1953 Muntz Road Jet

History

Trying to measure up to European car manufacturers, Americans came up with the Muntz Jet, an American sports car that was both practical and fashionable for the times. The Muntz Jet was a 4-seater convertible in the mold of the 58-61 T-bird.
The original design came from Frank Kurtis before Earl Muntz bought the design and redesigned and re-engineered it. Earl 'The Mad Man' Muntz was considered to be an entrepreneur. With a background in radio during the early 40's, he made his millions during by selling the first televisions for the mass market as a Dumont Television franchiser.

Built in Gardena, California in the early 1950's, the first 28 prototypes were made of aluminum with a 113-inch wheelbase and were powered by a 331 cid Cadillac V8. Body panels were aluminum-based that formed over a steel cage subframe on an 'X' frame chassis.

Eventually, the production site was moved to Evanston, Illinois, Muntz's hometown. It was here that the vehicle received a modified steel body and the powertrain was changed to the Lincoln flathead V8. Using fiberglass front fenders and an OHV Lincoln V8, producing 154 hp. Tested at 6.7 seconds, the Jet made zero to sixty, and a top speed of 119 mph.

As Muntz produced his last cars, he was estimated to have taken nearly a $1000 loss on each vehicle made. At the time, the price of a new Muntz Jet was between $5000 & $6000. Today they range from $10,000 to $40,000 based on their condition.
Well received by audiences in Southern California showrooms, deposits were enough to ensure a satisfactory production beginning.

Producing around 400 Jets between 1951 and 1954, it's estimated that at least 49 survive today.

Most likely due to the huge loss, he took on the production of each car, the Muntz Jet venture ended after four years.

By Jessica Donaldson

1953 Vehicle Profiles

1953 Muntz Road Jet vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: DR141664CAL

Frank Kurtis introduced the Kurtis Sport in 1949. Earl 'Madman' Muntz acquired the Kurtis Sport in 1950 and changed the car's name to the Muntz Jet. Muntz extended the wheelbase and added a back seat. Between 1951 and 1954, less than 400 examples wer....[continue reading]

1953 Muntz Road Jet vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 53-525

This 1953 Muntz Road Jet has chassis number 53-525 and is powered by a 318 cubic-inch Lincoln V8 that produces a little over 200 horsepower. There is a four-speed Hydra-matic Automatic gearbox and an independent front suspension and a live-rear axle....[continue reading]

1953 Muntz Road Jet vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 53M602

Earl 'Madman' Muntz purchased the tooling and rights for a two-seater sports car designed by Frank Kurtis. Kurtis had an extensive background in building custom and race cars. In 1939, he went to Indianapolis, where he was tasking with making repairs....[continue reading]

Roadster
Chassis #: DR141664CAL 
Roadster
Chassis #: 53-525 
Roadster
Chassis #: 53M602 


Similar Vehicles



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Muntz
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)
1949Ford (1,118,308)Chevrolet (1,010,013)Plymouth (520,385)
1948Chevrolet (696,449)Ford (430,198)Plymouth (412,540)

Related Automotive News

The Tammy Allen Collection Consigns Over 80 Vehicles To Barrett-Jackson's Ninth Annual Las Vegas Auction

The Tammy Allen Collection Consigns Over 80 Vehicles To Barrett-Jackson's Ninth Annual Las Vegas Auction

The collection, which includes over 80 vehicles, will be sold at No Reserve during the 9th Annual Las Vegas Auction at the world-renowned Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino The vehicles were part...
1964 Nurburgring 1000 Kilometers: Survive for One Last Victory

1964 Nurburgring 1000 Kilometers: Survive for One Last Victory

During the late 1950s, Richie Ginther would begin a relationship with John von Neumann and this partnership would result in one of the most dominant periods of American sportscar racing in which Ginther...
Corvette Shines in the Big Apple

Corvette Shines in the Big Apple

All-new Corvette Stingray comes to New York City 60 years to the day after Motorama debut 2013-01-16 Sixty years ago tomorrow, spectators lined New York Citys posh Park Avenue, waiting...
1967 Can-Am Road America: The Beginning of the 'Bruce and Denny Show'

1967 Can-Am Road America: The Beginning of the 'Bruce and Denny Show'

While Formula One will be forever considered the pinnacle of motorsport, from a period between 1966 and 1986 there existed a series that would likely be the closest to anything goes as any motor racing...
Carroll Shelby, Ford Family for More Than Half a Century

Carroll Shelby, Ford Family for More Than Half a Century

Carroll Shelby was a member of the Ford family for the better part of 60 years, producing stunning performance vehicles from concepts to production models. He once said his energy and passion for performance...
© 1998-2020. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed

Conceptcarz.com
© 1998-2020 Conceptcarz.com Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent.