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A Tattered Tire: 1922

A Tattered Tire: 1922

Circa 1922 in San Francisco, this aging Chalmers touring car needs a new shoe. Since we're at the Maxwell-Chalmers dealer, why not take a look at the new models? 6½ x 8½ glass plate from the Wyland Stanley collection. View full size.


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A Rose By Any Other Name

Rose's automobile business remained at the same location in 1923. In the 1923 Crocker-Langley City Directory the business is simply listed as "Campe-Rose Co 1230 Van Ness Av" without a marque name. The next year Rose's name is missing from the listing with the business shown as "Campe Geo 1230 Van Ness Av" in the city directory under the heading "Automobiles."

Prior to the Chalmers Dealership the address was occupied by Steven G. Chapman's automobile business in 1914, and an Oakland franchise in 1915. The Chalmers dealership is listed there from 1916 - 1922.

Although the Chrysler dealership in San Francisco is shown on Market Street in 1925, in 1926 it is at 1200 Van Ness, in the same block where Rose's business was previously located. The appearance of this building, erected in 1911, has been altered according to the Auto Row Survey.

The Auto Row survey's purpose was to list the surviving automobile related structures that are present in the survey study area. I believe the survey fails to mention the 1230 Van Ness address because either the building that was there in 1922 had been torn down or the address was incorporated into an existing structure along the street and the address is no longer used. Looking on Google Maps there are now only two buildings in the 1200 block of Van Ness on the even numbered side of the street.

Right hand drive

Why is this vehicle right hand drive? Didn't they change from RHD to LHD in California in the 'teens? Maybe it was a pre-change over model car?

[It's a circa 1913 model. Cars of the era were a mix of right- and left-hand-drive. By 1920, most auto makers had settled on left-hand drive. - Dave]

Would you guys get on with it!

The expression on the face of the lady in the driver's seat says it all.

This touring car

dates from about 1913. Chalmers, located in Detroit, made quality cars from 1908 to 1923. Pictured below is a restored 1913 touring as well as a 1922 ad similar to the one in the dealer’s window.

Rose and fell

The 1922 Crocker-Langley city directory lists exactly one dealer for Maxwell & Chalmers autos, the Lou H. Rose showroom at 1230 Van Ness.

The printing of this directory must have taken place shortly before the ill-fated merger of the Maxwell & Chalmers companies. Perhaps Lou Rose could see the end coming, because the 1923 directory contains no entry for Rose's showroom or any other Maxwell dealer.

Also, the survey of Van Ness Auto Row buildings makes no mention of Rose or 1230 Van Ness.

Hurry it up, boys

Let the men replace the tire; she's got places to go!

Maxwell is still with us

Maxwell-Chalmers was having a roller-coaster year in '22, sales had been growing fast but bad word-of-mouth from some less than rigorous engineering, cash flow issues from the Chalmers merger, and the '21 recession all worked together to put the company in deep doo-doo.

Thankfully the board recruited a first-rate Automotive guy to turn things around, Walter Chrysler took most of his pay in stock options and had the finances solid enough inside a year that he could launch a new line with his name on it.

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