The Lexington Motor Company was founded in its namesake Kentucky city in 1909 by a man named Kinzea Stone, who relocated the company to Connersville, Indiana, in 1910. E.W. Ansted bought the company in 1913, which by this time had already competed in the Indianapolis 500. The company won the Pikes Peak hill climb in 1920 before succumbing to the financial realities of the early 1920s. In 1927, the marque was purchased by E.L. Cord, who merged it into Auburn.
The Series S was produced alongside the more powerful Series T in 1921 and 1922. Power is from a 47-horsepower Ansted inline-six. This car was actually owned by William Ansted, a descendant of Lexington’s 1920’s president, Frank B. Ansted (who I assume was related to E.W.). William, who owned A.J. Foyt’s 1964 Indy 500-winning car, donated this very car to the IMS Museum in the 1960s.
And that’s where it has remained since. It has apparently been sitting stagnant for at least the last 15 years and requires a tad bit of work to become roadworthy again. Lexington is one of those interesting early Indiana-based motor companies that attempted to make a name for themselves at the Speedway. And this car’s Speedway connection makes it even more interesting. Click here for more info.
1910 National Model 50 Series S Semi-Racing Roadster
Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 3, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
National is a brand closely linked with racing, specifically the Indianapolis 500. National was founded by L.S. Dow and Philip Goetz to produce electric cars. They eventually switched to gasoline-powered cars, a new direction pushed for by eventual company president Arthur C. Newby, who would go on to co-found the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
National won a lot of races prior to 1910 and even won the 1912 Indy 500. This is a 1910 Model 50 and it’s powered by a massive 8.1-liter straight-four rated at 50 horsepower. The 50 horsepower four was first introduced in 1907 and 1910 would be the car’s final year. It was National’s mid-level model and was sold mainly as a seven-passenger touring car.
This car is a two-passenger racing car. It’s unclear if this is the original style, but likely not as the history of this car isn’t really known prior to the 1990s when it was restored to as you see here. It’s been on museum duty for 15 years but has seen some limited use in tours and rallies. It’s truly an awesome piece and if you’ve ever seen one of these old National race cars in person, you’d remember it. They’re quite impressive. This one should bring between $125,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.