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1921 Kissel Gold Bug Wins Pebble Beach TV Show Feature


1937hd45
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Watched it and enjoyed it though the guy is way to dramatic for my taste. His statement that they were restoring the only  Kissel 645 Gold Bug in the world was simply wrong. I hope he replaces the cad plated spark plugs before he enters the car in AACA competition. I also couldn't believe he used plate glass in the windshield rather than safety glass even though plate was originally used. I also believe the red name tags on the wheels were wrong. They should be black. We restored an identical KIssel some years ago. Exactly how does one get a car accepted for Pebble before it is even restored?

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2 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

Watched it and enjoyed it though the guy is way to dramatic for my taste. His statement that they were restoring the only  Kissel 645 Gold Bug in the world was simply wrong. I hope he replaces the cad plated spark plugs before he enters the car in AACA competition. I also couldn't believe he used plate glass in the windshield rather than safety glass even though plate was originally used. I also believe the red name tags on the wheels were wrong. They should be black. We restored an identical KIssel some years ago. Exactly how does one get a car accepted for Pebble before it is even restored?

 

I was wondering that also...... then again I was watching a rerun of Chasing Classic Cars and Wayne Carrini buys nash station wagon that was on display in the museum at Hershey 2 days before the show and has it registered in his name and it is on the showfield??? I understand it was great publicity for the club and things had to get scripted months in advance.

 

That show last night was pretty good, and has potential much better then 90% of the garbage velocity puts on the air.

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Thanks 1937hd45. I'd never heard of a Kissel car before, so this show peaked my interest. As a general interest viewer, I really liked the show, although I think they could've gone into more detail. I watch new episodes of Wheeler Dealers, Chasing Classic Cars, and Junkyard Empire, where they show how specific restoration problems are dealt with. I understand that there's a world of difference between those shows and the levels of restoration. 

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Restorer -

Kissels originally in 1921, came with either wood wheels or wire wheel options. My original 1921 Kissel Tourster, the only one that exists of any year,  has wire wheels with red houk hubcap emblems. I have, however, seen black on3s as well. I believe the red are correct, but there are few originals left to compare.

either way I think is correct.

Thankfully, his restorer did an 3xacting job trying to be correct, unlike the 1920 that Carinni botched with his top, or the 023 that was at aaca a few years ago.

take care,

Ron Hausmann P.E.

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Sorry, I forgot I took some photos of the Kissel at Pebble Beach. Personal opinion, and I'll take some flack over it, but I liked the shade of yellow, and would think the restorer researched it. Ron, is your Gold Bug a different year, just noticed yours has the nicer (IMO) fenders without the conventional running boards.Bob 

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Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
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How could gearhead not know what a Kissel Gold Bug, Jordan Playboy, Stutz Bearcat, or Duesy SJ was ?

BTW I liked the show but had recorded it so could fast forward the slow parts. Did think the Ferrari resto-replica looked a lot like a Crossfire coupe.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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1 minute ago, padgett said:

How could gearhead not know what a Kissel Gold Bug, Jordan Playboy, Stutz Bearcat, or Duesy SJ was ?

This Forum and TV coverage of the hobby seams to think anything before WWII isn't of interest, notice the Tucker, Mustang an TESLA love affairs that run rampant, no surprise  the cars that highlighted the hobby in the 1950's are unheard of to new members of the hobby. Bob 

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35 minutes ago, alsancle said:

Bob,  the limit is per session.  Just log off and log back on every time you hit the 10 meg limit.

Ok, I'll give that a try, but you know if I somehow had 24 Tucker photos the site wouldn't have any problem accepting them. The Paige was right next to the Kissel, and made for a good comparison of features. I thought the foot rest on the Paige was better constructed. Bob 

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19 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Sorry, I forgot I took some photos of the Kissel at Pebble Beach. Personal opinion, and I'll take some flack over it, but I liked the shade of yellow, and would think the restorer researched it. Ron, is your Gold Bug a different year, just noticed yours has the nicer (IMO) fenders without the conventional running boards.Bob 

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Bob - 

A. My Kissel Gold Bug Speedster in my post above is a 1923 Kissel Model 6-45. The Pebble Beach Gold Bug is an early 1921 Kissel Model 6-45.

B. The correct Kissel Gold Bug "YELLOW" has been debated a lot with no solution. This is complicated by the fact that Kissels could be factory standard painted, or painted at the factory with any custom ordered color, including yellows. There are no original yellow cars left either. In my opinion, both yellows are correct, since the pale yellow that mine has looks very correct with tan tops and covers, while the bold yellow looks great with a black top.

C. As to fenders and running boards, from 1919 introduction to mid 1921, Kissel Model 6-45's has flat fenders (as the Pebble Beach Gold Bug). In mid 1921 to mid 1923, Kissel Model 6-45's were upgraded to full "cyle-style" crowned sport fenders, and full running boards were ditched. Those Kissels had either part running boards (as my pictured green 1921 Tourster in above post has), or step plates (as shown on my 1923 Gold Bug Speedster). In mid 1923, the Model 6-45 was discontinued and the new Model 6-55 with different frame, engine, and trim, was introduced. I am partial to the Model 6-45's being Kissels best cars, with their longer wheelbase and trim.

