Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
The Moon Motor Car Company was founded in 1905 in St. Louis, Missouri, by Joseph W. Moon. When I think of Moon cars, I always picture their touring cars and sedans from the early 1920s that featured solid rims. This little Roadster was produced during WWI.
The 1918 Moon line consisted of three models, with the 6-45 being in the middle of the range. It’s powered by a 45 horsepower, Continental straight-six engine. It was missing from their 1919 line, but reappeared in 1920 (albeit, with three more horsepower) when it was dubbed their “Victory” model. This “Cloverleaf” Roadster is so named because it seats three and looks like a three-leaf clover when viewed from above.
When new, this car cost $1,575. The current owner had it restored and the auction catalog dubs it “One of the finest Moons in existence” – which likely means it will be one of the more expensive Moons to be sold at auction. It is also one of only a handful of Moon motorcars to ever been displayed at Pebble Beach. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Tracing the evolution of sports cars is fairly easy until you get back to about 1945. Cars of the Post-War sports car craze are easy to distinguish from more mundane automobiles. Trying to trace it back before the war gets a little trickier. Sure, there were race cars and specials and cars you could drive to Le Mans, race, and drive home. But as far as the earlier cars go, you’re looking at Genesis (or one of a few that qualify for that title).
The Mercer Raceabout and the Stutz Bearcat are two of America’s first sports cars. The Kissel 6-45 Speedster, nicknamed “Gold Bug” (due to it’s signature color) is the third. The Kissel Motor Car Company was founded by Louis Kissel in Hartford, Wisconsin in 1906. They built high-quality cars, trucks, and emergency vehicles. After WWI ended, they saw a market niche they could fill for the exciting decade to come. So in 1919 they introduced the Gold Bug Speedster and it was far and away their most popular model.
The low-slung two seater – with two additional seats that extend out of the body over the running boards for the crazy and/or brave – is powered by a 61 horsepower six-cylinder engine. Performance is sporty – thus it being known as an early sports car. Kissel closed shop in 1930 after producing some 35,000 vehicles. Only about 150 are known to exist today. This one can be yours for $159,500. For more information and photos, click here.