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All,

Thought that i would post up pictures of the "Shed-find" 1918 Kissel Model 6-38 Sedanette which I picked up yesterday. It had been stored for decades with thousands of other things in 5 sheds in the middle of New York. All the fenders, lights, engine, trim are there but not pictured. According to the National Kissel registry, this car is the only known 1918 Kissel Sedanette that exists. The Kissel Sedanette was a Roadster bodied car with a convertible top (not pictured) which then could be removed and a wood enclosed-car top easily put on for Winter. It worked yesterday because the car was too high to fit into my enclosed trailer.

The 1918 Kissel Sedanette was the immediate precursor to the new 1919 Kissel Gold Bug Models.

Ron Hausmann P.E.

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Fantastic find, Kissel always made an interesting car. This is a unique body style, that's "convertible" for the seasons. Many early high end cars came with two bodies, an open one for the spring/summer, a closed one for the winter/fall, and if you were well enough off to own such a car, then you could hire (or had on the payroll!) people to change the bodies. Actually, if you think about it, if the cars were made correctly to do that, it's not that big a job....

Congrats on a great find...I'm constantly amazed at the number of cars still out there, but it's a big, big country!

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Trimacar is correct - the whole carved wood top can be taken off at the belt line,vand a convertible top with top bows installed. You can't see it here, but we got all of the bows, top portholes, both windshields - the one for the wood top and the slant one for the convertible, and all the fenders and trim. We have Kissel model 6-38 engine number 38-4631 with the car. That's why this is really a good, complete find.

i will post pictures of parts later.

Ron Hausmann P.E.

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Motoring icons,

no way can this be ready for St. Johns in 2014. I have a full time engineering career for a few years yet, so this one, like the 1923 Kissel Brougham Sedan, will have to be done the occasional night and weekend. Probably about two years. But it will be easier than the Brougham because so much of the woodwork has bee precut by the prior owner. And several body panels refabricated. These were not pictured but I now have a shop full of them.

Thanks, Ron Hausmann P.E.

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All,

More pictures showing what the 1918 Kissel Model 6-38 Sedane' or Sedanette with two different tops looks like, as well as the actual car now disassembled. As the Sedan's restoration progresses, we will post more. In two years done!

Ron Hausmann P.E.

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All,

More pictures showing what the 1918 Kissel Model 6-38 Sedane' or Sedanette with two different tops looks like, as well as the actual car now disassembled. As the Sedan's restoration progresses, we will post more. In two years done!

Ron Hausmann P.E.

If transport permits, it would be really cool to show it with one top on and the other displayed alongside.

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  • 1 month later...

All,

Time for a few more pictures of the "1918 Kissel All-Year, Hundred Point Six Sedanette" now that we have most of theb parts sorted out. There are also period correct advertisements from 1917 and 1918 which show this two-top car. It appears to be, according to the Kissel Registry, the only removable top Kissel which has survived. I'll restore it first with the soft top, so I can drive it while I carve the oak top pieces needed.

Thanks, Ron Hausmann P.E.

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  • 9 months later...

All,

Have been working on the 1918 Kissel Sedanette Chassis. Here are a few pictures from July, 2014 showing the completely rebuilt chassis which has been powder coated, new springs, and ton of suspension parts. Chassis with 6 brand new WHITE Coker "non-skid" 34 x4 tires will be rolling in a month. Then do the Holland Blue wood and main body parts this winter while the fenders and auxillary parts are painted gloss black, and while the Kissel Model 6-38 engine is assembled and run. (That's a Kissel Model 8-126 engine in the background - no car, just engine. Largest 8-cylinder engine produced in the United States - Lycoming, also used in Cord L-29 models, but Kissel customized their Lycoming engines. Big hunk of metal!

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  • 3 months later...

All,

More pictures of the 1918 Kissel Model 6-38 Sedanette restoration. As of today, 10-22-14, the chassis is nearly completed and powder coated and painted. The fenders and aprons have all been fitted, applied, and then taken off to be painted. The wheels are ready to be painted. Now comes the hard part - finishing the removeable oak hard top so that the body can be finished to match, and then, and only then, the converible top. One more year!. Remember, this is the only Kissel Sedanette (4-Passenger Convertible Gibtralter bodyied Kissel) that exists!.

Ron Hausmann P.E,

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  • 1 month later...

All,

A few more pictures of current restoration as of November 2014. Rear axle has been serviced, restored, and bolted in. rear brakes and new linings have been delivered, installed and faithfully adjusted. Wood wheels have been sanded, painted, clearcoated, and are ready to be mounted on car with tires to complete the rolling chassis. Then we start the wood body framework.

Ron Hausmann P.E.

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Ash is also less acidic than oak. Also less stringy. Pretty much the same price as oak, we pay $3-3.50/bd ft for clear kiln dried ash depending on thickness. Some folks can be allergic to ash dust so best to wear a dust mask when sanding.

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Thanks Restorer 32 for the advice, which I will follow.

