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STRANGE OLDE CLASSIC CARS - 1920 KISSEL GOLD BUG SPEEDSTER - 6 CYLINDER! - CHECK OUT THE PULL OUT EXTRA SEAT FOR THE RUNNING BOARD!

The idea for the Kissel speedster (later nicknamed the Gold Bug) came about in the late "teens". It was a popular undertaking by New York dealers to create custom bodies for the various brands they handled to provide something unique to their clientele. Many brands were subject to this activity (with strikingly similar bodies), such as Marmon, Willys-Knight, Danials, Noma, Oakland, Apperson, and Kissel. According to Mark Theobald, it was Conover T. Silver who originated the design that would be adopted by Kissel. Silver left Buick in 1909 to take on the New York dealership for Oakland. In 1915, he started experimenting with custom bodies (Oakland, Peerless, and Willys-Knight) and in 1917 he added the Kissel line and applied his custom designs to thier chassis.


The Motor Age, January 23, 1919

The Motor Age of February 6, 1919 - reporting on the special bodies at the New York Armory Show - stating, "New York dealers have found it extremely profitable to have special bodies built practically creating a new line of cars such as the Silver-Apperson or Silver-Kissel." The publication goes on to say "Some of the special bodies and painting jobs included... a Kissel roadster of sporty type in canary yellow..." Apparently, Kissel saw the value of this sporty style and adopted it (largely unchanged) for the 1919 model year. The speedster was listed for $2850 (same price as the touring) in 1920 and featured a side-valve 6-cylinder (61 hp) and Houck wire wheels.

The Hartford, Wisconsin company had always built commercial vehicles (trucks) along with cars and The Motor Age of April 24, 1919 noted the Kissel's challenge in meeting the demand for its cars due to its commitments in supplying the government's war needs (WWI) - "The best Kissel can promise the customer is delivery in three weeks... Of course, the Kissel factory is still on Government work, but it is expected here that it will be through in about three weeks..." The company would end up yet another victim of the depression and close its doors in 1930.
 

STRANGE OLDE CLASSIC CARS - 1920 KISSEL GOLD BUG SPEEDSTER - 6 CYLINDER! - CHECK OUT THE PULL OUT EXTRA SEAT FOR THE RUNNING BOARD!






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