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my chauffeur grandpa -- early teens?


Guest mbrssmd

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Guest mbrssmd

For genealogy book, I'd be most grateful for identification of car and especially model year. It's my grandpa Herb, who I suspect is making a proud visit back home to the farm during the time (around 1914?) he was a driver and mechanic for a doctor in Milwaukee. Ultimately, the farm labor shortages during the Great War (WWI) forced him back home -- but well into his 80's he was still thrilled about those days in Milwaukee when autos were coming onto the scene, being able to drive a big car, work as a mechanic, and live at the Y (and meet the nurses!).

(New here, so if I'm in the wrong place please steer me elsewhere -- I may have a few more period vehicles that need to be id'd). Thanks.

MBR

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Guest mbrssmd

Wow. Thanks so much for all of the responses. Everything falls into place -- the year makes sense, and the car was built in Hartford, which is actually about only 30 miles from Milwaukee (and about 15 miles from the old homestead farm). I happen to be going back to WI for a quick visit later this month and now I'm thinking I may stop and visit the Wis Auto museum in Hartford where they have Kissels on display. Again I am most grateful for every response.

MBR

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I'm a little late to the party, but yes, that is most definitely a 1912 KisselKar. Your Gramps is driving a four-cylinder, whereas the illustration posted by Leif is a six-cylinder with longer hood. The acetylene lamps put it at 1912 or earlier.

The real 'tell" to make this a Kissel is the frame... within the spare tire you can see the frame take about a distinctive 4" drop to the rear. This permits the back seat to be at the same level as the front for a racier line. The other tell is not visible in this picture. Kissel radiator emblems are offset to the upper right corner of the radiator core. That area is obscured by the headlamp in your photo, but it is likely that your rad emblem is in the corner as it is not visible anywhere on the shell.

Kissel made three 4-cylinder models in 1912. 30HP, 40HP and 50HP. I speculate your photo is of the larger 50HP model.

The Hartford museum has a fabulous 1912 50HP touring on display. This car is a runner, but utterly complete and unrestored. Who knows, maybe it's the one in your photo. Fun to think about.

There are only three known 50-HP 1912 KisselKars. One is in the museum, one in California, and the third lives in my garage. Mine is a faithful recreation of the custom body Kissel built for the fire department in my hometown of Edmonton, AB. The sidelights are incorrect (right brand and period, wrong shape) but the car is otherwise pretty much bang on. Note the frame drop and radiator emblem.

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