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Lexington - marque/manufacturer information

List of all Lexington cars

The Lexington was an automobile manufactured in Connersville, Indiana from 1910 to 1927.

From the beginning, Lexingtons, like most other Indiana-built automobiles, were assembled cars, built with components from many different suppliers. The Thoroughbred Six and Minute Man Six models were popular Lexington models.

Origins

The Lexington Motor Company was founded in 1909 in Lexington, Kentucky, by Knisey Stone, a Kentucky race horse promoter. Several months later, the company outgrew its building.

In 1910, a group of Connersville, Indiana, businessmen noted that the community had too much tied up in the buggy and carriage industry, which was being displaced by the growing use of the automobile. The group enticed the infant Lexington Motor Car Company to relocate from Lexington to a new plant at 800 West 18th Street in the McFarlan industrial park. John C. Moore, the company's chief engineer, immediately started on improvements to the Lexington to keep the company ahead of its competition. His 1911 multiple exhaust was reported to give 30 percent more power on less fuel. Each cylinder had a separate exhaust. Dual exhaust pipes and mufflers were used.

The company was promotionally minded and entered both the Glidden Tour and the Indianapolis 500 in 1912.

Acquisition and Expansion

Financial difficulties were solved in 1913 when E.W. Ansted acquired Lexington to assemble the six-cylinder Howard for a contract with a Chicago distributor. The resultant company was named Lexington-Howard. In 1915, the named changed back to Lexington Motor Company. The regular four-cylinder engine was supplemented by a light six and a supreme six. With the new Ansted engines, its cars became modern and powerful.

Lexington's first plant expansion was in 1915. A factory building was erected just north of the office. Also built at the same time was a 100-foot (30 m) smokestack with the Lexington name in lighter color bricks. Four years later the company built a 106,050 sq ft (9,852 m²). assembly building just west of the office.

In 1917, Moore put together a new frame with a rigid box cross-section that eliminated the problem of jammed doors caused by frame flexing. This car also had an emergency brake affixed to the drive shaft. In 1918, Lexington autos featured hardtop enclosures made by the Rex Manufacturing Company of Connersville.

Also in 1918, the newly formed Ansted Engineering Company acquired the Teetor-Harley Motor Corporation of Hagerstown, Indiana. In 1919, the 85,306 sq ft (7,925 m²). Ansted Engine building was erected just north of the Lexington plant and extended to 21st Street. The combined Lexington and Ansted facilities measured three blocks long and two blocks wide totaling 270,000 sq ft (25,000 m²). of floor space.

Heyday

Two short-wheelbase race cars with the powerful Ansted engine were built by Lexington for the 1920 Pikes Peak hill climb. The cars placed first and second in their initial outing and brought home the Penrose trophy. Again in 1924, Otto Loesche won, with a 18 minute, 15 second dash and brought the trophy home for keeps. The Penrose trophy is on display at the Reynolds Museum on Vine Street.

The formation of the United States Automotive Corporation was announced by President Frank B. Ansted, at the New York Auto Show on January 12, 1920. It was a $10 million merger with the Lexington Motor Car Company, the Ansted Engineering Company, and The Connersville Foundry Corporation all from Connersville; plus the Teetor-Harley Motor Corporation of Hagerstown. 1920 would mark the high point of Lexington production with over 6,000 built.

On December 16, 1921, William C. Durant, founder of General Motors and former GM president, ordered 30,000 Ansted engines for his new Durant Six that was being built in Muncie, Indiana by Durant Motors, Inc. Late in 1921, Alanson P. Brush (designer of the Brush runabout, and consulting engineer to General Motors) sued the company, alleging that the Ansted engine infringed on a number of his patents. The negative publicity hurt.

Records show that in 1922, United States Automotive Corporation, Lexington's parent company, owned ten different factories that were building parts for its cars. Auto historian Henry Blommel notes in his writings, "It was a great alliance of parts-making plants that found the culmination of its efforts in the finished Lexington car."

Phaseout

The post World War I recession of the early twenties destroyed many American automobile manufacturers. Lexington Motor Car Company and United States Automotive Corporation were affected by these recessionary events. Production in 1922 plummeted to roughly a third that of 1920. In 1923, Ansted Engine Company entered receivership, with William C. Durant as a principal shareholder. Lexington Motor Car Company also entered receivership in 1923. In 1926 and 1927, respectively, E.L. Cord's Auburn Automobile Company purchased Ansted Engine and the Lexington Motor Car Company. The Lexington was soon phased out.

Cord then invested $2 million in plant and production facilities. The new manufacturing plant was comparable to the most modern assembly plants anywhere in the world. It consisted of 20 buildings on 82 acres, and 1,500,000 square feet (140,000 m²) of manufacturing area available for the production of 400 bodies and 250 completed cars per day. It may have been a predecessor to "Just-In-Time" manufacturing. Sheet metal, wood, engines and other materials entered the plant on the northeast side, and the completed car was delivered to the customer near the southwest corner.

Yearly Model Changes

The early Lexingtons of 1910 to 1913 were four-cylinder automobiles built on 116" to 122" wheelbases, with body styles including 2 p runabouts and roadsters, 5 & 7 p touring, and limousines. The year 1914 marked the introduction of a six-cylinder auto on a 130" wheelbase. In 1915, the 29 h.p. light six rode on a 128" wheelbase and the 41 h.p. supreme six rode on a 130 wheelbase, offering a range of body styles: 3 p roadster, 5, 6, & 7 p touring, and 7 p limousine. The year 1919 marked the introduction of enclosed bodies with names like Coupelet, Sedanette, and Salon Sedan all with six-cylinder engines on a 122" wheelbase.

The 1921 and 1922 Lexingtons were offered in two series: Series S, a 47 h.p. six-cylinder on a 122" wheelbase, and the Series T, a 60 h.p. six-cylinder on a 128" wheelbase; body styles included 5 & 7 p touring, sedan, coupe, Sedanette, and 7 p Salon Sedan. The 1924 and 1925 Lexingtons were offered in two versions: the Concord, a 65 h.p. six-cylinder on a 119" wheelbase, and the Minute Man, a 72 h.p. six-cylinder on a 123" wheelbase; body styles included 5 & 7 p touring, Sedan, coupe, 5 p Royal Coach, and 5 p Brougham. The 1926 and 1927 Lexingtons offered the Model 6-50, a 65 h.p. six- cylinder on a 119" wheelbase; body styles included a 4 p Roadster, 5 p Phaeton, 5 p Sedan, 5 p Landau Sedan, and 4 p Landaulet.

Production Totals

The following lists the number of Lexingtons in each year, from 123 in 1909 up to 6,128 in 1920, followed by a decline to 183 in 1926, the final year.

1909 - 123; 1910 - 625: 1911 - 939; 1912 - 1,013; 1913 - 1,915; 1914 - 1,612; 1915 - 2,814; 1916 - 3,115; 1917 - 3,917; 1918 - 4,123; 1919 - 3,124; 1920 - 6,128; 1921 - 4,236; 1922 - 2,114; 1923 - 1,330; 1924 - 498; 1925 - 339; 1926 - 183

List of all Lexington cars

Source: Wikipedia

Infobox

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