Maytag-Mason Light Delivery Cars

Not just washers: Maytag also built Light Delivery cars

Maytag, Waterloo, Iowa

Maytag, Waterloo, Iowa

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An original sales catalog for Maytag Light Delivery Cars is the subject of this month's Vintage Iron. The catalog, purchased at the Jerome Heit auction near New Hampton, Iowa, is not dated but is in very good condition. 

Maytag Light Delivery Cars were built in Waterloo, Iowa, by the Maytag-Mason Motor Car Co. The catalog shows many different models and sizes of "Delivery Cars" and "Pleasure Cars." The Model 12 "Two-in-One" used a two-cylinder opposed engine with a five-inch bore and five-inch stroke. It was a four-cycle, water-cooled engine. Actual brake hp was 25. The carburetor was the latest type Schebler, float feed. It used a Splitdorf magneto, dual system, mounted on top of the crankcase, and a water pump mounted on the end of the crankshaft. Lubrication was force-feed system to all working parts. The differential was driven by chain. They used a cone-type clutch, and the cars had two forward speeds and reverse, with a 15-gallon fuel tank sufficient for trips of 250 to 350 miles, with full loads.

The pressed steel frame housed a front axle of tubular construction, equipped with Timken roller bearings in the front hubs. The rear axle also had Timken roller bearings, and was well braced with two strut rods. Half-elliptic springs were on the front, with full-elliptic on the rear (complete with grease cups). The muffler was, the catalog noted, efficient and noiseless, equipped with a cut-out. There were 12-inch drum brakes on the rear wheel, and a tubular radiator large enough to keep the motor cool at all times.

The Maytags cruised from 5 to 35 mph in high gear. The line featured a 100-inch wheelbase with a 56-inch tread. The tires were 32 x 3 1/2 pneumatic with quick detachable rims. The Two-in-One, weighing in at 1,300 pounds, cost $1,250 complete; light Delivery, alone, $1,175; touring car, alone, $1,150.

The Light Delivery Model 10, using the same power plant as the Model 12, was also offered. It was built on heavier lines, designed to carry a load of 1,500 pounds or more.

The Maytag Light Delivery Model 11 was the smaller size car. It used an air-cooled 14 hp double opposed engine. Priced at $650, it was promoted as being capable of doing the work of a two-horse-drawn vehicle at about one-half of the cost of one-horse delivery.

The Model 12 Pleasure Cars were available in six different body styles; a separate catalog was available on request.

The guarantee: "We absolutely guarantee that the cars manufactured by us are free from defective material and workmanship. If in the course of one year, should any part or parts give out under normal service, we will replace said part or parts providing they have been shipped to our factory prepaid and on examination we have found them to be defective. We cannot accept any responsibility in connection with our cars which have been altered or repaired outside of our factory. We are not responsible to the purchaser of our goods for any undertakings of warranties by our agents other than these here above expressed."

According to the Standard Catalog of American Cars, the Maytag's origins are in Des Moines, where the initial Mason Company was founded in 1906 to produce a car designed by the Duesenberg brothers. Edward Mason was the principal backer. In June 1909, Senator Fred Maytag and his son, Elmer H. Maytag, decided to add automobiles to the line of products they produced (agricultural machinery and washing machines) and purchased a controlling interest in Mason to do so. They reorganized the firm as Maytag-Mason Motor Car Company, and moved it to Waterloo in early 1910. By 1912, the line had ended. To have a Maytag car today would be a rarity. This was a very interesting piece of early original advertising literature. Old literature and magazine advertising give a look at the past and help identify many parts and pieces of old equipment. They also help in restoring equipment back to the original appearance; for example, as a resource on detailing, pinstriping, and correct accessories. Old books and manuals can be found at auctions, swap meets, and book dealers. They are a valuable tool and should not be overlooked when purchasing equipment from its original location or owner. Good hunting until next month. FC 

A collector for more than 26 years, Wayne Walker Jr. is the marketing director and a columnist for Farm Collector magazine.