Thanks, RON

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Unfortunately botched restorations often become accepted as original thru the decades. All Kissel 6-45 Gold Bug Speedsters had portholes. Why this detail was purposefully eliminated when the car was done for TV is a shame.i hope that whomever owns that car now will correct this.

IMHO 

Ron Hausmann 

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We completed restoration of the Carinni car in 1996 and took it thru AACA judging. It received a Senior Award at Hershey. The owner, a Swiss citizen who was Head Communications Officer at the Swiss Embassy in DC was unexpectedly transferred to Paris before the restoration was completed so the car was put on extended loan to the KIssel Museum in Hartford, Wisconsin where it slept peacefully until 2006 or so. Facing retirement the owner sold it to an American citizen living in Paris who hired us to recomision the car and ship it to France. The new owner drove in on a 600 mile endurance run across Southern France and reported the car behaved well but was a bit uncomfortable to drive long distances. He sold the car to Hyman Classic Cars who traded it to Carinni,  as memory serves. Carinni eliminated the porthole windows and painted the fenders black, hoping to make the car more "saleable". Where it went from there I have no idea. We had done a carefull and well researched restoration of the car and it hurt to see modifications done to it.

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I very much enjoyed the Velocity show on the Monterey Kissel.  How many times have you 'been there': going over again and again a fuel or ignition system trying to figure out a miss, stall, or hesitation.  Interesting to hear the backstory on the Carini car; thanks for that restorer32.

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17 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

. We had done a carefull and well researched restoration of the car and it hurt to see modifications done to it.

 

It’s always interesting to hear the backstory on a particular car.  Obviously, you determined the correct color was solid yellow.  Most Gold Bugs I have seen have a yellow body with black fenders.  I’m curious abouthow you came up with a solid color scheme.  I liked the all yellow.

 

I watched the Carini show on the Kissel and remember him telling the top guy he wanted to eliminate the oval windows because they were ‘cheap plastic.’  That begs the question, why not replace them with glass?

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When it left our care the oval windows were not cheap plastic. I can assure you of that. Our car was chrome yellow all over. Some areas of the chassis and fenders had never been repainted and were the yellow we used. In addition, the year we showed the car at Hershey we displayed it in our tent the couple days before the show. A fellow in his 90's and his Grandson wandered by and were fascinated with the car. After some conversation we realized that the elderly gentleman had owned the car in the 1930's. He verified that it was originally all yellow. This was a car that had never been restored,  probably due to the rotted wood in the body and the 3+ feet of cracking in the block (we found a replacement block). The elderly gentleman asked if he could sit in the car and of course we complied though he had considerable trouble getting behind the wheel, even with the "fat man" steering wheel.  For some reason Kissel put only 1 door on the car and it's on the wrong side. To say the least the gentleman had a moment sitting behind the wheel of a car he had last driven in the 1930's. Would have brought a tear to my eye if I weren't such a tough guy. Gentle reader you likely will not believe this but the day we showed it at Hershey was bright and sunny. I sat behind the car and saw at least 3 bees of some variety land on the tail end of the car and apparently try to mate with it. Must have been the chrome yellow.

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All -

 

 Yellow: according to period writings, the original Kissel Gold Bug, which was introduced in 1918 for the 1919 Model Year, was all yellow - yellow frame, springs, fender insides, belly, etc. I’ll bet that with 90% of the roads then being gravel or dirt, keeping those parts clean would have been an insurmountable task! Later, most Gold Bugs that were painted factory standard were changed to black fenders, frames, etc, but there have still been pictures of Gold Bugs in 1922 sporting the all-yellow color scheme. Remember, you could custom order these cars easily.

 

Doors: original Gold Bugs had NO Doors! They also had a fixed central arm rest. In about 1920, they added one door on the passenger side. Up until mid 1921, that was the configuration. That’s the configuration of the Penble Beach Gold Bug in this post. In mid 1921, when they changed to crowned cycle fenders, side mounts, and step plates in place of running boards, they went with two doors and no arm rest. That’s how my 1923 Kissel Gold Bug is configured. In my Restoration’s, I’ve found dozens and dozens of the year-to-year tweaks that Kissel made.

 

Fritz Warner and Henry Palmer were the two engineers and stylists under George and Will Kissel in the teens and twenties. These two guys, have using Conover Silvers concepts, were the brains behind the Kissel Model 6-45 Chassis and Gold Bug Speedster (and Tourster) body styles.

 

enough of my encyclopedic babble.

thanks Ron

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As far as getting a car accepted to pebble beach before it is restored is very common practice. There is a application process where you tell them about the car and depending on rarity, past history and style they will decide if they want it on the field. Very important cars that are under restoration are a pretty easy write in. Also Pebble also invites cars based on the classes in which they have in the next year. Believe it or not there are alot of older restorations that go because of the need to fill classes. But if you have a car you think could make the lawn you can apply and see what they say. Also every year some cars don't get finished in time and have to pull out before the show. At that point they will call people up to fill the spots.

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