Rare American Sports Car: 1953 Muntz Jet Project

1953-muntz-jet

Every once in a while one of a Muntz Jet project will pop up online. That’s surprising considering that only 400 were produced. Some claim that only 50 still exist, but I have a feeling there are a few more out there waiting to be found. This one may not look like much, but these American-built sports cars could hit 112mph! Frank Kurtis of Kurtis Kraft fame was responsible for the original design and Earl Muntz took over in an attempt to manufacturer his own car. Find this sad project here on eBay where you can Buy It Now for $10,500 or make an offer. Thanks goes to Peter R for the tip!

parts-packed-inside

This is a special machine, but hopefully the seller isn’t being too overly optimistic their asking price. I understand that it must have been exciting to find such a rare automobile, but there isn’t a title and this thing needs everything. There are a lot of parts packed inside the car, which is a good thing since you can’t really call up a parts house and order replacements. Restored, it could be worth six figures, but you’re going to have a long journey to get there.

v8-power

Muntz Jets always came with V8 power, but they changed suppliers along the way. You could get one from Ford, Cadillac, or Lincoln depending on when the car was made. Can you tell which one is currently mounted in there? The triple carb setup looks potent and has to be worth a pretty penny itself. I can’t tell if the engine is attached to an automatic or manual transmission, but since it’s American, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a slushbox.

muntz-mouth

It looks like this poor car has lead a rough life. It would be interesting to know more about its past. The headlight treatment makes me wonder if it was a race car at some point. Who knows though? Somehow it wound up in someone’s backyard and looks like it has been submersed in water at least once. Lesser cars would be destined for the scrapyard, but I hope this one finds a good home where it will be restored to its former glory.

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Comments

  1. Racer417

    Hope someone saves it. Will need an owner with passion, knowledge, and money!

  2. DAN

    attached to an automatic or manual transmission, but since it’s American, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a slushbox.

    Look again,most all sports cars are autos…….as are the fastest 1/4 mile cars:)

    Like 1
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Most all sports cars are autos… Your kidding, right? I’ve never seen a British roadster with an automatic. Who wants a Miata without a manual? Sure, some of the new supercars have paddle shifters to cut a few milliseconds, but that still doesn’t mean it’s right.

      Like 1
      • Bobsmyuncle

        But if going fast is the goal it’s tough to say it’s wrong! ;)

      • Racer417

        I agree that a manual is more desirable; but there even were original Cobras and E-Types with automatics.

      • DAN

        new
        most new
        I think leno said the vette last one to hold out & ferrari?

      • Bobsmyuncle

        ?

    • CrazyGeorge CrazyGeorge

      I spy with my little eye.
      1. A pressure plate and a clutch plate in the trunk.
      2. A duel master with a brake and clutch cylinder !
      3. I swear I see a swinging brake and a clutch pedal below the steering wheel.
      Also I don’t see a gear shift lever ( automatic ) on the column …
      It ( the Muniz ) probably had an early 50’s Ford 3 speed. It looks like an 11.5 clutch plate. But now I’m just guessing ! Look on eBay at the pictures …although I’ve never seen a Ford aluminum bell housing this one could be either auto or standard. I can’t see a slave cylinder but I’ve seen the slave cylinder on the right on Gm aluminum bell housings…
      Stuff like this intrigues me.. Am I wrong ? WWJT ( what does Jessie think ? ) .

  3. Fred W.

    Looks like it might be a big block Ford motor? Based on the looks of the fuel pump, water pump and temp sender.

  4. Hector

    The Ford engines used by Muntz were flat heads. The water pump looks wrong for a a early design OHV Cadillac motor. So, Lincoln Y-block.

  5. Rick

    That’s a Pontiac, likely a 389, suppose it could be a 421 (or 400 maybe)

  6. Pete Powers

    It’s Mad Man Muntz at the wheel!

  7. JoeR

    Hard to ID the block. Good chance it’s a 326 out of a lemans with the 095 heads. It has push in studs rather than the heavier duty screw in ones. The intake is likely from a 66 GTO. The only other year that would fit the heads is a 65, but the 65 has a different choke setup on the passenger side, which you can barely make out.

    64 and earlier tri-power intakes will only fit on 64 and earlier setups.

  8. 68custom

    Pontiac motor for sure !

  9. jeff6599

    It is a 1965 GTO engine set up for a manual transmission. It doesn’t have a transfer lug at the back of the block so it is not a 421. The center carb on the manifold used the small bolt pattern which identifies it as a 1965.

    Like 1

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