For Sale: 1953 Muntz Jet in Woodlalnd Hills, California


Vehicle Description

Earl “Mad Man” Muntz made his name into a household word. Owner of a Kaiser-Frazer dealership after World War II, he advertised incessantly and vociferously on the radio, trading on his nickname and promotion skills. Later, as a television manufacturer, he employed the same tactics, including, of course, television commercials. However, the man really responsible for the Muntz Jet is less well known by the general public: Frank Kurtis. Kurtis literally grew up building custom and race cars. In 1939, he went to Indianapolis, where he was hired to make repairs on some of the competing cars. In 1941, a car of his design was entered at Indy, driven by Sam Hanks. After World War II, he began producing midget race cars and also two more Indy racers, one for Ross Page and the other the legendary Novi Special. His own entry in the 1948 race, the Kurtis-Kraft Special, finished second and rolled up first place in championship points for the season. In the late 1940s, Kurtis built a custom on a 1942 Buick chassis. Following from this lead, he developed a production sports car, the Kurtis Sport, introduced in 1949. It was a slab-sided two-seater with aluminum and fiberglass body, and was offered completely built, with the buyer’s choice of drivetrain, or as a kit. Prices ranged from $1,495 to $3,495, depending on the customers wishes. Many of the Kurtis Sports ran the Ford flathead V-8, often with various speed components. 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 OHV V-8 for power, upgraded the interior and changed the name to “Muntz Jet.” After building fewer than 30 cars at Kurtis’s Glendale, California, shop, however, Muntz moved the operation to Evanston, Illinois, and made further changes. The wheelbase grew another three inches, and the Cadillac engine was abandoned for a 337-cid Lincoln flathead V-8. Transmissions were usually Hydra-Matics, but a three-speed with overdrive was available. When Lincoln went to overhead valves in 1952, Muntz followed suit with the new 341-cid powerplant. This 1953 Muntz Jet has the Lincoln OHV engine, fed by twin two-barrel Ford carburetors and driven by a Hydra-Matic transmission. The car has been the subject of a high-quality restoration, painted bright yellow and upholstered in red pleated vinyl. The floor has matching red carpet. Equipment includes a Deluxe heater, a spotlight and outside mirror, both mounted on the driver’s door. An RCA 8-track stereo player provides a nice period touch. Its known history begins in 1969, when Fred Roth, a well-known collector of American sports cars, bought it from a used car dealer in Long Beach, California. Intending to restore it, he later sold it to Robert Renn of Illinois, in order to concentrate on another Muntz. Later owners included Marcus Lowman and Jerry Quam. Quam is believed to have restored it in the early 2000s. The Pond Collection acquired it from him in 2004. Finished in a yellow exterior the paint and bright work has held up very nicely, the black sfot top is like new, the red leather interior is also very nice. This Muntz Jet is listed in the Muntz Jet registry. Only 52 miles since done in the early 2000's

Vehicle Details

  • Listing ID:CC-601792
  • Price:$145,900
  • Location:Woodlalnd Hills, California
  • Year:1953
  • Make:Muntz
  • Model:Jet
  • Exterior Color:Yellow
  • Interior Color:Red
  • Transmission:Automatic
  • Odometer:52
  • Convertible:Yes
  • Stock Number:1369-601792
  • Restoration History:FullyRestored
  • Exterior Condition:Excellent
  • Drive Train:RearWheelDr