July 23, 2021


LaFayette Motors Co. (1920-1922)

Indianapolis, Indiana

LaFayette Motors Corp. (1922-1923)

Nash Motors Co. (1924)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This is a Lafayette radiator emblem (1920-1924)     mjs
Size: 60mm high 50mm wide    MM: None

The Lafayette Motors Company was founded in 1919 by Charles W. Nash, who planned to make a luxury car that was not connected with Nash Motors (see Nash). 

The Lafayette was introduced as a 1921 model and was a 90 hp V-8 available in a range of open and closed body styles. But, with the country in the midst of a post-war depression, this was not a good time to launch a new luxury car. Only 685 Lafayette cars were sold in 1921. In July 1922 Nash moved production to a plant in Milwaukee to be closer to his Nash Motors operation.

The company was reorganized as Lafayette Motors Corporation in 1922 but sales continued to be disappointing and in 1923 the stockholders sold out to Nash. The last Lafayette cars were built in 1924 and Charles Nash gave up the idea of a luxury car. Total production of the Lafayette was 1,860 cars. Nash came back to the Lafayette name in 1934, but this time it was to be a lower-priced Nash.


The Lafayette radiator emblem was in the form of a small, oval-shaped cameo with the profile of the Marquis de la Fayette carved in white on a black enamel background, see example shown above. This Lafayette radiator emblem is rare.

The following black and white enamel Lafayette emblems are hub emblems and both examples are rare.

This is an Indianapolis built Lafayette hub emblem (1920-1922)  mjs
Size: 58mm diameter   MM: Unknown

This is a Milwaukee built Lafayette hub emblem (1922-1924)     mjs
Size: 58mm diameter    MM: None

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