Maxwell started making cars in 1905 in Tarrytown in New York State and opened several branches and went through a number of organisation changes before consolidating their operation in Detroit around 1914. Their first car was a successful twin cylinder which was joined by a four cylinder car in 1906 with the range being extended over time to comprise three different four cylinder models and for a brief period they built a six cylinder car. However by the time this 25 hp four cylinder car was built it was their only model and it formed the basis of all their cars until they were absorbed by the new Chrysler company in 1925 with the Maxwell name being dropped in 1925.
So we here we have a car which was successful in its day and if you were to drive it yourself you would soon see why. The three litre four cylinder engine is very smooth and has plenty of power so the car goes very nicely indeed. The three speed and reverse gearbox is very easy to use though once you are going you will hardly ever have to change down to first and the engine pulls it along perfectly happily in top gear so that is where you will stay for most of the time! The transmission is quiet, the steering is nice and positive and the rear wheel brakes are well up to the job so it is a relaxing car to drive.
There is an interesting photograph album which records a comprehensive body off restoration of the car – there are no dates on the pictures but any inspection of the Maxwell will demonstrate that it was clearly not that long ago as everything looks fairly new! There is also what could well be an original 60 page Instruction Book for the car which will be invaluable to any owner.
During their time Maxwell incorporated all of the qualities we have come to associate with American cars such as good practical design which is well engineered for performance and reliability and is more than capable of carrying four or five passengers in comfort over long distances especially when driving over less than perfect out of town road surfaces!
Another appealing feature of American cars is that for no good reason the market always prices them at less than their British or European equivalent so they are very good value for money!