March 04, 2024


L. P. C. Motor Co. (1914-1916)

Racine, Wisconsin

This is a Lewis radiator emblem (1914-1916)     mjs
Size: 69mm high 54mm wide     MM: Childs

William Mitchell Lewis, Rene M. Petard and James M. Cram had all worked in the Mitchell-Lewis Motor Company and were the names behind the new L. P. C. Motor Company.

The Lewis, designed by French engineer, Rene Petard, was a 60 hp six-cylinder car with one of America's first long-stroke engines. It was initially offered in 1914 as a six-passenger touring car but a two-passenger roadster version was added from 1915. The Lewis was advertised as Lewis VI and used the slogan "Monarch of the Sixes".

The Lewis was an excellent car but the outbreak of the First World War resulted in Rene Petard being called back to France to serve in the army. Without the input of Rene Petard, William Lewis decided to close down the Lewis operation in 1916.

Production figures for the Lewis are not available.


I can find no original period photos of Lewis cars and very few other photos or illustrations showing the Lewis radiator. However, the following Lewis advertisement from 1914 does have an illustration showing the radiator:

Lewis VI ad showing rad emblem (1914) racinepost

The following close-up shows that the Lewis VI car in this advertisement carries a shield-shaped radiator emblem but the detail of the emblem design cannot be seen.

Close-up showing radiator emblem (1914)

The following photo of a surviving 1914 Lewis also shows the radiator and an emblem but, again, the detail in this photo is unclear:

Lewis VI showing radiator emblem   jalopyjournal forum

However, the actual radiator emblem carried by this very rare surviving Lewis VI car is shield-shaped and displays a fleur-de-lis emblem in white enamel on a blue enamel background but the emblem appears to have been handmade and is unlikely to be an original emblem, see below:

This is a handmade Lewis radiator emblem  tljc
Size: 54mm high 54mm wide    MM: Unknown

It is not known if this handmade Lewis emblem was made to represent the original Lewis radiator emblem carried by this car but an original Lewis radiator emblem does exist finished in enamel with a white fleur-de-lis on a blue background, see the example shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Lewis radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Lewis radiator emblem (1914-1916)    mjs
Size: 69mm high 54mm wide     MM: Childs

There is also a slight variation of this Lewis radiator emblem with the cross bars in white enamel, see example shown below. This Lewis radiator emblem is also very rare.

This is a Lewis radiator emblem (1914-1916)   khc
Size: 68mm high 54mm wide   MM: Unknown

It is possible that one of these Lewis radiator emblems had the incorrect enamel color used in the cross-bars of the fleur-de-lis during the manufacture of the emblem, as the enamel in each emblem was done by hand. 

There is also a Lewis radiator emblem in reverse colors, see example shown below. This Lewis radiator emblem is also very rare.

This is a Lewis radiator emblem (1914-1916)   sam
Size: 69mm high 54mm wide   MM: Unknown (some Childs)

These different color Lewis radiator emblems may have been used separately for the touring and roadster models or to create the appearance of a new model but, without further evidence, for example original period photos of known Lewis cars clearly showing the radiator emblem, we may never know.

If you have details of the use of these different color Lewis radiator emblems, please let me know, in order to update this post. 

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