Handsome older restoration with period-correct California top and sliding glass windows. Runs and drives quite well, comfortable leather interior, freshly rebuilt brakes. Ready for early tours and casual shows.
The single sidemount and cowl lights make this 1924 Maxwell a sport touring, one of the more popular models and surprisingly stylish for a low-cost car. But what makes this one really stand apart is that unusual California-style top with sliding glass windows. Looking it over, it appears to have been installed in-period given the vintage-looking details such as the beveled glass, brass hardware, and interesting window shades in the rear. It was cleverly integrated with the standard touring body and looks very much a part of the original design, including wind wings that fold flat and seal up against the sliding windows. The car spent the entirety of its life in California and came to Ohio about 10 years ago with a collector with a large, eclectic collection and this was his first old car. He bought it in its current condition and while it's not 100% authentic, someone obviously spent quite a bit of money on the restoration. The dark green bodywork is quite nicely done and holding up well and has just the right amount of patina, offering a soft shine that seems entirely right on the 95-year-old Maxwell. Accessory spotlights are bolted onto the windshield hinge and give the modest Maxwell a big car look. The radiator shell, bumpers, and a few other details are chrome instead of nickel, offering lower maintenance and a dressed-up look. A trunk out back makes it a bit practical, too. It's a substantial-looking car that looks far more expensive than it is.
The leather interior has the same kind of patina that works well with the vintage look. It is probably not original but then again, maybe it is. Either way, it suits the handsome touring car just fine and it’s surprisingly easy to get comfortable behind the wheel, even for taller drivers. The huge wood-rimmed steering wheel not only feels substantial in your hands, but lends the Maxwell a big car feel and makes it easy to manage on the road. Controls are arranged in the standard layout, including the shifter which is a 3-speed manual with the usual shift pattern (which had not yet been standardized in 1924). Original instruments include a speedometer, ammeter, and oil pressure gauge, all of which are fully operational, as are the headlights. There’s plenty of room in the back seat and the sliding glass windows stay out of sight until you need them, at which point they secure themselves in custom brackets on the doors and locking handles to keep them secure at speed. There’s a full headliner to give it a finished look inside, far nicer than a standard touring, and the ornate window shades are a neat period accessory.
Mechanically, this Maxwell feels ready to go. The 186 cubic inch inline-4 starts easily and runs surprisingly quietly, not at all as crude as you'd expect for a low-cost car from 1924. Performance feels about like a Model A Ford, with good torque and an eager feeling that pulls the touring up to about 35 MPH without much work. It's currently running an electric fuel pump instead of a vacuum tank, which is in place but not connected. It's neatly detailed under the hood with a few easy-to-correct details to take it up a notch (hose clamps and some wires being the main offenders), but mechanically it seems quite healthy. There’s plenty of torque off the line and it’s pretty easy to get comfortable with this ancient machine. The clutch is smooth, shifts are easy if you double-clutch, and even though they're two-wheel external contracting brakes, they are freshly rebuilt and have respectable stopping power. Disc wheels were a trademark Maxwell look and they carry 4.40-23 tires that are still in good condition.
It includes a complete tool set mounted on a show board.
If you like the unusual, this certainly qualifies. It's also handsome and for the period, that's sometimes hard to achieve. It was obviously a quality restoration, even if it was 20 or 30 years ago, and for the most part, this little Maxwell is ready to enjoy. Call today!
For more details and photos, please visit www. HarwoodMotors.com