1922 Moon Touring Sedan, Model 6-40, 4-door
Owner: Bernie and Janice Taulborg Collection
Original cost: $1,295.00 ($18,453.00 in 2018 dollars)
Number made: 2,862 made in 1922
Engine, etc.: 6 cyl. L-head, 50 hp; 3-speed; 115 in. wheelbase (Notice tires – tread spells “NO SKID”)
Moon Motor Car Company, St. Louis, Mo.: 1905 – 1929
Joseph W. Moon was one of five brothers from an Ohio farming family. At age 21 each brother was given the same stake: a horse, saddle, and bridle, with which to make their way in the world.
He began as a buggy maker and the first Moon car was introduced in 1905 and cost $3,000.00. By 1910 the price had been lowered to $1,200.00 – 1,500.00.
The slogan of the Moon Motor Car Company was “The Car of Comfort with the Reserve of Speed”. This summarized the company’s philosophy of offering the middle-class motorist a vehicle which tended to have ideas above its station, with better styling and performance than were normal in its price bracket.
Joseph W. Moon died in 1919 and his son-in-law, Stewart Macdonald took over the presidency.
The Moon was a fine, well-built car with demountable rims on detachable wheels, big flexible balloon tires (1923 on), and hydraulic brakes. Other improvements added in the 1920’s included automatic windshield wipers, and a rear-view mirror – which most other cars lacked. Two-tone paint was also available.
The Moon Company’s best year was 1925 with 10,271 vehicles sold.
Moon purchased a sister marque, the Diana, in 1925. Its radiator cap had a sculpture of Diana, the moon goddess, with bow and arrow and dog. It was an eight-cylinder. The chassis was similar to the Moon but it had wooden artillery wheels instead of solid disc wheels. The car proved to be unreliable and did not live up to expectations which greatly diminished the company’s reputation. The Diana lasted only from 1925 to 1928 before it was dropped due to global economic conditions and stiff competition.
In 1928 C. W. Burst was appointed president of the company.
Quality issues and declining sales lead to the retirement of the Moon name in 1929. It was purchased by Ruxton Automobile. Archie Andrews was a canny promoter behind Ruxton. He inveigled and insinuated himself into control of the firm. The Moon old guard barricaded themselves in the factory but the regime broke in and took over. That was the end of the Moon Company. The factory, appraised at $1,250,000 was sold in the early thirties for only $72,000 cash to the Cupples Company who used it for the production of matches.
Only a few Moon automobiles survived to modern times and, of those, even fewer are in restored condition. Coming across one of these elegant automobiles with their squared Rolls-Royce type grill is a rare treat.
Sources: Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1805 -1942. Beverly Rae Kimes, et al. 3rd ed. Krause Publications, 1996.
https://mooncars.wordpress.com/ (Official site for the Moon Car Club)
http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z7493/Moon-6-50.aspx (1924 Moon, Model 6-50)