|1923 Kissel – Provenance
As of 9-2-11
1923 Kissel Model 6-45 “Gold Bug” Speedster – Vin 7245 (Ronald L. Hausmann)
Engine Block for Car is cast by Kissel Motor Car Company in Hartford, Wisconsin. Engine casting date is on engine block behind the Stromberg OS-2 racing carburetor. Engine number is 45-6874. It is a 338 ci engine producing 61-65 bhp, which is a high output for that time.
xx-xx-23 Car is assembled at Kissel’s Hartford, Wisconsin facility. It is given VIN number 7245 on cowl plate. It is one of 348 Kissel Model 6-45’s which are assembled by Kissel that year. This 348 count includes all trucks, sedans, touring cars, coupes, and other body styles, including the coveted “Gold Bug” Speedster model which this subject Car is. It is probable that no more than 50-70 of the larger engined model 6-45 Gold Bug Speedsters were produced by the Kissel Motor Car Company in 1923.
xx-xx-23 Assembled Car is shipped to Los Angelis, California. Kissel Gold Bug Speedster models were particularly sought after in California by movie stars and the rich and famous as status symbols, due to the Kissel Gold Bug’s great speed and sleek styling, which was very advanced for that time. Los Angelis Kissel dealer yyy sells several of these “toney” 1923 Kissel Model 6-45 Gold Bug Speedsters to an elite, limited number of famous persons. Original purchasers of the limited number of 1923 Gold Bugs include legendary aviatrix Amelia Erhart, movie star Fatty Arbuckle, boxer xxx, racing personality Robert DePalma, and singer Al Jolsen. Amelia Erhart subsequently drives her identical 1923 Kissel 6-45 Gold Bug across the US from LA to Boston, in1924.
xx-xx-23 Los Angelis, California Dealer yyyy applies “Hollywood Accessory Package” to this specific Car. Only the Los Angelis Kissel Dealer was allowed by the Kissel Motor Car Company to “upgrade” the already highly appointed Gold Bugs, by adding this approved Hollywood Accessory Package. This package involved replacing the standard drum headlights with “Edmonds & Jones” (E&J) Model 20 Bullet “Woodlights” and signature nickeled bumpers, both front and rear. It is believed that less than a dozen Kissel cars were so equipped.
xx-xx-23 Car sold to original Owner zzzz. Name is lost but he/she was certainly wealthy. Original Sales price in 1923 is believed to be approximately $3,285.00, a high price for that time.
xx-xx-xx Original Owner zzzz sells Car to Second Owner vvvv.
xx-xx-xx Second Owner vvvv sells Car to uuuu.
xx-xx-xx uuuu sells Car to Edwin E. (Gene ?) Zimmerman for the Zimmerman Automotive Museum located at the Holiday Inn in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
xx-xx-73 William B. Ruger Sr. (1916-2002), an engineer and businessman, acquires Car from Zimmerman Museum when contents of Museum are auctioned.. William B. Ruger Sr. was the founder of Sturm Ruger Firearms Company, which was and continues to be an international manufacturer of fine rifles and handguns. Sturm Ruger and William B. Ruger Sr. personally amass a fortune in book net worth value exceeding $160,000,000.
xx-xx-74 William B. Ruger Sr. has Car completely, professionally restored by Dan Malomby of Connecticut. Lyle Paterson, who was William Ruger Sr.’s Car Collection manager, reports that subject Car had 20,175 original miles on it when Ruger acquired it, and thus engine restoration is topical. William B. Ruger adds this car to his nationally acclaimed car collection of no less than thirty finely-engineered classic cars including a Duesenberg, a Rolls Royce, 1959 Ferrari, 1929 Bentley, a Stutz Boat Tail Speedster, and a 1913 Mercer Runabout. It was reported that William Ruger’s car collection, including subject Car, was accumulated by Ruger to showcase the “Engineering Quality” of these specific cars.
Car is featured in January edition of national magazine publication “Car Collector,” pages 28-32.
05-01-00 Car is published as one of 100-Greatest-Cars in the world in the 2000 book written by Dennis Adler and acclaimed entertainer Jay Leno entitled “The Art of the Automobile – The 100 Greatest Cars.” This landmark book highlighted the authors’ judgments and collector “voting” as to the 100 most beautiful production vehicles ever made in the world. This actual subject Car is included as one of these 100 elite vehicles on pages 138-139.
05-??-02 William B. Ruger personally drives this car the only time after its restoration, per manager Lyle Paterson. Ruger is ambulatory and is mechanically lifted into and out of subject Car in order to operate it on this single occasion. Per Lyle Paterson, subject car was driven by himself and Ruger’s professional staff no more than 300-400 miles during its ownership by Ruger, at various car shows and tours. It was a “pampered”.vehicle.
Two months after driving subject car his one and only time, William B. Ruger dies of natural causes at 86, after an extended period of bad health. William Ruger Jr., for estate-tax reasons, decides to reduce his father’s car collection of 38 cars down to 9 by auction and/or sale. This Car is one of the Ruger-cars which is put up for auction.
