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I'm so confused


Max4Me
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I am SO confused as to what my car is, and would appreciate it if someone has some legitimate info on its heritage.  I have been reading through forums, etc. and there is a great deal of contradictory info out there (hence some of what I say may not be accurate). The Dpt of Motor Vehicles lists it as a 1925 Chrysler. However, I’ve read the first Chryslers were in 1926. The ID tag on the firewall says “Maxwell-Chrysler Motor Co. Windsor, Canada.” The Chrysler Master Parts List FEDCO Serial # indicates it was  built in Canada in 1925. That indicates it was probably made in  early June of 1925, before Chrysler rebranded the Maxwell 25 to a Chrysler Four and later the 58. The car came with an original Chrysler Four Owners Instruction Book. The car seems to have a mix of Maxwell and Chrysler branded parts on it. So, did Maxwell put on Chrysler parts because they ran out of their own, or did the previous owner put on Chrysler parts when he renovated it? Many thanks for any info.

The car.jpg

Edited by Max4Me
remove info a scammer might use (see edit history)
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I have a list of Chrysler serial numbers from 1924 until 1958. This list came directly from Chrysler corporation in the early 1970's.

 Chrysler produced their first cars in 1924 with the six cylinder model B70, they continued with the B70 in 1925. All 1924 and 1925 cars were 6 cylinder, had a serial number, but NO FEDCO plate or FEDCO numbers and were only built in USA. There are NO 4 cylinder cars listed for 1924/5 on the Chrysler factory list.

 In 1924 and 1925 the 4 Cyl Maxwell car was produced alongside the Chrysler 6.

In 1926  Chrysler dropped the Maxwell line and replaced it with the 4 cyl Model 58. They also started production of Chrysler cars in Windsor Canada at this time.

 As you may be aware, car manufacturers  still to this day , introduce the next years models in July. So it is possible that your car could have been built in the latter half of 1925, but as far as the factory were concerned, your car is most likely a 1926 model. 

 The best way to identify the car you have, is to tell us what the FEDCO number is and also the motor number.

 Viv

 

 

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Hi, Viv

Thanks for the info. I'll try to give you as much info as I can.  I have the Chrysler Master Parts List and according to it, my serial# From what I've read in other places it presumably was built in  early June, 1925, and possibly a Maxwell because Chrysler didn't start production of the Four until July, 1925. I've also read that Chrysler did not produce any Chrysler branded cars in Canada until 1926 with the Chrysler Four. The number on the engine block (left side toward the rear) is F26426, the number on the head between the plugs on the right side has an 'H' and next to that is the number 37930-2 on the left rear is a 'D' and then 526. The head bolts come through the head and are affixed with nuts. The water jacket housing that connects to the upper radiator is a bolted housing, not one continuous piece, though I've read Maxwell used both types. I can't find any numbers on or under the front seat. It has what appears to be a Maxwell instrument panel. It has a Zenith carb (no embossed # but a tag that says 12 03  14991B) I don't think that's what came on it, but I do have a Stewart Model -25, Series 4 carb that possibly is the original. As I said in my original post, I've read so much contradictory info. I have even talked to several guys in a local antique car club and they have the same contradictory info. I'm just trying to pin down if it's a Maxwell 25, a Chrysler Four, or  a Chrysler F-58.  I sincerely appreciate your time and any info you can share. Thanks, Dave

Edited by Max4Me (see edit history)
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PFindlay,

Thanks for the pics for comparison. That is a beautiful car! It has many similarities, and several distinct differences from my touring. Hence my question as to whether Maxwell ran out of its own parts and substituted Chrysler branded parts, or if the previous owner couldn't find Maxwell parts when he renovated it so he used Chrysler parts instead, or what?? It may just remain a mystery.

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Hi Max,

 From the info you are giving, you are correct in saying from your FEDCO number that it is the 22nd FOUR cylinder car built in Canada. It may well have been built in June or July 1925, but Chrysler would have marketed it as a 1926 MODEL 58. Even today car companies bring in their next years model around July, so a 2022 car model will be available from July this year.

 The engine number you have falls into the Model 58 numbers quoted in George Damann's book 70 years of Chrysler, the FEDCO number fits into the list for 1926 sent to me by Chrysler corporation in 1973, so I would say your car WAS built as an early Canadian Chrysler, not as a Maxwell.

