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Kurtis sports car

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by sdluck, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 3,020

    sdluck
    Member

    Just got back from Pismo Car show,saw my first Kurtis street car,i found on the internet that these were bought by Mad Man Muntz.
     
  2. Retrorod
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 2,035

    Retrorod
    Member

    Was there a zillion gold-chainers again this year??

    That Pismo show always has some great high-dollar cars.
     
  3. aircap
    Joined: Mar 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,673

    aircap
    Member

    Yup. Muntz turned them into a cruiser, instead of a sporty car.
    That's not a bad thing.
     
  4. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 3,020

    sdluck
    Member

    I was there on Friday ,I dont know what saturday is like.I think it will be what you think.
     

  5. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 7,473

    Special Ed
    Member

    Earl "Madman" Muntz took a test ride with Frank Kurtis in one of his handbuilt cars in 1950, and loved it so much that he bought all the tooling, jigs, EVERYTHING for the Kurtis and renamed it the Muntz Jet.... He stretched the wheelbase to add a rear seat, and attempted to market them as more of a "personal-luxury" car instead of a sportscar....
     
  6. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 3,020

    sdluck
    Member

    Thanks for the info.
     
  7. Apparently, Muntz lost about $3000 per automobile he made, and shut things down pretty quickly
     
  8. Pat
    Joined: Jan 6, 2002
    Posts: 178

    Pat
    Member
    from Felton Ca.

    I was there and met Arlen Kurtis. What a great guy. We talked for several minutes and the car is his own that he restored a few years ago. He said its #17 the last one made before muntz took over.331 cad powered. I got his poster and had him sign it!
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  9. supermod
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 7

    supermod
    Member

    Kurtis had more than one version of his sports car. The last was the M model that became the Muntz Jet. The version that I have seen is the 500S which was based on his Indy Roadster. It can be found on the internet. In my opinion it was a beautiful version with the Indy look. It was produced in 1953 and was popular as a racing vehicle in the early days of sports car racing in the US.

    I believe that engine and running gear was the choice of the customer.
     
  10. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 7,473

    Special Ed
    Member

    Actually, it was more like a grand apiece, and he built the Jets for about four years. He was able to absorb the losses as he was the fourth largest producer of television sets during the same period. At the end of the Jet's production, he was beginning to experiment with fiberglass to cut his labor costs. Mine was the last factory-produced Jet, and the only one with a fiberglass hood...
     
  11. Pat
    Joined: Jan 6, 2002
    Posts: 178

    Pat
    Member
    from Felton Ca.

    This is his car that was at Pismo.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. 1turbobrick
    Joined: Sep 10, 2011
    Posts: 62

    1turbobrick
    Member

    The Kurtis Sport was the first "production" street car Frank Kurtis built and was built in 1949. After 17 cars, the project was mothballed. Madman Muntz continued with the project (The Muntz was produced from 1951 to 1954) before Kurtis stopped selling his Indy chassis for road cars. The 500S, 500KK and 500S/X were 3 of the variations offered and were available as late as 1955; possibly later. I am fortunate enough to help out with a collection that includes a Kurtis Sport, 500KK, 500S/X, the Tommy Lee Speedster and a Muntz Jet.
     
  13. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 7,473

    Special Ed
    Member

    The Sport was also offered as a "kit" in various stages of completion, for the owner to ultimately complete themselves. I have a pricelist for it around here somewhere.... :)
     
  14. 1turbobrick
    Joined: Sep 10, 2011
    Posts: 62

    1turbobrick
    Member

    I'd love a copy of that if you find it...
     
  15. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 7,473

    Special Ed
    Member

    I will look for it in my garage tomorrow. Everything is broken down and priced individually. It's kinda neat!
     
  16. HOTFR8
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 2,075

    HOTFR8
    Member

    Would love to have a Muntz Jet.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Arlen found this car about 20 years ago in an El Monte wrecking yard a couple of blocks from our shop. Dad and I helped him drag it out and get it on his trailer. It means a lot to him. He drove it to school.


    [​IMG]
     
  18. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 7,473

    Special Ed
    Member

  19. wisdonm
    Joined: Jun 20, 2011
    Posts: 444

    wisdonm
    Member

    Thanks for posting this Ed. I have been in the process of building a model of the Kurtis SC for quite a while and this will help.
     

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