The Big Car Database


Chalmers Motor Company
Industry Automobile
Fate Merged with Maxwell automobile
Founded 1908
Founder Hugh Chalmers
Defunct 1923
Detroit, Michigan
  • Open touring car
  • Sedan
  • Limousine
Chalmers Motor Company Jefferson Avenue factory, Detroit, 1913

Chalmers Motor Company was an American automobile company located in Detroit, Michigan.

It was named after Hugh Chalmers of the National Cash Register Company It merged with the Maxwell Automobile Company, forerunner of Chrysler, in 1922, and ended all production in late 1923


The Chalmers company was formed when NCR CEO, Hugh Chalmers, purchased the interests of ER Thomas in the Thomas-Detroit company in 1908, and renamed the company Chalmers-Detroit. The name was changed to Chalmers in 1911.

Chalmers flourished in the 1910s. During 1917, following the April United States Declaration of War against Germany, Maxwell Motor Co took over Chalmers' operations to make cars and trucks for the US Government. Chalmers then faltered in the post-World War I recession in 1920. It merged with the Maxwell Automobile Company, forerunner of Chrysler, in 1922, and terminated production in late 1923.

With a 115 in (2921 mm) wheelbase on 34 in (86 cm) wheels, Chalmers were expensive cars for the period. The 30 Touring and the 30 Roadster sold for US$1500, when the Oldsmobile Runabout was priced at US$650, while the Cole 30 was US$1500, and the Oakland 40 was US$1600. The Chalmers 30 Coupe at US$2400 was nearer the Enger 40 car at US$2400, while 40 Touring and 40 Roadster at US$2750 and 40 Torpedo at US$3000 were still below American's lowest-price model, at US$4250.

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

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
1918 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