Bud Tierney

Maxwell 1906 8 Cylinder Race Car

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I don't follow Maxwell, or race cars, so I'm hoping someone will be kind enough to fill me in on the 8 Cyl built as a possible Vanderbilt Cup car but not ready, apparently not run until some later meet...

One reference referred to "twin motors", so I'm assuming that was two fours in line, or two fours driving one drive line (or each engine driving it's own axle?) rather than a true straight eight??

Many thxx for enlightenment...

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Posted (edited)

Bud, you've brought up a topic I've pondered for years as information on Maxwell race cars is few and far between.  In answer to your question I looked through my pictures and found these two pictures I believe may be the car you're looking for. These were  taken off the internet but with zero information or specifications. I'm going to try looking for more but this may be all there is. Hope someone has more.

 

Howard Dennis

 

myst2.jpg

Scanned_Photo-18-8_edited.jpg

 

Edited by hddennis (see edit history)
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Had no idea a mystery was involved; assumed all these old well-known racers were all minutely described in racing history books...

Looking thru earlier notes found "two fours" note but no source for reference. Am sorting thru period trade journals to flesh out my V8 list (idle curiosity) and will post anything I run across re' the Maxwell...

Many thxx for reply!!...

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Thank you Bud for offering to post anything you run across. I found by "image" searching on Google I was able to turn up my posted pictures under the listing for 1906 Vanderbilt race and the mention that it did not participate due to crankcase problems. Wouldn't surprise me if the crankcase cracked due to torsional stress but maybe you can turn up a more complete explanation.

 

Howard Dennis

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I just checked my copy of "Maxwell Racing History",  I couldn't find any reference to that racing car.

img-191005085407-001.jpg

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Just ran across another picture on Google from the Detroit Free Library:   View of Maxwell cars under construction in Maxwell-Briscoe Motor Company factory. Handwritten on back: "1906 Maxwell. I think this is the making of the 8 cylinder Maxwell that was intended to run in the Vanderbilt Cup race."

 

Howard Dennis

1906 Maxwell  Vanderbilt Racer.jpg

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One of the Google hits under Maxwell and Vanderbilt Cup stated the 8 was two 4s linked "back to back" with a front radiator for the front engine and a second radiator just in front of the driver/mechanic's seats for the rear engine... (the 12 was also two sixes "linked"...)...

That site's mechanic's side pic was clearer, and there didn't seem to be any front drive axle, so "back to back" would mean the engines rotated in opposite directions to drive thru the rear axle????

Oh, well, one down; on to Franklin's "long 8 cyl" which'll almost certainly be a couple more fours...

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Posted (edited)

Bud, I think the factory photo I posted shows the 8 cylinder engine  was two  4 cylinder  blocks with a single crankshaft mounted on what appears to be a single custom cast crankcase or 2 altered crankcases joined as one. I've got to disagree with (the 12 was also two sixes "linked"...). Maxwell had no 6 cylinders but they did produce a 2 cylinder opposed engine and I believe my picture  shows six 2 cylinder engines mounted end to end with 2 radiators mounted on top.

 

Howard Dennis

1906 Maxwell_12 cylinder 3.jpg

1906 Maxwell_12 cylinder 2.jpg

Edited by hddennis (see edit history)

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Howard,

I cannot add anything regarding the subject car but your comment  "Maxwell had no 6 cylinders" caught my eye.  Maxwell offered a huge 6 cylinder car in 1913, the model 50-6.  There is an excellent article on one in New Zealand in a local magazine.

See also the last two lines of the attached table. 

David

img-191006183322-001.jpg

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10 hours ago, DavidMc said:

Howard,

I cannot add anything regarding the subject car but your comment  "Maxwell had no 6 cylinders" caught my eye.  Maxwell offered a huge 6 cylinder car in 1913, the model 50-6.  There is an excellent article on one in New Zealand in a local magazine.

See also the last two lines of the attached table. 

David

img-191006183322-001.jpg

Bud, I meant no 6 cylinder in 1906 the period you were asking about. Yes, I was aware of the Flanders 6 which was rebadged as a Maxwell 50-6 in the 1913 Maxwell reorganization. I'm very familiar with the one you mentioned as I sold the new owner a New Old Stock sales catalog covering his car.

 

Howard Dennis

SCCZEN_1507SPLMaxwellClassic_15_620x310.jpg

Maxwell-Tourer-eng.jpg

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Howard,

Thanks for that information, so its a rebadged Flanders,  I have learnt something.  My 1912 Maxwell AC has a Flanders body.

David

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Howard---(Sigh) I can't bring up whatever site I was in re' the 8---it had the same pic as your original second pic, and the text had the comment re' two sixes linked----as I rememeber the format, it could've been theoldmotor, but searching in that site brings up other Maxwell pages but not the one I remember...

You're correct the two 4s were joined by a common crankcase; there's a clear pic in The Automobile, 8-23-06 pg 229, which matches the squib abour the 8 being down with busted crankcase...

Most likely the writer  saying the two fours were "back to back" should've said "end to end" to be clearer...

But, maddeningly, none of the other writeups of the 12  I saw mention smaller engines linked, not even an Automobile piece that first described the 8 as if it was one piece (which, in a sense, it was) and in the next sentence said that, practically, it was the joining of two fours, then went on to talk about the 12 as if it was one piece...(another common crankcase??)...

It's doubtful they' developed a six just for the race; I don't have  enough experience with this old stuff to know what I'm looking at, but it's certainly logical they'd use engines they'd had long experience with (the 4s used in the eight were described as their large car engine, somewhat tweaked for the race)..

It's been fun, but I'm bowing out; I just wanted to be sure the 8 wasn't some early quasi-V8, and then got enmeshed in all this...

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Thanks for starting it Bud, I was able to add some new pictures to my files and by putting our information on here maybe some other pictures or info will be added by a future researcher. I think the Vanderbilt site mentioned the 8 cylinder was taken out by an earlier accident.

It's been fun,

Howard Dennis

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