July 24, 2018

LEXINGTON

Lexington Motor Car Co.

Lexington, Kentucky (1909-1910)

Connersville, Indiana (1910-1913)

Lexington-Howard Co. (1914-1917)

Lexington Motor Co. (1917-1927)

Connersville, Indiana


This is a Lexington radiator emblem (c1920)      mjs
Size: 82mm wide 32mm high     MM: Unknown

The Lexington Motor Car Company was established in Lexington, Kentucky in December 1908 but moved to Connersville, Indiana in 1910. In 1912 the company was bought by E. W. Ansted, who already manufactured springs and axles in Connersville. In 1913 Ansted agreed to manufacture the Howard automobile alongside the Lexington and in 1914 the company was reorganized as the Lexington-Howard Company (see Howard). Howard production ceased later in 1914 and in 1917 the company name was changed to the Lexington Motor Company.

The Lexington was a popular assembled car and began as a series of 40/50 hp and 30/35 hp four-cylinder models. A 41 hp six-cylinder model was introduced in 1913 and from 1917 all Lexington cars were six-cylinder models.

Successful Lexington models were the Thoroughbred Six and the Minute Man Six. The Lexington was a good looking car and well made and was placed first and second in the famous Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 1920 and continued to find success at Pikes Peak in 1921 and yet again in 1924.  In 1921 a few special Ansted-Lexington Custom-Built Roadsters were built for wealthy customers (see Ansted).

The best year for Lexington was 1920 with an overall production of over 6,000 units. But there were serious problems. In 1921 the company was sued for patent infringements and then the post war recession hit Lexington. Production fell year after year from 1920 as Lexington struggled to survive and it was all over in 1927.

Emblems

The first Lexington cars from 1909 did not carry a radiator emblem but did display a brass Lexington script on the radiator grill, see example below:

This is an original photo of a Lexington car showing a radiator script (c1909-1910)     dpl

The Lexington radiator script is also shown on a factory illustration in a 1910 Lexington brochure, see below:

This is a factory illustration showing the Lexington radiator script (1910)   sfam


The original Lexington radiator script shown below is rare:

This is a Lexington radiator script (1909-1910)     mjs
Size: 300mm wide

Early Lexington cars also displayed the Lexington name on the hub caps, see example below:

This ia a Lexington hub emblem (c1910)      mg

From 1910, some Lexington models displayed a radiator emblem. Original photos of a Lexington runabout displayed at the Chicago Auto Show in January 1910 clearly show a round radiator emblem. These cars were built in Lexington, Kentucky, as the move of Lexington production to Connersville, Indiana did not take place until some months later. The red, white and blue enamel Lexington radiator emblem shown below with a wreath surround is believed to be the first Lexington radiator emblem and is extremely rare.


This is a Lexington radiator emblem (1909-1910)     alt
Size: Unknown    MM: Unknown

After the move to Connersville, Indiana later in 1910, the Lexington radiator emblem was changed, see example below. This Lexington radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Lexington radiator emblem (1910-1913)      mjs
Size: 45mm diameter    MM: Unknown

The company name changed to the Lexington-Howard Company in 1914 and new radiator emblems were designed for the Lexington Four and the Howard Six, see advertisement shown below:

This is a Lexington-Howard ad showing the new radiator emblems (1914)

The Lexington radiator emblem for the Lexington-Howard Company shown below is rare:

This is a Lexington radiator emblem (c1914-1917)     mjs
Size: 38mm diameter center 48mm diameter overall    MM: Unknown

This is a Lexington-Howard hub cap emblem (1914-1917)     dkc

The Lexington radiator emblem shown below is strange, as it has a different style of the letter "e" and a hyphen after the word "Lexington" across the center. It is possible that the hyphen was taken from the "Lexington-Howard" part of the company name by the emblem manufacturer and made its way onto the finished emblem. 

This is a Lexington radiator emblem (c1914)      mjs
Size: 57mm diameter    MM: Unknown

I have not seen this on any Lexington advertisements for this period and the hyphen does not appear on other Lexington radiator emblems I have seen for the Lexington-Howard Company. This emblem has original solder on the reverse and was clearly used on a vehicle, making this an extremely rare Lexington radiator emblem. I assume that this emblem was part of the earliest batch of these emblems first used in 1914 before the spelling error was detected..

The company was renamed the Lexington Motor Company in August 1917. It appears that a Lexington radiator emblem was made with this company name, see example shown below. It is noted that the outer ring of this emblem is finished in white enamel instead of the usual blue and the center panel is finished in blue enamel instead of the usual white. However, this Lexington radiator emblem appears to have been restored and may have been re-enameled with the wrong color arrangement.

This is a Lexington radiator emblem (1917)     mg
Size: 50mm diameter     MM: Unknown

There is a similar Lexington radiator emblem with the usual and assumed correct color arrangement, see below, but this emblem has also been restored.

This is a Lexington emblem (c1917)     alt
Size: 50mm diameter    MM: Unknown

The Lexington Motor Company radiator emblems shown above are extremely rare, as they were in use for a very short time only from August 1917.

The Lexington emblem shown below is a hub emblem for the Lexington Motor Company and is scarce.


This is a Lexington hub emblem (1917-c1920)     mjs
Size: 50mm diameter

A completely new radiator emblem appeared in Lexington Motor Company advertisements from September 1917, see below:

This is a Lexington radiator emblem (1917-c1924)      mjs
Size: 75mm wide 25mm high     MM: Unknown

This style of radiator emblem was used for several years in either plain metal or finished in enamel,  see examples above at the top of this post and below. These Lexington radiator emblems are scarce.

The blue and white enamel versions of this emblem shown above at the top of this post and below have a different style of the letter "e" compared with the metal only version shown above. .

This is a Lexington radiator emblem (1917-1927)    mjs
Size: 83mm wide 31mm high      MM: Fox

There is also a brightly colored enamel version of this Lexington radiator emblem, see example below.  This Lexington radiator emblem is rare.

This appears to be is a Lexington radiator emblem (dates unknown)    ms
Size: 82mm wide 32mm high     MM: Unknown

It has been suggested that Lexington may have been planning a taxi cab model and proposed to use this emblem on the taxi cab, but this cannot be confirmed. If you have further details of the use of this Lexington emblem, please let me know in order to update this post.

There is also an even more brightly colored version of this emblem, see example below.

This appears to be a Lexington radiator emblem (dates unknown)     mjs
Size: 82mm wide 32mm high     MM: None

The emblem shown above is very well executed and appears genuine compared with most reproduction emblems. The bright orange red color indicates a later re-enameled emblem. 

The Lexington Minute Man Six from about 1920 also displayed a brass radiator grille emblem showing a minute man standing with a musket, see example below. This Lexington radiator grille emblem is scarce.

This is a Lexington Minute Man Six radiator grille emblem (c1920)     mjs
Size: 116mm high 102mm diameter    

This is a Lexington Minute Man Six showing the radiator grille emblem (1920)    acdm

There is a different version of the Lexington Minute Man emblem, see example below. This Lexington radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Lexington Minute Man Six emblem (dates unknown)      mjs
Size: 90mm high 62mm diameter

I do not know exactly when or where this emblem was used. If you have details, please let me know in order to update this post.

The Lexington radiator emblem shown below was used on some Lexington models from about 1920, including on the Lexington race cars used in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb events in 1920 and 1921. This Lexington radiator emblem is a painted metal emblem and is very rare.

This is a Lexington radiator emblem (c1920-1924)      mjs
Size: 97mm wide 46mm high     MM: Unknown

The following photo shows a Lexington hub emblem from 1923:

This is a Lexington hub emblem (1923)       ms














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