Car is auctioned at Christies Auctions, Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, California, Sale # 1071, Lot #0099. Price paid of $82,250 includes buyer’s premium. Christies actual lot auction tag accompanies car. At this auction, the majority of the 30-car William B. Ruger Sr. car collection is sold without reserve. Buyer of subject Car is one Andrew Kissel, a Manhattan Real Estate tycoon and scoundrel (no relation to the Kissel car family), who has a reputation as a high-rolling, “shady” business wheeler-and-dealer.
xx-xx-02 After purchasing subject Car, Andrew Kissel is found to have embezzled 3.9 million dollars from his Manhattan New York co-op association and is forced to repay. Andrew is indicted for fraud and becomes embroiled in federal fraud and conspiracy charges, which dogged him until his murder several years later.
11-06-03 Andrew Kissel’s brother and international financier, Robert, is murdered by his wife Nancy in Hong Kong, China. Andrew Kissel is widely rumored to have stolen from his independently rich brother before the brother’s untimely drug-and-beating death. Robert’s wife, Nancy, is subsequently found guilty of Robert’s murder, and is serving her conviction for the so-called “milkshake murder” of her husband in Hong Kong, China.
xx-xx-05 Andrew Kissel is convicted of fraud and forgery by US government. Andrew appeals. Andrew Kissel had admitted to defrauding his Manhattan, NY condominium association of over 3.9 million dollars and paid 4.7 million dollars restitution to keep things covered up. Andrew Kissel then moved with subject Car and car collection to Greenwich, Connecticut, where he continues to appeal his conviction. While in Greenwich, Andrew continues his fraudulent behavior by forging real estate documents and borrowing money heavily to service his pyramiding debt and high life-style. During this time, he acquired a multi-million dollar Greenwich mansion, added to his 30 classic car collection, and bought a 75-foot Hatteras yacht valued at 2.75 million dollars, all with leveraged, borrowed, or stolen funds. Andrew Kissel’s father lovingly described his son saying that “Andrew took money from everyone possible,”…“From his father-in-law, from friends, from [his brother] Robert, from everybody, and now they’re all holding the bag.”
03-xx-05 Andrew Kissel’s wife, Haley Wolfe Kissel, files for divorce.
xx-xx-06 After exhausting his appeals, Andrew Kissel is convicted of Fraud and Conspiracy by the feds, and is sentenced to ten years in prison. Andrew’s sentence in jail is reported to start May 2, 2006. The law is closing in upon Andrew. The Federal Government seizes Andrew Kissel’s non-marital assets including his extensive car collection. Subject Kissel Car, which is one of the assets seized by the Feds, is warehoused at Todd Brown’s Garage, in Greenwich, Connecticut ( phone 203-975-1188).
04-03-06 Weeks before going to jail, Andrew Kissel is found brutally stabbed to death in his Connecticut mansion, two days after a heated argument with his wife. Andrew Kissel’s murder remains unsolved today, and is being investigated by lieutenant Mark Marino of the Greenwich, Conn. Police dept. (phone 203-622-7805). With Andrew Kissel’s death, his minor-aged daughters collect a 15-million dollar life insurance benefit. All of Kissel’s remaining non-marital assets, valued at $694,000, including this Car, are held by US Atty. for disposal as against Andrew Kissel’s 20+ million dollar indebtedness. Estate disposal is handled by Federal Authories, through law offices of “Orlovitz & Gil” ( Estate lawyer; Patrick Gil, phone 203-531-6133). Gil subsequently contacted the Wisconsin Automotive Museum for advice on how to dispose of the subject Kissel Car. Dale Anderson, Wisconsin Museum curator, suggested that subject Car be auctioned at then-upcoming Kruse International Auction in Indiana.
xx-xx-07 Car is listed by the “Andrew Kissel Estate” with Kruse for Auburn, Indiana, for auction May 31 – June 3, 2007. Car auction number assigned is lot # 1038.
Car is purchased at Kruse Auction by engineer and businessman Ronald L. Hausmann, PE, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. “hammer price” at auction is $62,000. Hausmann apparently was at the right place at the right time.
Car is delivered to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan by Blue Highways Trucking, where it currently resides.
Car is invited to participate in annual Meadowbrook Concours de Elegance in Rochester, Michigan.
Car is showcased/shown at Annual “Meadowbrook Concours de Elegance” international classic car and art festival, as one of 10 classic “Roaring ‘20’s” automobiles.
Car is entered in the 2007 annual Henry Ford Greenfield Village Old Car Festival in Dearborn Michigan. This is perhaps Michigan’s largest antique car event, attracting over 600 cars from 1890 thru 1932. This appears to be the first time that a Kissel is shown at this event in its history. Car is entered in the 1923-1924 clas and takes second place, due to Hausmann’s insistence on mounting a modern air-filter to protect the engine; (I should have removed it for judging). No first place is awarded. Car is featured in two subsequent newspaper articles.
05-10-08 Luggage Carrier (restored show quality) and new bumper brackets are mounted.
