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The Saxon Automobile & The Saxon Motor Car Co.

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The Saxon Motor Car Co.
Detroit, MI

The Saxon Motor Car Co. of Detroit was formed by Hugh Chalmers, H. W. Dunham, and Harry Ford. The first Saxon Four reached the American Automobile market in 1914.

The Saxon was built for a buyer who wanted a light car of good quality but well above the cyclecar level. But not necessarily a full size Touring Car.

1914 Saxon Two Passenger Roadster
1914 Saxon Two Passenger Roadster

At $395.00 the new 1914 Saxon was a good buy on a two passenger roadster and well below most American Automobiles. All Saxon Four's were equipped with a four cylinder Continental engine rated at 12 horsepower and a two speed transaxle. Advertising claimed the Saxon - "Best Two Passenger Automobile In The World At Anywhere Near Its Price" and "Everybody Ought To Own A Car - Now Everybody Can Own A Car".

1914 Saxon Roadster
1914 Saxon Roadster
1915 Saxon
1915 Saxon
Click on image above to see full size!

In 1915 a Saxon Six full size five passenger Touring Car was introduced at $795.00. It had a high speed six cylinder engine rated at 30-35 horsepower, electric starter, electric lights, 32 inch x 3 1/2 inch wheels on a 122 inch wheelbase. Advertising claims that the Saxon cost only 1/2 cent a mile operate and "Saxon - The Car That Makes Both Ends Meet". The Saxon Six was made to compete with Henry Ford's Model T.

1914 Saxon Two Passenger Roadster
1915 Saxon Two Passenger Roadster

1915 Saxon two passenger Roadster specifications included a water cooled 12 horsepower four cylinder engine mounted vertically under the hood. The bore was 2 5/8 inches and a stroke of 4 inches. A progressive sliding gear transmission with two speeds forward, reverse and shaft drive. Still priced at $395.00 and included a top, top hood, lamps and windshield. Electric lighting was standard equipment.

1916 Saxon Roadster
1916 Saxon Roadster
1916 Saxon Touring Car
1916 Saxon Touring Car
Click on image above to see full size!

The 1916 Saxon was built with very few changes from the 1914 and 1915 models. Both the 96 inch wheelbase four cylinder Roadster and the 112 inch wheelbase six cylinder Touring Car returned. Dash gauges such as speedometer and amp meter were new for 1916. A new selective sliding three speed transmission was adapted to the Continental four and six cylinder engines.

The Saxon Motor Car Co. certainly found a gap in the American Automobile market. Sales were very encouraging with 7500 units in 1914 the first year, rising to 19,000 in 1915 and a peak of 27,800 in 1916. In 1917 Saxon reached tenth place in sales among American Manufacturers. The rapid increase in production necessitated a new factory.

1917 Saxon Roadster
1917 Saxon Roadster
1917 Saxon Touring Car
1917 Saxon Touring Car
Click on image above to see full size!

The Saxon Motor Car Co. expanded production in 1917. Four different models were produced - $935.00 Saxon Six, $935.00 Saxon Six Chummy Roadster, 1325.00 Saxon Six Sedan and $495.00 Saxon Four Roadster.

1918 Saxon Touring Car
1918 Saxon Touring Car
1919 Saxon Touring Car
1919 Saxon Touring Car
Click on image above to see full size!

The popular four cylinder Saxon/Continental engine was unwisely dropped in 1918. Sales dropped from 21,000 in 1917 to just 7200 in 1918 due to a higher priced Saxon. In addition Hugh Chalmers left The Saxon Motor Car Co. in 1916 and Harry Ford died in 1918. Saxon suddenly found itself drastically under capitalized. The new factory still uncompleted was acquired by General Motors and became a Chevrolet assembly plant. Sales droped to 2500 units in 1919 and 700 in 1920.

1920 Saxon Duplex
1920 Saxon Duplex
1923 Saxon Duplex
1923 Saxon Duplex
Click on image above to see full size!

In 1920 Saxon introduced a new four cylinder that had patented double lubrication system. After 1920 the Saxon was known as the Saxon Duplex. Saxon moved production to Ypsilanti, MI in its final two years of production. Sales dropped to 500 units in 1921 and 250 in 1922. The last Saxon's were 1922 models sold early in 1923.

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