The first Muntz Jet automobile was a fast, capable and seven years ahead of the first four-seat thunderbird.
In March 2016, one of four 1953 Muntz Roadster was sold for $205,000 at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island sale.
The genius man behind this car was Earl “Madman” Muntz, who established American Car Company, Muntz Jet, in 1950.
He was a well-known businessman and engineer who sold and promoted cars and consumer electronics and pioneer in television commercials.
His nickname “Madman” was purely his alter ego who generated publicity with his unusual costumes and stunts.
Frank Kurtis who had attempted to produce a sports car under the Kurtis Kraft marque assisted Muntz with the car development.
Between 1950 and 1954, Muntz Jet developed under 400 of the cars during this time.
Muntz took Kurtis’s tooling and manufacturing and made it more salable.
The wheelbase was stretched from 100 to 116 inches, a back seat was added, and the 100-horsepower Ford flathead gave way to Cadillac’s new, lightweight, 331-cubic-inch overhead-valve-V-8.
The body of the car was eventually replaced with steel, while the interior retained the basic Kurtis styling with smooth, slab-sided shape.
Muntz Jets really reflected their sponsor, nothing short of flamboyant.
The bright colours, exquisite and patterned interiors and a cooled liquor cabinets in the compartments under the back seat armrests.