Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.
The first completed KisselKar, a 1907 Model C, was shipped to Jospeh McDuffee, a Chicago automobile dealer. Conrad Kissel (b.1812, d. 1872) emigrated from Prussia to Addison in Washington County, Wisconsin in 1857. His son, Ludwig "Louis" Kissel, moved to Hartford, Wisconsin, in 1883 and in 1890, in a partnership with his four sons Adolph P., Otto P., William L. and George A., opened Kissel Hardware Store, the Hartford Plow Company that manufactured and distributed farm machinery, Kissel Manufacturing Company, and the Hartford Electric Company. They distributed engines for various manufacturers (Through Kissel Manufacturing Company) and developed their own gasoline engines including out board boat motors. The partnership was also involved in home building and sales through, a stone quarry, sand pit, and facilities for milling their own finished lumber. In 1906 Otto formed the First National Bank of Hartford as a principle shareholder and became Vice-President. In 1925 Otto was elected president and held that position until retiring in January 1933. In 1906 the Kissel Motor Car Company was incorporated by Louis, his four sons, and US District Attorney H. K. Butterfield. The company began production in 1907 and lasted until 1931. Advertised as "KisselKar," of the 35,000 automobiles the company produced, only 150 are known to exist today. The Wisconsin Automotive Museum of Hartford has several of these remaining cars on display. The most famous car was one the company donated to Hollywood actress Anita King for her transcontinental trip in 1915 that marked the first-ever such trip by a female driving alone. The most popular Kissel model was the 1919 thru 1927 Speedster, nicknamed the Gold Bug. The two passenger (sometimes four-passenger) Gold Bug was owned by famous personalities of the time such as actor Fatty Arbuckle and aviator Amelia Earhart. Beginning in 1927, Kissel also produced the sporty White Eagle Speedster.
1907 Kisselkar advertisement