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Maxwell

Detroit, Michigan, USA
Filed under:  Companies
 
Comment(s): 0
 
 

The Maxwell was a brand of automobiles manufactured in the United States of America from about 1903 to 1925.


maxwell logo 1

Maxwell logo.

The brand name of motor cars was started as the Maxwell-Briscoe Company of Tarrytown, New York. The company was named after founders Jonathan Dixon Maxwell, who earlier had worked for Oldsmobile, and the Briscoe Brothers Metalworks.

Maxwell was the only profitable company of the combine named United States Motor Company formed in 1910. Due to a conflict between two of its backers, the United States Motor Company failed in 1913. Maxwell was the only surviving member of combine. In 1913, the Maxwell assets were purchased by Walter Flanders, who reorganized the company as the Maxwell Motor Company, Inc.. The company moved to Detroit, Michigan. Some of the Maxwells were also manufactured at a plant in Dayton, Ohio. For a time, Maxwell was considered one of the three top automobile firms in America (though the phrase the Big Three was not used) along with Buick and of course Ford.

In a short period of time, however, Maxwell over-extended and wound up deeply in debt with over half of their production unsold in the post World War I recession in 1920. The following year, Walter P. Chrysler arranged to take a controlling interest in Maxwell. Maxwell Motors was re-incorporated in West Virginia with Walter Chrysler as the chairman.

In 1925 Walter Chrysler formed the Chrysler Motors Corporation. That same year the Maxwell line was phased out and the Maxwell company assets absorbed by Chrysler. Several early models of Chrysler cars were built largely on the design of earlier Maxwells.

The Maxwell is perhaps most famous as the vehicle driven by comedian Jack Benny on his radio and television programs, decades after the Maxwell ceased production. It was a running joke on the programs that Benny was a miser driving an outdated, noisy, barely-functioning jalopy. On Benny's radio program voice artist Mel Blanc portrayed Benny's Maxwell sputtering, chugging, and gasping with various comic vocal sound effects. (Contrary to the portrayal on Benny's show, Maxwells were rated as fairly good automobiles in their time.) Benny appears onscreen driving a Maxwell in the film It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.

(text source: Wikipedia)


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Maxwell logo.

maxwell logo.gif

Maxwell emblem.

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Maxwell emblem.

maxwell type

Maxwell logo.

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Maxwell logo.

maxwell e11 11

1911 Maxwell E11.

maxwell touring 13

1913 Maxwell Touring 40hp. (image source: St Louis Car Museum)

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