In 1948 race car manufacturer Frank Kurtis started building a run of High Performance 2 seat convertibles for the road powered by Ford V8’s.
At the first Bonneville Nationals NHRA founder Wally Parks drove one Franks cars to a two way timed run of 142.5 mph.
With only 36 cars built Frank’s Kurtis Kraft Sports came to the attention of the legendary media pitch man Earl William “Madman” Muntz who was sufficiently impressed to buy the whole project including manufacturing rights.
Muntz made a few alterations to the Kurtis Kraft Sport which included lengthening it, putting in a back seat, replacing the Ford V8 with a Cadillac V8 to turn the car into a 120 mph high performance personal luxury car offered in loud selection of colours and called it the Muntz Jet.
The light pink 1953 Muntz Jet, seen in these photographs by Geoffrey Horton at last years Marin Concours d’Elegance, was bought new by Gloria De Haven and delivered to her at the Plaza Hotel in New York.
Only around 400 Muntz Jets had been built by 1954 when Madman Muntz pulled the plug on the project claiming to have lost $1000 on each one. Highly prized today the Muntz Jet is seen as the for runner of the Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Thunderbird personal luxury cars.
My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs.
Thanks for joining meon this Madman’s Kurtis edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !