Don Wiss

Trying to identify a 1919 car

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This photo is dated 1919. It is labeled "our first car." My grandparents were married in 1917. But my grandfather did not return from the war until early 1919. We now know that their next cars were Cadillacs, but this one is clearly not a Cadillac. Being newlyweds, Cadillacs would likely have been out of their price range.

 

1405921020_1919ourfirstcarcropped.thumb.jpg.3792811daf2e0e3ef25c665b85b73b32.jpg

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Circa 1920 Moon. The 'standard' head light rims on a Moon were patterned but maybe plain ones were an option.

 

Image result for "1920 moon"

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1 minute ago, nzcarnerd said:

 

I was referring only to the patterned lenses on the '17.

I realized that and deleted my post. You are, of course, correct. I misread and thought you were talking about the bezels.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)

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Moons were not an inexpensive car either.  By1916 the Moon cars had 6 cylinders, wood wheels were standard until 1924 when they went to the disc wheels. Wire wheels were extra. The radiator shells were made of German silver and polished up better than nickel.

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2 hours ago, nzcarnerd said:

Circa 1920 Moon. The 'standard' head light rims on a Moon were patterned but maybe plain ones were an option.

 

I have never heard of a Moon Motor Car.

 

Most of the pictures I've found have the headlight rims circular, and not octagonal. It is always possible that the headlights you see in a web picture got changed along the way, possibly for brighter ones.

 

I lifted this picture from: https://www.historicvehicle.org/the-moon-motor-car-company/

The caption is "Actress Clara Bow straddling the hood of 1919 Moon in a baseball uniform. Photograph, 1926. Missouri History Museum Photographs and Prints Collections. Transportation. N00690."

 

Clara-Bow-360x450.jpg.44dcfea4d3dd5de539fcf0af10b652a7.jpg

 

What is different is this bumper has two strips, and the above pictures have only one.

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1 hour ago, 28 Chrysler said:

Moons were not an inexpensive car either.

 

My guess is the car was given to them by my great-grandparents, as a present to their son upon his return from the war. I know in later years my great-grandmother gave cars to her grandchildren.

 

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34 minutes ago, Don Wiss said:

 

I have never heard of a Moon Motor Car.

 

Most of the pictures I've found have the headlight rims circular, and not octagonal. It is always possible that the headlights you see in a web picture got changed along the way, possibly for brighter ones.

 

I lifted this picture from: https://www.historicvehicle.org/the-moon-motor-car-company/

The caption is "Actress Clara Bow straddling the hood of 1919 Moon in a baseball uniform. Photograph, 1926. Missouri History Museum Photographs and Prints Collections. Transportation. N00690."

 

Clara-Bow-360x450.jpg.44dcfea4d3dd5de539fcf0af10b652a7.jpg

 

What is different is this bumper has two strips, and the above pictures have only one.

 

In that era bumpers were an accessory and not usually factory supplied. I think it is a coincidence that your folks' car and the red wheel car have the same type of bumper.

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I am restoring my neighbor's 1923 Moon which is a similar looking car, and have been doing much research and learning from older Moon historians. Bumpers were one of the many dealer installed accessories for Moons as well as other makes of this period. Moon, like many manufacturers, did not put bumpers on their cars in 1919. The car in the original picture is likely a 1919 as you said. The Rolls Royce radiator shell was first used on the 1919 Moon Victory model. It was called that because of the end of the war. I would say that it is a 1919-20 Moon based on the radiator shell, wheels, and double rear window.

 

Check out the Moon car club for information, and also see if you can dig up more of the story of this car. I became a member last summer, and found that there are many people in the club who know a lot and are dedicated to preserving Moon history. Let me know if I can help you with your search for Moon history or good people to get in contact with.

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5 minutes ago, ryan95 said:

Check out the Moon car club for information, and also see if you can dig up more of the story of this car.

 

Yesterday I sent the club the picture, for them to use on their site. The webmaster was thrilled. Only two 1918/19 models are known to exist. He thinks he knows the model, but asked for a couple days to research the car. I will report the results here.

 

I did see that many of the Moon cars shown on the Car Photos page had no bumpers. I mentioned the bumpers to the webmaster, and also told him the car was purchased in Newark, NJ.

 

My grandfather's first child was conceived circa April 23, 1919. So we have a fairly small window of time for when he got back and the car was bought.

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From the story I heard, the owner of the company, or someone else high up, came back from the war and made that radiator shell the standard shape for all Moon models starting in 1919. From that and the timeline of events that you give, it must be a 1919 model year. Please share any other pictures that you can find. Paint colors could also help determine the model if you can find out. They wouldn't be absolute proof, but make for good evidence. Certain models had certain standard colors, meaning that is how they came from the factory unless special ordered.

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Just to clarify the Clara Bow on the Moon picture. After much research of many pictures I can definitely state that Clara Bow is on a 1924 Series A Moon. That was the only year Moon had those headlights for the Series A, the first year of the fenders shaped with the secondary line in them, the last year that Moon used that emblem. The Missouri Historical Society/Museum has the wrong information on their website and unfortunately I used that for our Moon Car Club. I need to update all of our club pictures and files to reflect the correct identification of the Moon that Clara Bow is sitting on when the picture was taken in 1926 or later (the license plate is a 1926 plate). We have other pictures of Clara Bow with this Moon along with Max Factor so there is a question as to if she owned this Moon or somehow was able to use it for some period. We are still researching that.....     

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On 2/5/2019 at 1:57 PM, nzcarnerd said:

Circa 1920 Moon. The 'standard' head light rims on a Moon were patterned but maybe plain ones were an option.

 

Image result for "1920 moon"

So that everyone knows, this is a very rare 1920 6-42 Moon "Export" Touring that is at the Haynes International Motor Museum in England. There are only 2 know to exist.

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On 2/6/2019 at 5:34 PM, ryan95 said:

From the story I heard, the owner of the company, or someone else high up, came back from the war and made that radiator shell the standard shape for all Moon models starting in 1919. From that and the timeline of events that you give, it must be a 1919 model year. Please share any other pictures that you can find. Paint colors could also help determine the model if you can find out. They wouldn't be absolute proof, but make for good evidence. Certain models had certain standard colors, meaning that is how they came from the factory unless special ordered.

 

Also to clarify....It was Joseph Moon's son, Stanley that came back from World War I from England and is credited with the "Rolls Royce" look-a-like shell design. 

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On 2/5/2019 at 1:49 PM, Don Wiss said:

This photo is dated 1919. It is labeled "our first car." My grandparents were married in 1917. But my grandfather did not return from the war until early 1919. We now know that their next cars were Cadillacs, but this one is clearly not a Cadillac. Being newlyweds, Cadillacs would likely have been out of their price range.

 

1405921020_1919ourfirstcarcropped.thumb.jpg.3792811daf2e0e3ef25c665b85b73b32.jpg

 

Finally, I need to apologize to Don for taking so long in getting back to him about his families Moon but this is a 1919 6-46 Moon "Victory" Touring with wire wheels which were an option instead of the wood spoke wheels. See the attach picture that I have on file that match your grandparents Moon. The split windshield, the 2 windows in the back of the top and the headlights were characteristics of this Moon vs the bigger 6-66 model.

1919 Moon 6-46 Victory Touring R31N15a16 001.jpg

1919 Moon 6-46 Victory Touring R04N10a10 002.jpg

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