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Douglas ( -1 )

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1953 Muntz Jet Convertible
Quantity Views Date Posted
1 2980 3/29/2010
Asking Price Shipping Amount Condition
$66,000.00 None Auction Results
Description: 1953 Muntz Jet Convertible
RM Auctions
Automobiles of Amelia Island Collector Car Auction
Amelia Island, Florida
March 13, 2009
AUCTION RESULTS: Lot 146 - Sold at a price of $66,000

Est. 320 hp, 365 cu. in. Cadillac V8 engine, GM four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission, four-wheel hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 116"

Earl "Mad Man" Muntz made his name into a household word. Owner of a Kaiser-Frazer dealership after World War II, he advertised vociferously on the radio, trading on his nickname and promotion skills. However, the man really responsible for the Muntz Jet is Frank Kurtis, the successful racing car builder. In 1942, Kurtis built a custom on a Buick chassis and, in 1949, introduced a production sports car, the Kurtis Sport. Some 36 were built before Kurtis sold the operation to Muntz in 1950.

Muntz extended the wheelbase to 113 inches and added a back seat. He chose the Cadillac overhead-valve V8 for power, upgraded the interior and changed the name to "Muntz Jet." After building fewer than 30 cars, however, Muntz moved the operation to Illinois and made further changes, including a change to Lincoln power.

A Muntz Jet was quite an exclusive car in its day, owned by such celebrities as Mickey Rooney, Vic Damone and Grace Kelly, to name a few. Gloria DeHaven, the singer, dancer and actress, was another Muntz owner. With a career spanning over six decades, she enjoyed success in everything from television series to soap operas.

According to the Muntz Registry, this car was originally finished in light pink with an off-white interior. It has long been believed that it was owned new by DeHaven, and previous research also included a letter from a Muntz employee who remembered delivering this car to her in New York, although RM does not currently have any conclusive evidence. Between 1960 and 1969, it is known to have resided in Encinitas, California, where it was kept in storage before going through a series of owners in San Diego and Las Vegas. The previous owner acquired the car in 1988 and oversaw its restoration before its acquisition by the O'Quinn Collection.

During restoration, the car was returned to its proper light pink finish with a white interior. Although the restoration has held up well, certain cosmetic imperfections are visible upon closer examination. It should also be noted that the data tag under the hood reveals the numbers DR141664CAL as well as 52M-505-3, the number under which it is listed in the Muntz Registry.
Keywords: 1953 Muntz Jet Convertible


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