Lot 242

Hershey 2019

1918 Chalmers 6-30 Touring

The Merrick Auto Museum Collection


$36,850 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
  • Ancestor of the Hudson marque
  • Speed record heritage
  • Excellent restoration

Hugh Chalmers joined the Thomas-Detroit Motor Company in 1907. A youthful and energetic vice president of the National Cash Register Company, he bought out president E.R. Thomas and brought to market a four-cylinder car designed by Howard Coffin, later a founder of Hudson. Two of the new cars, called Chalmers-Detroit, managed a one-two win of the Jericho Sweepstakes on Long Island in 1908, and in 1909 a three-car team called the “Chalmers Bluebirds” achieved great racing success.

After Coffin left Chalmers (“Detroit” had been dropped from the name) for Hudson in 1909, Chalmers continued to build several sizes of four-cylinder cars and added a six in 1912. The consummate salesman, Hugh Chalmers continued the competition efforts, his cars earning a trophy on the 1909 Glidden Tour and winning the event outright in 1910. Despite a flurry of speed-record activity in 1917, which saw a fleet of a half-dozen six-cylinder speedsters make new marks for ten miles, Chalmers suffered in the aftermath of World War I. The company was absorbed by Maxwell in 1922.

The Chalmers Model 6-30 touring offered here was acquired by the Merrick Auto Museum from Lloyd Harty of Golden, Colorado, in 2000. A deep red body contrasts with black fenders and hood, which match the wide-pleated black leather seats. An accessory windscreen with wide windwings shelters rear-seat passengers from the wind, and there is a full lined canvas black touring top. The wood artillery wheels match the body color and are fitted with 32 × 4 blackwall tires. Twin spares are carried on the rear of the car. Instrumentation comprises a Stewart speedometer, an ammeter, and an oil-pressure gauge. The odometer shows barely 31,000 miles.

Chalmers heritage appears throughout the auto industry, at Thomas, Hudson, Maxwell, and extending to Chrysler. This car is an excellent and rare artifact of that influential history.