Conglomerates have been with us since the earliest days of automobiling, and this lovely Maxwell serves as a reminder of one of the earliest, U.S. Motors. Jonathan Maxwell started building the cars named alter him in 1904 and quickly set a standard in the industry.
In partnership with Benjamin Briscoe, the Maxwell-Briscoe both of New York became one of the members of the mighty U.S. Motors group, which also included Columbia electric cars, Stoddard-Dayton and Courier cars, Sampson trucks and the little single-cylinder Brush runabout auto. The huge corporation came apart in 1913 and Maxwell, now without its originators, was able to reorganize and continue in production.
The all-new Maxwell line started off for the 1914 model year with three basic models ranging from a 25-hp starting at $750, through the $1,200-and-up 35 lip models to the 50 lip models, which started at $2,350 and boasted a big six-cylinder engine. All had excellent workmanship, modern design, lots of brass trim and, for a few dollars more, electric starters and other options. Canadian Maxwell production dates from this period and, by 1917, Maxwell was able to offer a car with electric starter and lighting, demountable rims and a complete instrument panel for just $830 F.O.B. Windsor.
The Maxwell, by the way, is still with us; it became the Chrysler Corporation and early Chryslers were strongly based on the old Maxwell design.
This completely rebuilt Model 1915 Maxwell was one of the very first made, the engine castings dating from 25 May 1914. Originally purchased by a Mr. William Hamilton, this Maxwell sat in the bush from 1927 until its purchase by Mr. Clarkson in 1960 and required full restoration, including a hand-made body, before it was finally restored to the beautiful condition you see it in today.