1911 Maxwell

Those of a certain age remember that Maxwell was the car of choice for Jack Benny, the legendary skinflint actor. The reasons for his choice, however, were important: Maxwell in the early 1900's offered a nearly unparalleled combination of quality, performance, style for the money. In 1910 Maxwell was America's third largest automobile producer selling 20,500 cars, behind only Ford and Buick. Featured in the cover 8-page article of The Antique Automobile, Volume 27, Number 6, this is undoubtedly the most famous, significant and important Maxwell to survive. Restored by Marvin Young, it is the 1962 AACA President's Cup winner and its history from new when bought by Andrew Bang from Maxwell agent J.F. Jacobsen in Madison, Minnesota is known with precision. It had but a few (some say barely 500) miles on it when it’s second owning family, The Klevens from Cerrogardo, parked it in their barn. When discovered in the Kleven family barn in 1958 it still had its Ajax-Geib fabric tires with September 1910 production dates installed, albeit buried in the dirt of the Klevens' barn and surrounded by a generous layer of chicken doo. During restoration Young noted "The cylinder walls were lumpy from poor machining, not wear, probably the boring machine was used to bore cannons during the Civil War, and was just a bit worn out." Completed four years later in time to win its prestigious AACA award, it has since been carefully preserved by a succession of owners who have recognized not only the charm and importance of the Maxwell itself but also its history of recovery and continuous ownership from new. Documented needless to say with Marvin Young's colorful 1963 Antique Automobile article, it awaits a new owner who will continue its now half century of sympathetic restoration, preservation and use. A more honored and honorable antique automobile can scarcely be imagined. Jack Benny would be proud.

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