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Today, the Kissel cars are
much unknown to most
In the early 1900's, Kissel was
Wisconsin's luxury automobile.
Cars built by the Kissel Motor Car
Company highlighted craftsmanship
and attained international renown for
their advanced design and outstanding
performance, which helped the
company to prosper.
In 1906, the Kissel Motor Car
Company was founded in
Kissel operated from 1906 - 1930
by Louis Kissel and his sons.
Advertised as the
Only about 200 of the 35,000 cars
the company produced still exist
The Wisconsin Automotive Museum
in Hartford has some of these
remaining cars on display.
The company donated a Kissel car to
Hollywood actress Anita King for
her transcontinental trip in 1915
that marked the first ever trip
by a woman driving alone.
The most popular Kissel model was
the 1919 thru 1927 Speedster,
nicknamed the Gold Bug.
The Gold Bug was owned by
celebrities such as: the famous
pilot Amelia Earhart, world
heavyweight boxing champion
actor Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle,
actor Douglas Fairbanks, and a
few other actors.
Kissel manufactured trucks
from 3/4 ton - 5 ton.
During World War I the company
produced trucks for the U.S. military
and for the allies prior to the
U.S. entry into the war.
Kissel only produced about 35,000
cars, trucks, ambulances, hearses
and taxis during that time frame.
Even though production was low,
Kissel was a highly respected producer
of well built, beautifully styled cars.
Kissel stopped production in 1930
due to the Great Depression and
loss of market share to less
expensive, mass produced