1910 Chalmers-Detroit Model K ’30’ Touring

1910 Chalmers-Detroit Model K ’30’ Touring

Initially, Chalmers automobiles were produced under the Thomas Detroit name. E.R. Thomas had funded a lower priced car he could sell under the Thomas name, but when the venture fell apart, the cars sold as Chalmers-Detroit starting in 1908. Under the new name they gained immediate market acceptance. The cars were offered in the $1500-$3000 price bracket and had good features and performance. The company management was a bit divided over which market direction to go, however. Run by namesake Hugh Chalmers as well as Howard Coffin and Roy Chapin, the latter two wanted to produce less expensive cars for the growing $1000 car market. Chalmers, though, had grander visions, wanting to make a higher-quality, performance oriented car. Chalmers eventually ended up with sole control of his company, when Coffin and Chapin persuaded JL Hudson to fund a new car company under their investor's name.

Chalmers was now free to produce the cars he wanted to make. After the marque had distinguished itself on the racetrack, the resulting success and reputation had given the Chalmers Company an impressive list of owners including the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, J. Herreschoff, and the soon-to-be Packard chief engineer, Jesse Vincent. In 1910, the name of the company was officially changed to the Chalmers Motor Car Company; by then it had risen to become one of the nation's most popular builders and by 1915 was building 20,000 cars annually.

The first product produced under the Chalmers name was the Model 30, a technically advanced and strong performing car. Powered by an "F" head 4-cylinder engine that through its advanced valve train offered performance closer to a contemporary 40hp motor, the Model 30 was mounted in the excellent Chalmers chassis that used front and rear axles of the type later used in the Mercer cars.

The resulting package was a car that exceeded all expectations. Light and nimble with a great engine, these cars have long been coveted as one of the best all-around tourers of their day.

Descriptions & pictures by bonhams

Production Start 1910
Country of origin USA