In 1871, Joseph took his horse to St. Louis and set up a buggy business. While at a carriage makers' convention in 1902, he saw the potential of the automobile industry, and realized that was the direction his company needed follow.
While other carriage makers where just motorized their buggies, Moon went straight to car production with a design by Louis P. Mooers, formerly of Peerless. It was a five-passenger touring car with 30/35 hp Rutenber engine, three-speed sliding gear transmission and shaft drive.
The 1906 Moon was called "The Ideal American Car". Forty five were built and sold for about $3000.00. In 1908 the Moon Company also sold their four-cylinder 25 hp Moon to Hol-Tan of New York. These cars were shipped to New York where they were fitted with a new standard coachwork or special bodies. These Hol-Tan cars were produced for only one year.
The Hol-Tan Company must have believed for a moment that the Moon was "The Ideal American Car" because they entered it in the Great Race of 1908 New York to Paris. But three weeks before heading to the starting line, they backed out and the race was won by another American car, the Thomas Flyer.
By the twenties, the Moon was a fine, well-built car carrying such refinements as demountable rims on detachable wheels, balloon tires (introduced in 1923), Lockhead hydraulic brakes (which followed in 1924). The company's peek production year was in 1925; approximately 13,000 cars were built.
In 1929, the Moon Motor Company decided to drop the Moon name and produce a brand new straight-eight named Windsor, and then the Ruxton. But neither car was able to save the company during the depression. The factory which was appraised at $1,250,000, was sold during the early thirties for only $72,000 cash to the Cupples Company for the production of matches.