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1914 Kissel Kar Model 40

1914 Kissel Kar Model 40 1914 Kissel Kar Model 40 1914 Kissel Kar Model 40 Sold for $55,000 at 2007 Gooding & Company.
Sold for $37,400 at 2008 Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey by RM Auctions.
The Kissel Motor Car Company was established in 1906 in Hartford, Wisconsin by George and Will Kissel. Their product was of high quality and offered at a reasonable (medium) price. They were originally sold as Kissel Kars but the name was shortened to just Kissel after the First World War. Apparently, the 'Kar' portion made it sound too German or having German origins, so to help alleviate the confusion, that portion was dropped.

Their slogan was 'Every Inch a Car.' That slogan was backed by many impressive and innovative ideas and features. By 1914 the Kissel's were equipped with indirect dashboard lighting. In 1911 double-drop frames appeared and as early as 1909 the Kissel Kars could be ordered with six-cylinder engines. A V12, which they dubbed the Double Six in similar fashion to the Packard's, was introduced in 1917 and offered for both 1917 and 1918. Sales were sluggish on the V12 so they reverted back to the six from 1919 through 1924. One of their more famous six-cylinder vehicles was the Gold Bug Speedster.

An eight-cylinder unit became available in 1925, which kept the Kissel Company competitive with the quickly evolving marketplace. As the close of the 1920s came into sight and the Great Depression began to rear its ugly head, sales in the automotive industry began to plummet. For Kissel, this was very true. Sales had fallen to a mere 881 units for 1929 and by September of the following year had declared bankruptcy.

This 1914 Kissel Kar Model 40 Touring Car with chassis number 15471 is powered by a four-cylinder engine that is capable of producing 32 horsepower. There is a three-speed selective sliding transmission and has been kept in very original condition since new. The odometer reads just 6,890 miles since new and there are a full complement of correct lamps and friction shock absorbers. It has been in the same family since new.

It is believed that just 22 examples of the pre-War Kissels are still in existence ranging in age from 1909 to 1915.

In 2007 it was brought to the Gooding & Company auction held on Pebble Beach, Ca where it was offered without reserve and estimated to sell for $40,000 - $50,000. Those estimates nearly proved accurate as the lot was sold for $55,000 including buyer's premium.

Again, this is the only 1914 Kissel Model 40 known to exist. Currently, the odometer reads 6,900 miles.

In 2008, this car was brought to the 2nd Annual Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey presented by RM Auctions where it was estimated to sell for $50,000-$75,000. It was offered without reserve. Bidding peaked at $37,400 and as the gavel fell for the third and final time, the lot was sold.


By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2008
The Kissel brothers lived in the town of Hartford, Wisconsin where they made their living by creating engines and farm equipment. In 1906 they shifted their priorities to the evolving automobile market and created the Kissel Motor Company. The company was owned by Louis Kissel and his two sons, William and George. In 1907 their first vehicle, the Kissel Kar, went on sale. It was powered by a four-cylinder engine that produced 35 horsepower. The engine was water-cooled and L-head configuration. In 1909 a six-cylinder engine was introduced and by 1913 electric starters had been adapted to their line of vehicles. In 1917 a Double Six V-12 became available. Many of the Kissel cars used the Warner 4-speed selective sliding gear transmission. Solid rubber tires with wood spokes were not uncommon on the Kissel Kars.

Another famous Kissel car was the All-Year featuring a removable hardtop, glass windows, and curtains. Among its innovations was the illuminated instrument panel, technology they claimed to have created.

Throughout the years the company had its share of ups and downs. The reputation and prosperity of the company was founded on quality, durability, advanced design, outstanding performance, and dependability. They were able to maintain this reputation because they were a low production company. With the onset of World War I, the name Kar was dropped from the line-up because of resemblance to German words. The company and its 1400 workers once again switched priority to producing trucks for the Army.

The Great Depression was responsible for the demise of the Kissel Automobile Company. In 1935 the company was reorganized and named Kissel Industries where they produced motors for Sears, Roebuck and Company. In 1942 George Kissel passed away and the company was sold to West Bend Aluminum Company.


By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$200-$1,850
1914 Model 40
$1,850-$7,200
1914 Kissel Kar Model 40 Base Price : $1,850

Industry Production

#1#2#3Kissel Kar
1919Ford (820,445)Chevrolet (129,118)Buick (119,310)1,123
1918Ford (435,898)Buick (126,222)Willys Knight (88,753)1,217
1917Ford (622,351)Willys Knight (130,988)Buick (115,267)1,618
1916Ford (734,811)Willys Knight (140,111)Buick (124,834)1,112
1915Ford (501,492)Willys Knight (91,904)Dodge (45,000)1,173
1914Ford (308,162)Overland (48,461)Studebaker (35,374)896
1913Ford (168,220)Overland (37,422)Studebaker (31,994)837
1912Ford (78,440)Overland (28,572)Buick (19,812)727
1911Ford (69,762)Overland (18,745)Maxwell (16,000)713
1910Ford (32,053)Buick (30,525)Overland (15,598)619
1909Ford (17,771)Buick (14,606)Maxwell (9,460)417

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