Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Alice's Maxwell Car Specs

Alice picked up her 1909 Maxwell on May 12, 1909. The sticker price was $1500, but it was loaned from Maxwell for the journey. Below are some of the Maxwell specs:

  • 4 Cylinders
  • 30 Horsepower
  • The originally 14 gallon tank was swapped for a 20 gallon tank. It resided under the front seat. As the car did not have a fuel gauge, to test fuel level, one had to lift the front seat cushion and dip a stick (similar to a yard stick, I imagine). Awfully convenient, right?
  • Weight: 2100 lbs
  • Two spare tires were affixed to the driver’s side door, which was on the right side of the car. With the two tires, the door was inoperable, meaning the driver had to exit through the passenger door.
  • Two sets of brakes on rear wheels – one external contracting and the other internal expanding.
  • Oil lamps (which had to be covered when it rained, and boy did it rain!)
  • Top speed of 42 mph
  • A steel metal pan underneath protected the motor from road damage. These have been eliminated in today’s cars.
  • Tires had a canvas foundation and the surface was extremely smooth making traction through mud impossible. Chains were required during much of Alice’s drive. Not only were the chains tough on the tires themselves, but also on the passengers. Bumpy! Weed was the most popular brand of chains back then. Do they still exist?

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