For Sale or Trade: Original and Rare 1915 Kuempel Red-I-Kut Model T Boattail Speedster

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GGZ
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For Sale or Trade: Original and Rare 1915 Kuempel Red-I-Kut Model T Boattail Speedster

Post by GGZ » Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:53 pm

1915 Kuempel Red-I-Kut Model T Ford Speedster. This is a great and authentic Model T speedster with a known history and has had only four owners since it was built in St. Louis in the 1920s. From my research, this may be the only surviving original Kuempel boat tail speedster body in existence.

This speedster was built by Francis A. Mesker in the early 1920’s using a body kit supplied by the Kuempel Hardware Company of Guttenberg, Iowa. The Mesker Family operated one of the largest architectural metal foundries in the Midwest and were prominent society members in St. Louis. This car was kept by the Mesker family till the 1980’s when it was donated to the St. Louis Museum of Transportation. The museum owned the speedster until 2005 when they sold the car at auction to a well-known St. Louis collector who owned it until last year.

This car has many period modifications and accessories including the original Kuempel Red-I-Kut two-man speedster body with its matching hood, radiator, radiator shell and full frame skirting. The chassis has rare Rajo “self steering" spindles, lowered (underslung) front and rear end assemblies using original pieces which I believe are Morton and Brett, and four, matching 30 x 3 1/2" House wire wheels.

The build of this car closely resembles the 1920s Secrets of Speed article by Murray Fahnestock ( Model T Speed Secrets: The Fast Ford Handbook pages 122-128) which discusses building a car with the Red-I-Kut body kit.

Like most Model T speedsters, the Ford chassis components are a variety of years. It has a 1915 block with the casting date of 7-14-15 and an engine number of 851802. It has a clear and current title and is titled as a 1915 Ford. The engine is stock, although when I had the lower cover off, I discovered it has a counterbalanced crank shaft.

This is a mostly original car that I do not believe has been disassembled since it was first built in the 1920s. At some point, the museum repainted it its current red color, but the insides of the body appear to be in original black paint. The inner wood structure is mostly original. The body is rock solid and tight. There are no rust or pitting issues on the body sheet metal or chassis components.

During the past year, the car has been mechanically freshened including new wiring, cables, 12 volt battery, fuel system cleaning, a rebuilt Holley "straight thru" carburetor, replaced timer, radiator cleaned and checked, (does not overheat or leak), rebuilt and rewired headlamps and tail lamp, new front end bushings, etc etc. It starts instantly without any fussing and when warm gives lots of "free starts". The engine seems to run well with no objectionable noises or problems. The transmission shifts smoothly and quietly. Tires are old Ward Riversides but very serviceable with good tread and hold air just fine. The desirable House wire wheels are very nice. It has the original, extended removable hand crank and a wrench for the wire wheels.

This is neat and rare car that could be used for a variety of events including HCCA tours or vintage racing. Authentic, period-built Model T speedsters are few and far between and those that exist are rarely offered for sale.

The price is 22,500.00 but would consider realistic full or partial trades for another Model T, a Model A or other pre-WWII automobile. I have over 100 detailed photos I can mail to seriously interested parties and would be glad to show anyone the car. It is located near Detroit, MI.

Please call 734-730-4274 or email directly at: motoringicons@hotmail.com for additional information. I DO NOT check PMs. Thanks.
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Last edited by GGZ on Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:14 am, edited 11 times in total.


Topic author
GGZ
Posts: 190
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First Name: Guy
Last Name: Zinnanovich
Location: Detroit
MTFCA Number: 51236

Re: For Sale or Trade: Original, Authentic and Rare, 1915 Kuempel Red-I-Kut Model T Boattail Speedster

Post by GGZ » Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:55 pm

More photos....
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Topic author
GGZ
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:00 pm
First Name: Guy
Last Name: Zinnanovich
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MTFCA Number: 51236

Re: For Sale or Trade: Original, Authentic and Rare, 1915 Kuempel Red-I-Kut Model T Boattail Speedster

Post by GGZ » Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:07 pm

More photos and period information. The Kuempel Hardware company still exists in Iowa.
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Topic author
GGZ
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:00 pm
First Name: Guy
Last Name: Zinnanovich
Location: Detroit
MTFCA Number: 51236

Re: For Sale or Trade: Original and Rare 1915 Kuempel Red-I-Kut Model T Boattail Speedster

Post by GGZ » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:18 pm

A few more pictures...
Attachments
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FreighTer Jim
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The Spartan Speedster

Post by FreighTer Jim » Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:57 am

Good write up 👍

Elegantly Simple 🧐


FJ


ModelT46
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Re: For Sale or Trade: Original and Rare 1915 Kuempel Red-I-Kut Model T Boattail Speedster

Post by ModelT46 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:35 pm

Mr. Kuempel moved to Minneapolis when he retired. His daughter, Audry McGreagor financed his business of making kits to build "Grandfather clocks". The business was located near Excelsior, Mn where I have my store. The company, Kuempel Clock Works, cotinued long after he passed away. A granddaughter was part of the business before it was sold to two investors, It closed up about 8 years ago. There are few speedster around that were built with Keumpel kit bodies. This one is one of the best. I do notice that the springs and trans cover are later than 1915. The chasiss was probably built up in the 1920s from various avaviable parts, as most speedster were.


ModelT46
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Re: For Sale or Trade: Original and Rare 1915 Kuempel Red-I-Kut Model T Boattail Speedster

Post by ModelT46 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:40 pm

The hardware store in Gothenberg Iowa is the Kuempel Hardware and was, at least, when we visited there 20 years ago, owned by an Keumpel who was related to the one who made the kits.

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Henry K. Lee
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Re: For Sale or Trade: Original and Rare 1915 Kuempel Red-I-Kut Model T Boattail Speedster

Post by Henry K. Lee » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:27 pm

Guy,

Nice write up! Should not last long at your asking price.

All the Best,

Hank

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Henry K. Lee
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Re: For Sale or Trade: Original and Rare 1915 Kuempel Red-I-Kut Model T Boattail Speedster

Post by Henry K. Lee » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:28 pm

Guy,

Nice write up! Should not last long at your asking price.

All the Best,

Hank


Topic author
GGZ
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:00 pm
First Name: Guy
Last Name: Zinnanovich
Location: Detroit
MTFCA Number: 51236

Re: For Sale or Trade: Original and Rare 1915 Kuempel Red-I-Kut Model T Boattail Speedster

Post by GGZ » Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:00 pm

Thanks for the nice complements. There is some serious interest in the car but it is still for sale or possibly trade.

Although I have heard of other Kuemple Red-I-Kut speedsters, I have not seen any evidence of actual surviving original cars or bodies. If anyone knows or has real proof of any more out there, please let me know or, better yet, post pictures.

The Kuempel Hardware Store in Guttenberg, Iowa still exists. On their website, they say they have been a family business since 1900.

https://kuempelhardware.com/about-us

It was still owned by a Kuempel family member until 2018 when he sold the business to another local business owner. That's pretty amazing to have a family run, small business for over 100 years! Here is an article about his retirement.

https://apnews.com/article/4ff56702a75d ... f863bec534

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