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Kissel Gold Bug


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Question regarding mounting a windshield on a Kissel Gold Bug.  Is there a rubber gasket or some other material (caulk?) between the bottom of the metal windshield frame and the metal of the cowl?  The attached photo seems to show a black rubber molded gasket, but I can not be totally sure.  If that is a gasket, it is a unique shape and probably no longer available from NOS barnfind Kissel components.  What is the story on that important element?

23 Kissel Ron Hausman 03.jpg

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LCK81403 - I have two Kissel Gold bugs, 1923, with such windshields. one was purchased already restored, one an unrestored mess. Both have a rubber bead or welting like your picture, which could be my car. I've taken the windshield off and that welting is merely a bulb-ended thin rubber strip that follows the contour of the windshield casting along both sides. its not one piece but stuck under, like you would sandwich welting between a body when you are attaching a fender to an old car. My 1921 Kissel Tourster, which is original, has this same application too. Toursters were sister to Gold Bugs.

Ron Hausmann P.E.





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Ron, thank you for the information about sealing the windshield frame on the cowl.  It is interesting that an extruded rubber gasket was not used.  I notice that the windshield frame of the 21 Kissel Tourster is similar but different than the 23 Gold Bug windshield.  I know that Kissel's were custom built, but one would think that a windshield frame was more of an off-the-shelf, stock item.  In studying and comparing your two photos, however, I see that the shape of the Tourster's cowl is different enough to cause the windshield frame to be different.  Both designs are pretty cool looking.


There are differences and similarities of windshield mounting on the 23 Kissel compared with the Daniels D-19.  The Kissel uses an angled brace toward the rear to stabilize the windshield frame while the Daniels does not.  Without that brace on the Kissel, would there be structural problems related to the weight of the complete windshield, vibration, and wind loading modulation?  From factory floor photos in the Kissel work shop we know that Kissel bodies were wood frame.  Thus far I have not discovered any factory information nor photos of how the Daniels body frames were manufactured, whether of wood or welded metal.  Is it possible that the Daniels had a welded metal body frame and therefore a more secure mount for the windshield, versus Kissel's wood frame that could become weakened by vibration and and alternating wind loading (without the two support arms)?





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     I’m sorry that I can’t answer your questions about the Daniels. I haven’t had much ability to view them. I suspect however that they were wood framed as most cars back then were.

     The Kissel has windshield braces behind the windshield for stability in my opinion. The big bolts that hold the windshields to the top of the cowls on both the Daniels and Kissel windshields Would produce quite a “moment” force or torque if you pull laterally the windshield top. ( I’m a structural engineer) . I think the angled brace reduces those stress probabilities by at least half. Maybe Daniels used more bolts or just gambled on fewer people pulling on the windshield.
     Finally, the windshields on nearly ALL Kissel models are different and sometimes different year-to-year. I myself as a Kissel expert,  am just amazed at the variations that Kissel offered in their array of models. Hoods, door handles, cowls, lights, tail lights, and yes windshields differed model to model. These variations are also shown in the rare Kissel Parts Manuals which do exist. I have these manuals. They show a dazzlingly confusing assortment of model differences. 
    If you restore Kissels, it is very, very hard to amass the correct parts to do a “correct” restoration - however, there are so few people, and fewer judges, who are aware of these many differences.

    Thanks, Ron

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Interesting history and information about the great Kissel products.  Interesting to me, my Great-Grand Dad owned the first automobile dealership on my side of the county I live in and one of the makes he sold was Kissel.  Sadly, the only Kissel item I have been able to locate in my general area is a truck frame.  I wish I had his sales records!


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