Lot 189

Hershey 2014

1910 Maxwell Model Q Runabout


$30,250 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Offered to benefit the AACA Museum
  • One of America’s most successful early marques
  • Desirable roadster configuration

22 hp, 176.7 cu. in. four-cylinder engine with cylinders cast in pairs, two-speed planetary transmission with shaft drive, half-elliptic front and three-quarter-elliptic rear leaf-spring suspension, and rear-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 93 in.

In 1903, Benjamin Briscoe, with two-thirds of the needed $150,000 coming from associate J.P. Morgan, decided to build the two-cylinder car created by Jonathan Maxwell. Ten were built in 1904, with the number rising to an additional 823 in 1905. In 1906, the Maxwell won a car of choice survey conducted in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Maxwell promptly added a “doctor’s model” based on the specifications requested by physicians making house calls.

Maxwell’s continued popularity resulted in sales reaching approximately 20,500 units and a remarkable third place industry ranking in 1910, behind Ford and Buick. Despite their relatively modest power output, Maxwell automobiles performed remarkably well in the prestigious Glidden Tours and even captured a class win at Mount Washington. The capabilities of Maxwell automobiles were captured on film and shown at nickelodeons to the delight of many, with the cars being involved in such outlandish stunts as teeterboard riding, police chases, and driving up the steps of large buildings.

This 1910 Maxwell had been kept in the same family for generations, until it was donated to the AACA Museum in 2003. The vehicle had been restored quite some time ago, but it still looks very presentable in its jaunty red with black diamond-pleated leather upholstery. The lacquer paint on the fenders shows some cracking from age, but it continues to shine. The brass radiator shell and the Edmund & Jones Detroit model 577 headlamps present nicely. The seat upholstery is very nice and only presents a few imperfections, as would be expected from age.

As this vehicle has been part of a museum collection, the purchaser is advised that it will require some degree of mechanical recommissioning before being placed into routine service. To help facilitate the future servicing of this Maxwell, it is accompanied by a 1909 instruction book and a 1911 catalogue.