1908 Maxwell LC Tourabout: Subaru Boxer's Great-Great-Grandpappy

We have a hard time getting revved up about horseless carriages over one century old, but this 1908 Maxwell LC Tourabout is pretty remarkable. Check out the horizontally opposed two-cylinder powerplant. Take that Subaru.

1908 Maxwell LC Tourabout: Subaru Boxer's Great-Great-Grandpappy

1908 Maxwell LC Tourabout: Subaru Boxer's Great-Great-Grandpappy

1908 Maxwell LC Tourabout: Subaru Boxer's Great-Great-Grandpappy

1908 Maxwell LC Tourabout: Subaru Boxer's Great-Great-Grandpappy

1908 Maxwell LC Tourabout: Subaru Boxer's Great-Great-Grandpappy

1908 Maxwell LC Tourabout: Subaru Boxer's Great-Great-Grandpappy

1908 Maxwell LC Tourabout: Subaru Boxer's Great-Great-Grandpappy

1908 Maxwell LC Tourabout: Subaru Boxer's Great-Great-Grandpappy

1908 Maxwell LC Tourabout: Subaru Boxer's Great-Great-Grandpappy

1908 Maxwell LC Tourabout: Subaru Boxer's Great-Great-Grandpappy


Sure, it might not look like much, but this vehicle is quite remarkable, especially for the time. Karl Benz was the first to patent the notion of a boxer engine, but this example is the first we've seen of that vintage that actually runs. The engine is kept running smooth by case oil like a modern engine, but the pistons also get a central oiler mounted on the buckboard, carburetion comes from a single unit branching to each head (which we assume would lead to a constant rich/lean condition since it's mounted biased to one side), each head has two valves which are inserted through holes filled with giant screw-in plugs, and poke out the other side and are retained with externally mounted valve springs. The whole shebang is kept running by a huge cast-iron flywheel and generated a scalding 14 HP and came with not one, but two speeds — quite a hot rod. It came with tag of $825 before options, that's around $19,500 in 2009 US bucks, competitively priced with Henry Ford's Model T at the time, though still out of reach of most Americans.