both front and rear springs were claimed to possess six leaves, and valve lifters were now made adjustable.

Also for 1911, a "Standard (Open) touring" was available. This model had no front doors or cowl, and looked almost like the 1910 touring but with a steel radiator shell and the new rear fender style of 1911. This "open" touring could easily be mistaken for a 1909 or 1910 model because of its regressive styling.


A small announcement in the August 1911 CATJ stated that the E-M-F division
1912 EMF Demi Tonneau and roadster
1912 Studebaker EMF demi-tonneau and Roadster. Note the change to demountable rims. Click on the picture to see the full size.
of the Studebaker Corp. had ordered demountable rims to be fitted to E-M-F automobiles, and an illustration in the September 1911 CATJ shows the demountable rims retained by eight lugs on a 1912 demi-tonneau. The brake lever had now been relocated inside the body and the wheelbase extended to 112 inches. Zigzag windshields were shown on the demi-tonneau and roadster and a straight windshield was shown on the touring.

According to the February 1912 CATJ, the touring wheelbase was 111, the dropped center front axle was carried over from 1911, and the coupe was still available. Colors were dark blue body with gray stripes and wheels and black frame and fenders. Motor Age for April 4, 1912 illustrates the Studebaker E-M-F touring with demountable rims retained by six lugs.

1912 EMF touring
1912 Studebaker EMF Touring. Note the change to demountable rims, and brake handle moved to within the body. Click on the picture to see the full size.
An obscure announcement in the September 1912 CATJ stated that the Studebaker script would replace E-M-F on all future cars. Although the "Studebaker 30" was still being produced, the E-M-F name was stricken, not only from the car, but from all new documentation as well.

Thus ended the E-M-F, the "Exceptionally Fine Machine."


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