 It is possible that the factory may have used up left over Maxwell parts, I know with Ford in USA, when they brought in a new model, a lot of out dated stuff got shipped up to Canada, to be used up in their production. There is a very original Ford model A phaeton here , that was built in Canada, it has a 1930 firewall, with a 1931, gas tank, 1931 guages and radiator shell and an early 1932 motor, the car is totally original and until recently had not been restored.

The number H 37930-2 is a factory mold casting number, I recall my model 50 and 52 both had a similar number, D 526 I don't recall but again it may be to do with which factory cast it.

 Your carburettor has probably been replaced. Not sure if the model 58 used the same carb as on my model 52, but if they were a Carter carb , same as my model 52, they had diecast choke parts, that crumbled with age. I had the remains of my original carb , that had suffered this fate and someone had fitted a Model A Ford zenith carb, it ran very well with that carby.

 You may like to put some pictures of your instruments and other stuff you think are not right and we can see if anyone else has ideas.

 Below I attach copy of the Chrysler corporation dating list I recieved. The hand written info is where I converted the the FEDCO letters into numbers

Regards

Viv.fedco.thumb.jpg.3912aaadde6424b382a38d0738069ae7.jpg

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Hi, Viv,

At the risk of being a pain in the (insert your favorite expletive here), I thought I would list my reasons for my confusion. First, the FEDCO plate clearly says Maxwell-Chrysler Motor Co., not just Chrysler Motors (left over plate?). Second, as you pointed out, a mfg.’s model year vehicles must be made in the previous calendar year. My car is titled as a 1925 Chrysler, which means it presumably was built in 1924. But the FEDCO # says it was built in 1925. If it was built in 1925, wouldn’t it be a 1926 model year? Further, I’ve read (can’t find the articles to cite for support) and been told by one guy (who owns two Maxwells, and others) that Chrysler did not build four cylinder cars in Canada in 1924 so mine shouldn’t be a 1925 if this is true. Lastly, this could be just a case of leftover parts. The instrument cluster sort of matches both a 1924 Maxwell, and a 1926 Chrysler F58 (pics below). My radiator cap/thermometer doesn’t match any Chrysler pics which I’ve found. Those have what I think is a little hat with wings like the Roman god, Mercury. Mine does not (pic below). Having said all this, when I put my “old man eyes” on, the badge on the radiator clearly says “FOUR” at the bottom. At this point, I guess it is what it is and leave it at that. Nevertheless, I genuinely appreciate all the time you’ve spent on this and the info you’ve shared. Thank you.

Dave

1924 Maxwell .png

My 1925 cluster.png

1926 f58.png

My radiator cap.png

All other 1925s I've found.png

My headlight.png

FEDCO#.png

Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 22.00.58.png

My radiator badge.jpg

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HMMM. Sorry, the labels did not come through. The third instrument panel is a '26, it looks the same as the '24 & '25 except some items are reversed. Also, I don't have the temp. gauge on mine. The radiator cap with the bars is mine, winged one is other 25's. My headlight looks like one on another '25s I found.

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Hi Dave,

 You are getting confused. 

 Manufacturers do not make a years production in the previous year. As an example production of Chrysler model 58 for the 1926 model year, MAY, and I mean MAY have started in July 1925 and were built until June of 1926, then in July 1926 thru until June of 1927 they would have built the 1927 model 50 cars. American car companies still do this today. If you bought a NEW car in July last year it was probably sold to you as a 2021 model not as a 2020 model.

 

 As I said before, THERE WERE NO 1924 CHRYSLER FOURS BUILT IN CANADA , AND AS FAR AS CHRYSLER CORPORATION ARE CONCERNED, ANY Chrysler fours BUILT IN CANADA IN 1925 ARE CONSIDERED BY THE FACTORY TO BE 1926 MODEL 58 CARS.

 Your car is most likely built and sold in CANADA in the last half of 1925 and would have been titled in 1925, but as far as the factory are concerned it is a 1926 Model 58.

 

 Your Chrysler master parts list is interesting in that they have the Model 58 as 1925/6. the Model 50 as 1926/7 and model 52 as 1927/8, one can only assume this was due to the overlap of years during production.

