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A Visit With Dave Arnold
Jan. 27, 2006

Dave Arnold seated in the 1925 Kissel Model 6-55 Speedster

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The Big Day Finally Arrives

THE 1925 KISSEL: Lynn was given complete access to the car at Meadowbrook Restorations (left). Dave lifted it in the air (left center) and gave Lynn a detailed tour under the hood (right center, right).

In late January, Lynn had a rare opportunity to spend a day with Dave Arnold in Kaysville, Utah, just north of Salt Lake City. Dave had the primary responsibility for the restoration of the 1925 Kissel Model 6-55 Speedster belonging to DeWayne Ashmead. The Kissel is only one of about 40 exquisite cars owned by DeWayne, but it is naturally of special interest to Lynn.

This car has been considered something of a role model by others interested in the restoration of Kissels. It was a 100-point winner at the CCCA (Classic Car Club of America) 1999 Spring Grand Classic. As many readers will know, 100 points is the most that a car can be awarded at a Concours d'Elegance car show. It means that the car is essentially a perfect example of that particular model. So you can understand why Lynn had been excitedly looking forward to this visit with Dave. Lynn expected to learn a lot of the finer points about Dave's restoration of the Kissel that Lynn hoped he could use in his restoration of Bugsby.

Indeed the day was a grand success. Flying out from California in the early morning, Lynn arrives at Dave's shop by about 10:30 AM. For the next six hours, Dave talks with Lynn and showing him numerous critical details. On his return flight to Livermore that night, Lynn created a list of about 40 things that he planned to improve on Bugsby based on what he had heard and seen this day.

Must Have Accessories Abound

VERY SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: The windshield mounted Fyrac spot lights, an improved version of the Clymer lights, are a fairly rare accessory on the 1925 Kissel (left). Other items that stir Lynn's imagination are the gascolator (left center), the firewall mounted grease gun and oil can (center right), and the Kissel logo decal on the spare tire covers (right).

The 1925 Kissel was well accessorized. It had gaters on the springs, covers on the grease fittings, dust pans in the engine compartment, as well as the special items noted in the pictures above.

Lynn was able to arrange to acquire several important pieces of hardware from Dave for Bugsby including:

  • a nicely restored set of Fyrac spot lights;
  • a spinning air filter;
  • a radiator cap;
  • a special casted gas cap modeled after one in the Kissel museum;
  • a set of car tools in a roll-up case;
  • a car jack in a case;
  • a set of restored Champion 2Com brass top, 2 part spark plugs;
  • decals of the Kissel logo for spare tire covers;
  • a nicely restored ignition coil.

UNWRAPPING A COIL: Dave unwraps a restored 1920 ignition coil, another of one of the many important restoration parts that Dave offered Lynn this day.

In addition to the items Lynn was able to acquire this day, Dave also offers some very attractive restoration services. One offer that really peaked Lynn's interest is Dave's offer to recondition and restore Lynn's Stewart vacuum fuel pump. Lynn thinks it likely that he'll accept this offer and eliminate the electric fuel pump that's been put on Bugsby.

Dave Shares Some Rare Literature

Dave also shared some important literature with Lynn, including:

  • Kissel Instruction Book 8;
  • Kissel Instruction Book 8A;
  • Kissel price list from July 1, 1926;
  • price list and instruction book for the Stromberg "OS" carburetor;
  • instructions and price list for the Stewart vacuum fuel system as used on the Kissel;
  • and several Kissel sales brochures.

Lynn was particularly excited by Instruction Book 8A as this explained some important improvements that Kissel made to the Model 6-55 in about 1926. Chief among these improvements were the spin air filter, the gascolator fuel filter, and an oil filter. As noted in Val Quandt's book The Classic Kissel Automobile, these improvements could be retrofit to older Model 6-55 cars by the Kissel dealer. This offers the possibility of adding these important items to Bugsby without destroying its historic character.

Detailed Top Measurements

MEASURING THE ROOF: Dave helps Lynn get the measurements and shows how the side curtains are installed (right).

One of the specific items that Lynn accomplishes this day is to take detailed measurements of the roof on the 1925 Kissel. Lynn is trying to get a new roof built for Bugsby and exact dimensions are needed.

Thank You, Dave!

A HIDDEN LABEL: Dave shows Lynn a label on the bottom of the seat cushion that he duplicated from an original. Dave tells Lynn that he's never shown this to anyone else before. It's clear now to Lynn why the 1925 Kissel is a 100-point car. This attention to detail abounds on the car, even in places like the BOTTOM of seat cushions that are rarely or never exposed to others eyes. You've got to like that in a classic auto restorer.

Lynn is very grateful to all the time and energy that Dave invested this day. Lynn is certain that Dave's influence will be readily apparent as Bugsby is being rebuilt in the coming months.

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Last updated: May 24, 2009