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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bob’s Antique & Classic Cars Part 11 – 1914 Maxwell Model 25

1914 Maxwell Model 25
Photo by Kate Tompkins
According to Wikipedia, the Maxwell Motor Company (originally Maxwell-Briscoe Company) owned the largest automobile plant in the world in 1907. The Model 25 seen here was a response to other low-priced cars on the market, such as the Ford Model N and the Oldsmobile Runabout, and had a base price of $695. By 1914 Maxwell had sold 60,000 cars, but ran into financial problems shortly thereafter. Walter P. Chrysler took a controlling interest and the company’s assets were eventually folded into Chrysler Corporation, with the 1925 Maxwell (a descendant of the Model 25) being retooled into a 1926 Chrysler and, in 1928, the first Plymouth.

1914 Maxwell Model 25
Photo by Kate Tompkins
The most famous Maxwell owner was comedian Jack Benny, who drove various Maxwells over the course of his career as part of his stingy persona. Naturally, the cars were portrayed as on the verge of collapse, with sound effects sometimes provided by Mel Blanc.

According to the plaque at Bob’s, this 1914 Maxwell, currently under restoration, is a 3-speed 4-cylinder, with acetylene headlights, kerosene running lamps, and a crank start. It does not have a battery. The price when new was $899. The plaque also claims this is one of only six 1914 Maxwells still in existence.

A more detailed history of the Maxwell company, including their racing history and various endurance trials, can be found HERE.

You can find a 1920 movie written to promote the Maxwell car HERE. I haven’t yet watched it (it’s an hour long), but I’ve downloaded it for later viewing—it apparently involves a trip to Mexico, bandits, and, I believe, a car chase.

1914 Maxwell Model 25
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Other posts in this series:



2 comments:

  1. Can you imagine what that carriage is going to look like after it's been refurbished and restored. It'd be hard to get the exact leather work done in but I can just imagine the detail and the opulence of the whole vehicle once it's been completed!

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