Car is entered in “Veteran” Class of vehicles (older than 1925) in Michigan Chapter - Classic Car Club of America’s Carnival of Cars in Utica Michigan. Car is awarded 100-point status and wins FIRST PLACE in class.
A new set of Goodrich high-pressure tires, complete with correct brass stems and nickled hardware, is mounted on the car.
Car is Entered in “Veteran” Class of vehicles in the Willistead Concours de Elegance, Canada’s only Concours event. Car wins “Best of Class” award, and one of the National shows four major awards, being selected for the “SPIRIT-OF-CONCOURS” trophy. Car is again featured in several Windsor Star and Detroit News website articles
Car is again entered in the 2008 Henry Ford Greenfield Village Old Car
Festival. Approximately 600 other vintage cars are also entered.
West Bend Daily News, Wisconsin runs front page article and color picture of Kissel entitled “Gold Bug coming home”.
Car is entered in Ypsilanti, Michigan “13th Annual Orphan Car Festival”, a 348-car event in which orphan-car makes are showcased. The 1923 Kissel is the first ever Kissel to be entered in this car show. The Internet record of this car show subsequently features the Kissel and says that it was “the sportiest car there”.
Car is featured in syndicated story by Gordon Woodcock in four Canadian National Newspapers including the London Times, Edmunton Sun, Sun Times. “I was in awe” was some of the commentary.
Car participates in Kissel Kar Klub Reunion in Hartford, Wisconsin.
Car is entered in the Troy, Michigan “Troy Traffic Jam” Cruise Auto Show. Other Meadowbrook Concours de Elegance vehicles attend, including a 1930 Packard.Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton. The Kissel is Awarded, by majority vote of all participants, the “BEST IN CLASS” for all vehicles 1909 thru 1935.
Kissel is entered in the Blue Water Chapter AACA Classic Car festival in Marysville/Port Huron Michigan. Over 150 Antique and Classic cars are entered including Veteran Meadowbrook Concours de Elegance Pierce Arrows, Auburns, Wills Sainte Clairs, and Packards. At the end of the Judging, the Kissel 6-45 Gold Bug Speedster was awarded the BEST-OF-SHOW honors, a real accomplishment considering the very beautiful competition!
02-10-10 Kissel Engine is completely overhauled by St. Clair Engine, Alma, Michigan.
New Aluminum modern cone-head pistons are installed to replace the original
Well-worn assortment of Kissel and Tractor cast-iron pistons which were found
in the engine, as well as to marginally increase compression. All crankshaft,
cam, and shims were found to be in perfect balance and tuned correctly.
Kissel is one of 14 Sports Cars showcased at the 2010 Sloan Auto Museum Auto Fair.
Kissel is entered in the Blue water Chapter AACA Classic Car Festival in Marysville/Port Huron, Michigan. Approximately 60 Antique and Classic cars are entered including a dozen Meadowbrook Concours de Elegance Veteran show cars. At the end of the judging, the Kissel Model 6-45 Gold Bug Speedster was awarded Best Independent Manufactured Car Class Award.
Kissel is one of ten Kissel Gold Bug Speedsters showcased at the Henry Old Car Festival in Dearborn Michigan, along with another 600 antique and classic cars. 5 of the ten Kissels won top awards at the show, including this 1923 Model 6-45 Gold Bug. This Kissel’s Owner organized this “Gathering of Kissel Gold Bugs” which is the largest assembly of Kissel Gold Bugs since the 1920’s, and which will probably never be repeated. Gold Bugs from California to New York, and Gold Bug Owners from around the world attended.
This Kissel participates in and is driven several days in a row, in the world’s largest car show, the WOODWARD DREAM CRUISE, held on a 12 mile stretch of Michigan Highway 1 in the Detroit suburbs. Thousands of cars, tracked vehicles, classic cars, and hot rods are driven and showcased in celebration of America’s fascination with the auto – and I drove this Kissel more in this Dream Cruise than I had driven it in the prior 4 years combined – and the car loved being driven
This Kissel participates in the Milwaukee Masterpiece Concours, which is held on the beautiful Lake Michigan lakefront in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This Kissel is judged to “concours standards” and is awarded “First place” ribbon and trophy in its vehical class. This First Place award by the Masterpiece Concours judges was especially appreciated because one of the competing vehicles which was awarded a “second place” or “excellence” award was a previous Pebble Beach Top award winner whom this 1923 Kissel Gold Bug was able to beat!!
Kissel is invited to attend and participates in the 5th annual Boca Raton, Florida, Concours de Elegance. This is a Nationally recognized Concours and has attendees from around the world. This Concours has never had a Kissel in attendance. Car is professionally shipped from Michigan to Boca Raton, Florida. This car is awarded “Best in Class” at the Concours!
Kissel is invited to attend and participates in the 2012 Concours de Elegance at the Inn of St. John’s, Plymouth, Michigan. Cars from around the world attend this world class event. This Kissel is featured in several newpaper and net-news articles leading up to the show.