Jonathan Maxwell was a trained machinist and engineer who had work at both Olds Motor Works and Detroit's Northern Manufacturing Company. In 1904, he was invited by Benjamin Briscoe to join a new automotive venture. Briscoe and Maxwell took over the factory of the Mobile Company of America, a defunct steam car company, at Tarrytown, New York, and with funding from John D. Rockefeller, created the Maxwell-Briscoe Motor Company. The company would produce automobiles until 1925, when it became part of the Chrysler Corporation.
The Maxwell Model L was powered by an L-head two-cylinder, water-cooled engine that had mechanical intake valves and delivering 8/12 horsepower. They were fitted with a two-speed planetary gearbox, a common component of the era, and used a shaft drive with two-wheel mechanical brakes.
During the first year of Maxwell production, the company produced nearly 1,000 vehicles. At a price tag around $750, these were considered a solid value. Maxwell held third place in the industry and would continue to grow as a significant manufacturer of the early 20th century.
This Model L Runabout wears an older restoration and finished in red paint. In 2010, the car was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey auction presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $15,000 - $20,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $33,000 including buyer's premium.