Chalmers Automobile

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Emblem Chalmers.JPG
Manufacturer Chalmers Motor Company
Production 1908–1923
Body and chassis
Body style
  • Open touring car
  • Sedan
  • Limousine

Chalmers Motor Company was an American automobile company located in Detroit, Michigan. It was named after Hugh Chalmers of the National Cash Register Company. Like Maxwell the brand is now owned by Chrysler.


The Chalmers was formed when Hugh Chalmers bought out the interests of ER Thomas in the Thomas-Detroit company in 1908, and renamed the company Chalmers-Detroit.[1] The name was changed to Chalmers in 1911.[1]

Chalmers flourished in the 1910s. During 1917 following April's declaration of war, Maxwell Motor Co took over Chalmers' operations to make cars and trucks for the US Government.[2] Chalmers then faltered in the 1920s post-World War I recession. It merged with the Maxwell Automobile Company, forerunner of Chrysler, in 1922, and ended all production in late 1923.[3]

With a 115 in (2921 mm) wheelbase on 34 in (86 cm) wheels,[4] Chalmers were expensive cars for the period. The 30 Touring and the 30 Roadster sold for US$1500,[5] when the Black could be had as low as $375,[6] the Brush Runabout for US$485,[7] Western's Gale Model A US$500,[8] and the high-volume Oldsmobile Runabout for US$650,[9] while Cole 30 was US$1500,[7] and the Oakland 40 was US$1600.[10] The Chalmers 30 Coupe at US2400[5] was nearer the US$2000 Enger 40,[7] while 40 Touring and 40 Roadster at US2750 and 40 Torpedo at US3000[5] were still below American's lowest-price model, at US$4250 (its highest was US$5250).[11]

Taking part in early racing, a Chalmers won the 1910 Glidden Tour.[5]

The company also originated the Chalmers Award in professional baseball.

1913 open touring car in Australia
1913 Chalmers tourer (5406435729).jpg
1913 Model 17 torpedo
1917 limousine
1922 open touring car
1922 open touring car


1909 Chalmers-Detroit advertisement - The New York Times, April 30, 1909
1910 Chalmers-Detroit advertisement - Indianapolis Star, October 10, 1909
1911 Chalmers-Detroit advertisement, Limousine $3,000 - Syracuse Post-Standard, January 31, 1911
1916 Chalmers-Detroit advertisement - New York Sun, February 18, 1916

See also[edit]


  • Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925. New York: Bonanza Books, 1950


  1. ^ a b Zatz, David. "Roots of Chrysler: Chalmers cars". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Maxwell Motor Profits. The Times, Friday, Oct 05, 1917; pg. 13; Issue 41601
  3. ^ Kimes, Beverly Rae; Clark, Henry Austin (1996). Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1805-1942 (third edition). Krause Publications. p. 270. ISBN 0-87341-428-4. 
  4. ^ Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925 (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.107.
  5. ^ a b c d Clymer, p.107.
  6. ^ Clymer, p.61.
  7. ^ a b c Clymer, p.104.
  8. ^ Clymer, p.51.
  9. ^ Clymer, p.32.
  10. ^ Clymer, p.84.
  11. ^ Clymer, p.91.

External links[edit]