ron hausmann

1923 Kissel Gold Bug Barn Find

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All -
   i agree with all of the statements above in Restorer32’s post. The term “Gold  Bug” was a Milwaukee Journal newspaper name from the time that stuck!

    When they were introduced in 1919, the non-custom Kissel speedsters were factory painted all yellow - frames, axles, fenders, insides of framing, etc. after awhile many folks found that maintaining a yellow undercarriage was hard, they switched to black chassis, but all yellow Speedsters are correct.

     There is a 1922 Kissel Model 6-45 Gold Bug Speedster undergoing a painstakingly beautiful restoration in New Hampshire right now which has this all yellow color scheme. His car is utilizing the bold yellow shade. Stay tuned.

     Ron Hausmann P.E.

 

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The one we did was all yellow until Carini decided to paint the fenders black and eliminate the portholes from the top. We finished the restoration in 1996. It sat in the Kissel museum in Wisconsin until 2010 or so when it was sold. We retrieved it and got it running again and shipped it to its new owner in France. The new owner drove it across France in a 600 mile reliability tour. He declared it "reliable but not very comfortable to drive". He then sold it to Hyman Classic cars who traded it to Carini for another car. I have no idea where it is now.

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It sold I believe at Bonhams around 2015.  Looks to have been driven a bit as you explain Restorer.  I have sime nice close ups of that one but not on this phone.

 

Curious if anyone has details on light green example, it was a show stopper.  I wonder if that was a standard color?

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One of the more fun restoration we have done.  With no driver's side door it was almost impossible to get into the thing with the top up. 

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This is one of the better threads on the Forum thank you to everyone who has contributed, fun reading the history and ownership of the cars. The only Kissel I ever worked on was a 1913 Touring, think it is still with the same family. Bob 

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We also did a complete restoration of a '27 Kissel Brougham.  Showed it at Hershey maybe 12 years ago. Was nominated for a National Award.  It too was sold at auction and I have no idea where it is now. Thanks to Ron's collecting and restoring,  Kissels have come out of obscurity and into the light. Quality built cars and just enough "different" to be interesting.

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There was a guy in Greenwich by the name of Kissel involved in a murder case, he owned two Kissels, wonder were those cars are now? Bob 

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1937hd45 -

     His name was Andrew Kissel. He was an overall rascal. White collar crook. His brother was murdered by his wife in Hong Kong. He was Murdered by his Valet. To my knowledge he owned one Kissel - my 1923 Kissel Gold Bug Soeedster.

    Some backstory - Andrew Kissel bought the Ruger Gold Bug, my car, at auction when Ruger Sr. Passed. When the law was closing in on Andrew Kissel, the feds seized his assets including the Kissel car. That car sat in a warehouse for two years until the feds sold it at auction without any fanfare. It had deteriorated and didn’t run. Andrew Kissel never cared for it. I believe I was the only guy at that auction who knew that cars provenance and I was lucky enough to get it.

       I keep the Andrew Kissel registration n the car to brag.

       Ron Hausmann P.E.

CF2FEC90-FEC9-430D-9FCA-B0742DD70449.jpeg

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Yep a sensational news story here in CT (also where Ruger family is) a few years back.  Heard of the car but did not know about the connection.  Interesting, good the car found a good home.

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Am I correct in assuming the Ruger in question was the owner of Ruger Firearms here in Connecticut? Saw his reproduction/clone Bentleys at the New Your auto show, still have a sales flyer. Thought is was a good looking car. Bob 

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Yup William Ruger Sr. founded the firearms company that bears his name. He was a renowned car guy from what I’ve heard. Many of his cars came from “Autorama” before it went out of business. That’s where he got the Gold Bug. 

Ron Hausmann P.E.

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Ron, thank you for all of the info. Makes for good reading!

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Thanks alsancle, 

   The pictured car is misidentified as a 1924 Kissel - it’s actually a 1922 or 1923 Model 6-45 Kissel. The top hood vent identifies it as such. I believe this actual car survives and is being restored in New Hampshire right now!

ron hausmann  

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