I am just starting the wood restoration of the removeable top, which must be done to guide the dimensional correctness of the body below. A few pictures of the unrestored top are attached. the wood appears to be all ash. The wood for the body however is completely disassembled. Kissel sales literature of the time actually says that they used both oak and ash. and the two Kissels which i have done so far used oak for many of the upright structural members, as in the sedan verticals, and ash for the more carved pieces horizontally. The thick bottom body rails are oak.

Ron Hausmann P.E.

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  • 1 month later...

All,

Update. Chassis with new brakes and heavily sanded wheels finally done. Here's a picture from 1-17-15 of the chassis in the foreground with my 5 (yes 5) other Kissels in the background

Ron Hausmann P.E.

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All,

Recent pictures of sole surviving 1918 Kissel Sedanette restoration, phase 2. The removeable top has been leveled and a permanent stand/jog has been fabricated. The base of the top (pictured) has 12 studs which mate to female holes in the body (not pictured. These are then bolted in place for an exact fit. The pin points need to be EXACT in three dimensions, and dead level, which they are now. Also removed and disassembled the 97 year old windshield which is in pretty good shape, considering. rubber seals are rock hard though.

RON HAUSMANN P.E.

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  • 2 months later...

All,

Updated pictures of restoration as of April 3, 2015.

Removable wood carved top has been restored, strengthened, and made new with carved oak and epoxy. Then I have "slung" the top from the shop joists, above completed chassis, so wood body parts can be "mated" properly in three dimensions. Oak Body pillars and framework are being fabricated by hand and thus fitted. It's starting to look like a car, a really BIG car in fact !! Mating the removable top and bottom halves of doors will be a chore, since no original hardware survived.

Stay Tuned. RON HAUSMANN P.E.

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  • 1 month later...

All,

Here is the restoration status as of May 25, 2015 in text and pictures. the oak body frame, complete with routed window channels has been assembled and glued together. Metal body panels are almost done being fitted. creating the wood floor structure is underway as is the space for the trunk, which is really small but detailed. I've just located a sales brochure and original parts manual supplement which helped me to figure out the top mounts and door hinges. Also got US Patent office Kissel documents which show the patented Kissel "All Year Top" mounting details.

With all this oak carving, I now have developed Carpel Tunnel Syndrome - a real bummer.

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  • 1 month later...

All,

Here is the status as of June 30,2015 at 8 PM.

Nearly all of the basic wood carving is done, FINALLY. Just the doors and trunk left to make. the three dimensional pins for the removeable top all mate.

All the sheet metal remnants fit perfectly, which comes as a surprise to me. I thought that there would be some giant mistakes. I fitted the lower doors, seats, hood, and body panels today one last time.

Now I need to get a sheet metal expert to help patch the rotten areas. The engine part sorting from two different parts cars can proceed.

Thank God that I have a patient wife.

Thanks, RON

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  • 4 weeks later...

All,

Here is an update of restoration status as of July 27, 2015. We were happily interrupted since last update by the birth of another grandson and two family vacations, so less advanced than normally would be.

Door bottoms are carved and fitted to the skins. They fit tightly.

Door tops are reglued after disassembly and some new pieces. they mate fine.

Found two SOSS disappearing hinges (special from Duesenberg) that match my Kissel ones. Thanks to Pete and AACA.

Bought two remaining regular brass hinges. Unclear why Kissel used three SOSS and one regular per door ??

Soon, body will be removed from frame for sheet metal fitting.

RON

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  • 2 weeks later...

All,

A couple more pictures of the perfectly fitting "dutch" doors that the All-Year Kissel requires, so that the top can  be removed. I'll never do another wood restoration, but time aside, am very proud of how my carved oak members and features fit!

Thanks, RON HAUSMANN P.E.

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  • 5 weeks later...

All -

This month's restoration update and pictures. August was car show and Woodward Dream Cruise month so less progress.

We used the one rusty remaining original Kissel body fitting to fabricate a dozen new ones. These L-shaped male and female members mate the dutch doors together so that they act as one when the hard top is on, but you can remove the top halves easily for convertible use. We followed Kissel's 1917 patent document to make these. (Thanks Joe Leaf)

We fitted and refitted the hinges and body metal and the L-anchors to make an exact fit in three dimensions. Very tedious.

We restored the Kissel patented suicide door release handles, again just like the patent.

We added final reinforcing oak plank at certain points and finished the removeable wood floor plates.

We recarved all the trunk lid oak parts which were rotted and attached the metal and refinished the hinges and latches.

Next up is the cowl and body sheet metal.

Ron Hausmann P.E.

 

(Last Picture is my 1923 Kissel Brougham Opera Sedan which won at the August Milwaukee Masterpiece Concours.) 

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  • 2 months later...

All,

Been awhile since we updated on our progress on this 1918 Kissel Sedanette restoration.

Since last posting, we have finished the car's dashboard, restored all the instruments (not shown), wired the chassis, and fine tun ed the woodwork. We have finished the carving to the extent that I could remove the carved oak hard top for final finish and paint.

This is the ONLY Kissel All-Year car that has survived with both hard top and convertible top, and as well, the ONLY Kissel Sedanette model to survive.

It is pictured next to my 1923 Kissel Gold Bug and as you can see, this is one big, tall car.!!

Ron Hausmann P.E>  

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