Madman Muntz was a well known local used car dealer and electronics retailer. He was assisted by Frank Kurtis, who had earlier attempted to produce a sports car under the Kurtis marque, and the Muntz design was influenced by its predecessor. Muntz produced only one model, the Jet, which was a full-size coupe.
The Jet was something of a hodgepodge, using some parts, such as engines, bought from other companies and some fabricated in-house. The body design was unique, however, and featured a removable hardtop, something of a rarity among full-size cars. It was sold as a sports car, but it was actually too large and heavy for that market segment. After the first prototypes, production was shifted to Evanston, Illinois.
The company managed to produce only about 400 cars during 1951-1954, and Muntz himself estimated that it lost about $1,000 on each car; this financial drain eventually caused him to close the company.
Muntz Jets today are valuable collector pieces. Their unusual roof and styling, and even more their extreme rarity, have given them a cachet that seems likely to endure.
This 1953 Muntz Jet race car comes via eBay. This vehicle was used in (or was intended for use in) competition events during the 1960's. Small lettering beneath the large "Muntz Stero-Pak" on the door, reads "not associated with Muntz TV." Many Muntz 4 and 8 track tapes of the 1960's carry a similar disclaimer."
Ed Gardner, a well known actor of this era once owned the car. Mr. Gardner is most remembered as Archie, the manager of Duffy's Tavern in the television series of that name broadcast in the mid 1950's.
Serial number is 53M526. Mileage is unknown. Engine is believed to be 8 cylinder Cadillac.
(This information is from the Muntz Registry).
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