Television maker Earl 'Madman' Muntz got into the car business by buying Kurtis. He made a few changes to the car, lengthened the wheelbase three inches to accommodate four passengers and, in typical modest fashion, changed the name to his own. Previously all coupes, the 1952 model introduced the hardtop convertible. The cars were still powered by Cadillac V8's and manufactured in Glendale, California. The following year, Muntz moved production to Illinois.
This car (M115) is the 15th built by the Muntz car Company, and one of the 39 that were produced in Glendale, California, before production was relocated to Illinois. The car's initial design was done by Frank Kurtis, but Kurtis sold a license to Muntz to manufacture the cars. Muntz stretched the car's design to convert it from a two-seater to a four-seater. Early cars were powered by a Cadillac V8, although later cars received less expensive Lincoln side-valve V8s. Only about 400 cars were produced between 1951 and 1954. It is reputed that the first owner of this vehicle, chassis number M115, was actor Mickey Rooney.
Trying to measure up to European car manufacturers, American came up with the Muntz Jet, an American sport car that was both practical and fashionable for the times.
The original design came from Frank Kurtis before Earl Muntz bought the design and redesigned and re-engineered it. Earl ‘The Mad Man' Muntz was considered to be a entrepreneur. With a background in radio during the early 40's, he made his millions by selling the first televisions for mass market as a Dumont Television franchiser.
Built in Gardena, California in the early 1950's, the first 29 prototypes were made of aluminum with a 113 inch wheelbase and were powered by a 331 cid Cadillac Overhead Valve V8. Body panels were aluminum based that formed over a steel cage subframe on a ‘X' frame chassis.
Eventually the production site was moved to Evanston, Illinois, Muntz's hometown. It was here that the vehicle received a modified steel body and the powertrain was changed to the Lincoln flathead V8. Using fiberglass front fenders and an OHV Lincoln V8, producing 154 hp. Tested at 6.7 seconds, the Jet made zero to sixty, and a top speed of 119 mph.
As Muntz produced his last cars, he was estimated to have taken nearly a $1000 loss on each vehicle made. At the time, the price of a new Muntz Jet was between $5000 & $6000.
This car is one of less than 200 cars built.
White Leather Interior
Rear Bar Cabinets
331 ci. Cadillac OHV V8
Chrome Wire Wheels
Original Muntz 4-Track Player
Originally Owned by Mickey Rooney