The 1950s can be pointed to as the golden age of sports car ownership in America. Returning veterans who had spent time all over the world during WWII, driving small, great handling cars decided that they needed more of that type of fun in their lives and with money to spend, they were on a buying spree. MGs, Jaguars, and all manner of foreign brands began to pop up at specialty dealers across the country and those companies were reaping big profits from their newfound American customers. This also prompted American business people to think that they, too could capitalize on the popularity of the sports car genre.
Frank Kurtis, the well known race car builders and hot rodder extrodinare decided to create a Kurtis sports car which was a two seat machine that was powered by a Ford V8 engine. He sold very, very few of these and was so deep in the hole he sold the license to build these cars to a guy named Earl “Madman” Muntz who decided to put his own spin on the design by stretching the car and making it a four seater. Muntz also deided to swap engine choices to Cadillac from the Ford that Kurtis preferred. 400 of them were sold between 1951 and 1954 with Muntz reportedly losing about $1,000 on every copy sold due to high manufacturing cost. There’s also the fact that the thing is kind of weird looking, oddly proportioned with the stretched wheelbase, and had the general appearance of being built in someone’s garage.
Exceedingly rare, these are collectable cars among those that love this era of sports car and this one carries a hefty asking price as proof. A complete car powered by a 1957 Lincoln engine, we’re not sure how early this example is in series number but since it is a 1951, it could be one of the first to roll down the assembly line. What do you think? Is this Muntz the cool kind of ugly or the sad and weird kind of ugly?
We respect the history and all, but really….a beauty contest this baby will never win.
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE MORE PHOTOS OF THE 1951 MUNTZ JET AND THE CRAIGSLIST AD –
Craigslist Ad: 1951 Muntz Jet sports car