 

 Your serial number tag is interesting, as it is not a FEDCO tag but just a serial number. I did read somewhere that Chrysler adopted the FEDCO numbering system in early 1926, so whilst your number fits in with Chryslers numbering system, the serial number tag pre dates the FEDCO numbers that were fitted to the dashboards of their cars. I would think your serial number on the firewall is probably original.

 

 Your instrument layout was I think the same from 1925 until 1927. The 1927 Model 50 I built had the same dash layout except that the ignition switch was on the right and speedo to the left, sort of mirror imaged. 

 

 There are lots of changes in radiator badges over the years, I have seen the Chrysler four like yours and ones with Chrysler Six same design. I would think your badge is correct. The model 50 and 52's that I had and the G70 and model 62 that I currently own, did not have four/six on them or the enamelling. I also have another one with Chrysler Canada on it with no enamel work, which I think is around 1927/8.

 

The radiator cap and temp guage are not original factory items, they are aftermarket parts. The winged radiator cap shown in your picture I believe is 1928, as it only has feathers on the outside of the wings. There have been several versions I have seen.

I have seen all brass ones with much flatter/wider wings that actually have external threads to screw into a female threaded radiator neck, not sure but think these were on 1924 cars.

 I have seen Chrysler four cylinder cars with a ordinary threaded nickel cap with no wings and I believe the 1926 cars had a winged cap like the one in your picture but with feathers on both the inside and outside of the wings. 

 

Your headlights I believe are correct for your car and were used also on the model 50 of 1927, and maybe some early Model 52 cars.

 

I will tell you I have owned and restored pre 1930 Chrysler cars for over 40 years and it is very difficult to determine what is right or wrong, as the factory appear to have changed parts regularly. Do not assume a part will fit your car, just because it looks right, check thread sizes and part measurements before you buy anything. As an example those screw on hubcaps for wood wheels, at one time I had four different sizes of threads, but they all looked the same

Viv

 

 

 

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Thank you so much for such a complete and detailed reply. I'm sure you figured out, I am very new at this and have little background knowledge to pull from. As I suspected, the title probably is wrong, but knowing the Dpt. of Motor Vehicles, if I try to fix this they will find some way to screw things up. :^) As a newbie, I don't have the experience to know what is/isn't original, and can only learn from seasoned people like yourself (which is why I joined the forums). It is a beautiful car, and I accept it as it is and really enjoy driving it. I absolutely appreciate the time and effort you spent in setting me straight on the intricacies of antique cars. I have learned a great deal!  -Dave

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It may help clear things up to know that Walter Chrysler took over at the  Maxwell Chalmers company in 1921  at a time when the company was failing. His job was to revive the company which he did. The Maxwell was a low priced 4 cylinder car and the Chalmers was a larger six cylinder medium priced car.

Chrysler dropped  Chalmers at the end of 1923 and replaced it in January 1924 with the all new Chrysler six. They continued making the Maxwell. Then in 1925 Chrysler took over the company completely and renamed it after himself. Evidently they continued for some time as the Maxwell Chrysler company but eventually the Maxwell was renamed Chrysler. I don't know how long they continued making the basic Maxwell design as the Chrysler 4 cylinder, but they made 4 cylinder Chryslers and Plymouths until 1932.

Your car evidently represents a transition period when they were going from Maxwell to Chrysler, and were using up old Maxwell parts along with new Chrysler parts. No doubt the parts were alike and interchangeable, just with a different label on them.

Others more knowledgeable than me have given you the details of Maxwell and Chrysler products, I hope this helps clear up some background of how Chrysler got involved with Maxwell, and turned it into the Chrysler Corporation.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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Rusty_Otoole, 24Chry28, and 28Chrysler: thank you all for the followup replies. I agree that viv was right on with the clear explanation. Several of you noted that the car was probably built during the transition of Maxwell Motors to Chrysler, and was built with whatever parts were available, along with some after market parts thrown in for good measure. Thus, my difficulty matching its lineage to a particular make/model. As I said, it's a beautiful car and I thoroughly enjoy driving it. Regardless of its heritage, I accept it for what it is! Thanks to all again.

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