In November of 1916, my grandfather, Clifford Wayne Tuthill, purchased this car from the Maxwell Automobile Co. in Newark, N.J. At the time, he was a salesman for the company.
He and a friend by the name of P.G. Scull (“Scully”) drove this car from Newark to Los Angeles. The trip was sponsored by Maxwell Automobiles, Texaco Gasoline and Lubricants, Firestone Tires, Weed Tire Chains and Klaxon Horn. The trip took 10 days and 16 hours and at the time, set a transcontinental record.
While I don’t know the exact location in the photo, it was after the completion of the trip, which is evidenced by the grimy condition of the car as well as the lettering on the cowl.
Several years ago while doing an Internet search, I nearly fell off of my chair when I discovered that the Ertl Toy Co. began reproducing this Maxwell as a toy bank. At that time, I began looking for an original 1917 Maxwelltouring to recreate my grandfather’s car. The location of his original Maxwell is unknown. In fact, few of these cars exist.
In 2007, I did find and purchase a 1917 Maxwell touring and have begun the arduous task of restoring it. I have a lot of documentation of my grandfather’s car and of his trip to Los Angeles, including photos, his complete diary and newspaper clippings.
My long-term goal is to complete the restoration and retrace his transcontinental journey on its 100th-year anniversary, which will be Nov. 16, 2017. Financially, I can only do this if I can obtain sponsorships or support from other interested parties.
If any Old Cars Weekly readers have additional information on this car, my grandfather’s trip or can help in any way, I’d appreciate it if they could contact me at e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org or mailing address: Douglas Bassemir, P.O. Box 2886, Aquebogue, NY 11931.
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