17 June 2000
This Lot has no reserve
1926 KISSEL 8-75 SPEEDSTER
Chassis No. 75-3527
Dark blue with black fenders and black leather interior
Engine: in-line, L-head, 8-cylinder, 310ci, 71hp at 3,000rpm; Gearbox: three-speed manual; Suspension: solid axles with leaf springs front and rear; Brakes: four wheel hydraulic. Left hand drive.
The Kissel family emigrated from Germany in the 19th century, settling in Wisconsin where the family business steadily expanded from farming into commerce and manufacturing. In 1905 George Kissel and his brother Will built an automobile for their own use, not the usual kids' contraption, but a four cylinder shaft drive roadster. George and Will's substantial approach to car building established a standard for quality construction and advanced thinking that would characterize products of the Kissel Motor Car Company until its demise in the early days of the Great Depression.
In 1924 Kissel introduced its own straight eight engine. This was based on a Lycoming block fitted with Palmer-designed cylinder heads and aluminum oil pan, pistons and connecting rods. Capable of 85 mph, the Kissel 8-75 speedsters had performance comparable with the best cars on the road. Their double drop frames and Werner-designed bodies, which Kissel's copy writers called the 'custom-built' line, gave these Kissels a look to match the eight's performance and attracted a celebrity clientele that included 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Al Jolson, Amelia Earhart, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks.
The car offered here is typical of the best from Kissel. Low and powerful, with dual side-mounted spare tires, it also is solidly built in the Kissel tradition. Kissel's characteristic rounded radiator shell is topped by a Boyce Motometer and proudly bears Kissel's unique badge, offset to the right and inset into the radiator itself. An older restoration, this car has aged gracefully and we understand it will be in running condition at the time of the sale, ready to be toured with enthusiasm, as envisioned by George and Will Kissel, Herman Palmer and Friederich Werner.
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This lot has no reserve.
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