Endurance Champ: 1916 Maxwell 25 Tourer


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Update 7/24/13 – The auction ended at $770 with 6 bids and the reserve was not met

Most of us don’t know much about pre-war cars and even fewer of us have memories of them. That is a sad fact because the history is being forgotten, the stories no longer told, and the great brands forgotten. Take Maxwell for instance. We bet you didn’t know that Maxwell laid the foundation of the modern Chrysler group. We didn’t, until Ryan M. sent us a link to this 1916 Maxwell that he found on eBay. Few people know about these cars today and the bidding shows. The auction started at $600, but there are no bids with only 3 days left. Thanks goes to Ryan for the tip!


Maxwell was one of the top 3 automobile manufacturers in the United States competing with the likes of Dodge and Ford. They even built what was then the largest factory in the world! These guys cranked out a serious number of cars, but we bet you can’t name the last time you saw one on the road. That’s a shame too because they have such a rich history. We hope this particular one can be reconstructed, but with no title and in pieces, we have feeling it will be used to keep other Maxwells in operation.


Apparently Maxwells were tough little cars. Notice the small print at the bottom of this ad, “22,000 Miles Without Stopping”. We did a little digging and found a Saturday Evening Post ad that mentions Maxwell’s endurance world record. They ran a car 22k miles without stopping! That was amazing considering that the previous record had been just 10k! It went 500 miles per day for 44 days and averaged 22 mpg. Not bad for 1917. So the Maxwell was tough, economical, and cheap. If that doesn’t make you want to put this one back together and enter it in The Great Race, we dont know what would.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. DolphinMember

    Yes, unfortunate that makes like Maxwell are being forgotten. I think the older makes are going to continue to move off the average collector’s radar screen because younger collectors grew up with very different cars than older ones grew up with. There seem to be exceptions, like any vintage Ferrari/Maserati/Lamborghini and others that will always be in demand, but I think most vintage pre-WW2 US cars are not in demand as much now as they used to be years ago.

    The Maxwell was an interesting and important brand, but nowadays a Maxwell doesn’t have anywhere near the same excitement for most car guys as a GTO or a Chevelle or an Alfa GTV or an Austin Healey.

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  2. Alan

    Wow! What an incredible project that would be! Just a few years sabbatical, figuring it out, and I bet you would learn a lot about how the things we take for granted didn’t even exist then. Wish I was forty years younger!

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  3. Carguy

    If you buy it and need some inspiration, come see our 1919 Maxwell Touring Car at the Classic Car Collection in Kearney. Ours is in the Chrysler Legacy section with the Dodges, Plymouths and a 1917 Mitchell. Now there’s an obscure car for you.
    Whoever takes this Maxwell project on will have a very rare and rewarding showpiece.

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  4. geomechs geomechsMember

    Definitely a lot to time will be dedicated to learning where everything goes and what makes it tick. I’d be tempted to look into a project like this but I’m already up to my ears in others. However, when I come across something like this, I pass it along to others who might jump right at it. That said, I happened across a 1906 Ford Model N not very far from home…

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    MY brother has one restored in Escalon Calif

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  6. George

    Oh Rochester……….”Yes, Mr. Benny”

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  7. Mark H

    I have had a 1912 Mascotte on Spokane craigslist for the last couple of weeks together and drivable with no offers. I put a higher price thinking it would keep away people that were not serious enough to ask but no one is even inquiring except offers to help me sell it. Changing car climate or just no one buying truly old cars right now? It is going into barn storage soon if no one chimes in as I have new projects and need shop space to build kitchen cabinets. That would be a real shame…..

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    • Gene Maxwell

      Please send photo and asking price I am interested in Maxwell automobiles.

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  8. Jesse Mortensen JesseAuthor

    Our point was proven: $770 with only 6 bids.

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  9. Duane De Young

    I am sorry to, hear that you could not sell your 1916 Maxwell. I am currently restoring one that I have had for almost 32 years. I have a part that is missing on the dash to the left of the steering column. It has four screw holes on the outside of a larger hole in the center. It has two holes drilled through the wood in the larger center hole . Do you know what it is or can you send me a picture of what it looks like. Thank You. Duane De Young

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  10. Jeff

    Did you sell the Maxwell? I have a 1916 Maxwell and two daughters and I would love to build one for each of them.

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    • Jesse Mortensen JesseAuthor

      This was listed on eBay a year ago, so I think it is safe to assume that it has sold.

      Like 0

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