Northern Touring

1907 Northern Type C Touring

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 4, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

The Northern Manufacturing Company was founded by Charles King and Jonathan Maxwell, both of whom had previously worked for Oldsmobile. Their first cars, powered by singles, were sold in 1902. Twins followed in 1904, and four-cylinder cars would join the lineup in 1906.

The Type C was offered in 1906 and 1907 as the two-cylinder offering. The flat-twin here made 20 horsepower when new. This is a fairly large car for just two cylinders. They also built a five-passenger limousine in this model range, in addition to a runabout and another touring car.

Northern merged with the Wayne Automobile Company in 1908, and the combined company was quickly acquired by E-M-F. Maxwell had left in 1903 (to form Maxwell, which would become Chrysler), and King left after the acquisition and would form his own eponymous company. Studebaker would purchase E-M-F a few years later.

We’ve featured a few single-cylinder Northern runabouts before, but this is the first “big” Northern on this site. It should sell for between $21,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $54,107.

1905 Northern Runabout

1905 Northern Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 12, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Charles King and Johnathan Maxwell founded the Northern Manufacturing Company in 1902 in Detroit. The company’s 1902 offerings strongly resembled the Curved-Dash Oldsmobile – and that’s because Maxwell and King both worked for Oldsmobile before setting out on their own.

We’ve featured a 1902 Northern before (as linked to above) and this car looks relatively similar. It’s still powered by a single-cylinder engine. But unlike in 1902 where that engine made only five horsepower, it was upgraded to a downright sporty seven horsepower for 1905. Northern offered two twin-cylinder cars in 1905 as well, which made this the budget offering at $650.

Both Maxwell and King would leave Northern to found their own marques and the company closed in 1908. This car is said to retain its original chassis, body panels, and even its rubber flooring. Not many of these are left and this one is about as accurate and original as they come. It should bring between $45,000-$65,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $52,250.

Northern Runabout

1902 Northern Runabout

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 12, 2012

I have a new general rule: if a car comes up for sale and it’s a marque you can’t recall ever seeing come up for sale, the there is a good – no, better than good – chance that it is an ex-Harrah Collection car. As is this 1902 Northern Runabout.

1902 was the first year for the Northern Manufacturing Company of Detroit. Founded by Charles B. King (who went on to build the King) & Jonathan Maxwell (who went on to build the Maxwell), this marque would last until 1909 when it was merged into E.M.F. This “Silent Northern” has a five horsepower single-cylinder engine and cost $800 in 1902. These cars were also built under license in Sweden as the Norden.

Ownership history is known from new. It was acquired by Bill Harrah in 1956, making him the fourth owner. It was purchased from the collection and restored by its current owner in 1986, with the restoration completing in 1990. It has competed in 10 London-to-Brighton runs and holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest car driven coast-to-cast across the United States (accomplishing this in 1994). Only 11 are known to still exist.

It is expected to sell for between $70,000-$90,000. For more information, click here. And for more from RM at Hershey, click here.

Update: Sold $66,000.