Muntz Muntz Roadster

Car producer : 



Muntz Roadster





The Muntz Car Company was created in Glendale, California by Earl "Madman" Muntz, a well known local used car dealer and electronics retailer. It was in existence from 1950 to 1954. Muntz was assisted by Frank Kurtis, who had earlier attempted to produce a sports car under the Kurtis Kraft marque (the Kurtis Kraft Sport, which sold just 36 units by 1950).

In 1951, Kurtis sold the license to manufacture the cars to Muntz, who quickly rebadged them as the "Muntz Jet", extended the body to make it a 4-seater, and exchanged the Ford engine with a larger Cadillac V8. Later, this engine would be replaced with a less expensive Lincoln side-valve V8.

In 1953, with his car and TV businesses both in trouble, Muntz reverted to Kurtis’ original two-seat, short-wheelbase design. Like the Kurtis, the Muntz Roadsters had removable Plexiglas side windows – not wind-up windows – and a low-cut two-piece windshield. Like other late-production Muntz automobiles, the Roadsters have fiberglass fenders and under the hood were outfitted with Lincoln’s new-for-1952 OHV V-8, developed for the Carrera Panamericana road race. This engine was paired with GM’s four-speed automatic Hydra-Matic transmission. Inside, Earl Muntz anticipated the safety legislation of the 1960s by fitting a padded dash and seat belts.

The car, a sports coupe, was manufactured in Chicago, IL in the 2900 block of N. Sheffield Av. and featured its own unique design, with aluminum body panels and a removable fiberglass top that were manufactured in-house. Other parts (such as the engines) were sourced from other manufacturers. It was capable of 112 mph, a significant achievement for a road car at the time. It was featured on the cover of the September 1951 issue of Popular Science (with a Jaguar and a Nash-Healey).

Until his death, Earl Muntz claimed that 394 Muntz cars were built. Extensive research can find no evidence of more than 200 cars. In fact, the accepted production number is 198 cars. Of this limited supply, 194 were four-passenger Jets and four were two-passenger Roadsters.

Due to the high manufacturing cost, Muntz himself estimated that his company lost about $1,000 on each car; this financial drain eventually caused him to close the company.

Sold for: 205000 USD
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