MFG: Maxwell Motor Company
Built In: Detroit, Michigan
Horsepower: 22 hp
Top Speed: 28 mph
Trans: Manual 3-speed
Body Style: Touring Car Price: $885 (1922)
Few auto-companies in the first decades of the twentieth century were more iconic and renowned than the Maxwell Motor Company. Founded in 1904 as the Maxwell-Briscoe Company in North Tarrytown, New Jersey, it would later be relocated to New Castle, Indiana in 1907 and finally to Detroit, Michigan in 1913.
At the height of its popularity, Maxwell was ranked as one of the “Big Three” alongside Ford and General Motors. Catering to the elite, this Maxwell’s reinforced running boards may indicate use by someone of political importance and/or fame. Maxwell also drew attention as a supporter of the growing women’s suffrage movement when it sponsored Alice Huyler Ramsey for her famous 1909 transcontinental drive. Faced with increasing financial difficulties in the early twenties, Maxwell was eventually purchased by Chrysler. Those produced after this point were referred to as the “Good Maxwell.”
Maxwell production was finally phased out in 1925. Regardless, the fame of the Maxwell name would survive long after manufacturing stopped. This was due in no small part to famous entertainer and comedian Jack Benny who continued to drive and feature his old Maxwell in many of his sketches long after production had stopped. Today, car enthusiasts remain fond of Maxwells and often rank them as forerunners of later Chrysler designs.