Moon Motor Car

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Moon Motor Car Company
TypeAutomobile Manufacturing
Founded1905; 118 years ago (1905)
FounderJoseph W. Moon
Defunct1930; 93 years ago (1930)
Fateceased trading
Key people
Joseph W. Moon, Stewart MacDonald
Automotive parts
Production output
59,485 (1905-1930)
BrandsMoon, Diana, Windsor
Car #32 - Moon - winning the 1909 Wheatley Hills Race

Moon Motor Car Company (1905 – 1930) was an American automobile company that was located in St. Louis, Missouri. The company had a venerable reputation among the buying public, as it was known for fully assembled, easily affordable mid-level cars using high-quality parts. Often this meant the manufacturing process required more human intervention, leading to operating losses. The company was founded by carriage maker Joseph W. Moon.[1] Moon produced both cars and trucks.[1]


The first Moon, Model A was shown at the New York Automobile Show in January 1906.[2] It was a four-cylinder Rutenber engined car. In 1906 former Peerless engineer Louis P. Mooers joined Moon. Mooers designed a 4-cylinder overhead camshaft engine and with a four-speed transmission and aluminum bodywork, the Moon was a luxury car at $3,000 (equivalent to $94,221 in 2022). In 1908 Moons were sold in the eastern United States using the Hol-Tan name.[2]

By 1910 more mid-priced cars in the $1,500 to $2,000 range that were competitive with Buick and Oldsmobile, became more common.[3][2] In 1916 Moon was using six-cylinder engines exclusively and in 1919 introduced their Parthenon style radiator. Joseph Moon died in 1919 and was succeeded by his son-in-law and Vice President Stewart McDonald.[2] Moon automobiles could get custom coachwork from designers such as Pullman, Rubay and Murray.[2] Moon exports increased in the 1920s when they reported they were delivering to 47 different countries.[2]

Beginning in 1924, Moon was increasingly unable to meet dealership orders. Factory capacity would be an issue for the next several years. Moon Motor's peak production year was 1925 when the company produced 10,271 vehicles and the prices ranged from $1,195 to $2,540 (equivalent to $42,385 in 2022).[1] Moon produced the Diana via its subsidiary the Diana Motors Company in 1925–1928.[3] Diana motor repair claims and the need to refund government payments from World War I caused a near million dollar loss in 1926. Howard "Dutch" Darrin designed a new car for Moon which would be come the Moon Aerotype. In 1928 Moon introduced its first eight-cylinder car.[2]

Another subsidiary produced the Windsor in 1929-1930, the last branded Moon became a Windsor in April 1929. Effects of the Great Depression hampered the company. The company decided to build the Ruxton automobile but boardroom troubles resulted in Windsor and Ruxton both ending production in 1930. The Moon Motor Car Company ceased trading in 1930, but resolving the finances of the moribund company would take more than two decades.[1] [3][2]


Model Years Note
A 1913–19 Delivery Vehicle/Light Truck
B 1913–19 Heavy Truck
Model Years Engine Note
A 1906 Rutenber 4 cylinder a five-passenger touring car
C 1907–09 Moon 4 cylinder Mooers designed engine with OHV and cams
D 1908–09 Moon 4 cylinder Also sold as Hol-Tans in the Eastern US
30 1910–12 Moon or Continental 4 cylinder George Heising designed engine
39 1913 Moon or Continental 4 cylinder
40 1912 Moon or Continental 4 cylinder
45 1910–12 Moon or Continental 4 cylinder
48 1913 Moon or Continental 4 cylinder
65 1913 Continental Straight-6 first Moon six cylinder
4-38 1915 Continental 4 cylinder last Moon four cylinder
4-42 1914 Continental 4 cylinder
6-30 1916 Continental Straight-6
6-36 1918 Continental Straight-6
6-38 1919 Continental Straight-6
6-40 1915, 1922 Continental Straight-6
6-42 1921 Straight-6
6-43 1916–17 Continental Straight-6
6-44 1916 Continental Straight-6
6-45 1917–18 Continental Straight-6
6-46 1919 Continental Straight-6 also called 'Victory'
6-48 1920–22 Continental Straight-6 wire or disk wheels replace wood wheels
6-50 1914–15, 1924 Continental Straight-6
6-58 1923 Continental Straight-6
6-60 1927–28 Continental Straight-6 also called the 'Jubilee'
6-62 1928–29 Continental Straight-6
6-66 1916–19 Continental Straight-6
6-68 1920–22 Continental Straight-6
6-72 1928–29 Continental Straight-6 nearly identical to Windsor 6-72
8-75 1928–29 Continental Straight-8 first Moon eight cylinder
8-80 1928–29 Continental Straight-8 'Aerotype' body
Series A 1924–28 Continental Straight-6
Series U or U6-40 1924 Continental Straight-6
Newport 1925 Continental Straight-6
Metropolitan 1925 Continental Straight-6
London 1925–26 export model
Note: This table is derived from the Curt McConnell reference[1]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e McConnell, Curt (1995). Great Cars of the Great Plains. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-3163-6
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Georgano, Nick (2001). The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile (3 vol. ed.). Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. ISBN 1-57958-293-1.
  3. ^ a b c Kimes, Beverly Rae; Clark Jr., Henry Austin (1996). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942 (3rd ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 978-0-87341-428-9.
  4. ^ "Moon". Archived from the original on 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2006-09-02. Moon - St. Louis Missouri (1905-1929) Founder Joseph W. Moon