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I am in the middle of reading the 1st edition signed copy of "The Last Onslaught on Detroit" and I was hoping for this category addition. Now, is there anybody out there?

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Yep, KF used some interesting material in their cars. The early 47s used suit material...usually wool...that rotted quickly in southern heat, and they also bought large rolls of leftover leather from the Navy (used in PT boats) for use in their upscale cars (hardtops and convertibles). The leater held up pretty well, my 51F hardtop has a real nice back seat and a serviceable front, both using the original material. Too bad the rest of the car doesn't look that good!

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KF has a decent club website, given they were only in business about 10 years tops and built mostly four door sedans. It mentioned 1900 members. That's pretty darn good if it's true. In reading the Langworth book it becomes obvious that they were not going to make it after the bloom of the rose wore off, which it did by 1949.

I like the 48-49 Frazer four door sedans, I enjoyed the article in a recent Hemmings magazine on club coupes which featured a 51-52 Manhattan club coupe I believe. It was a decent looking example of early 50's styling. I'm a Buick collector primarily but can not get excited about the 50 to 53's. The Kaisers/Frazers were nicely proportioned - I just don't care much for the bottom feeding-looking grille. It's not bad, maybe looks better in person, but the rest of the body is much better executed.

One other thing that impresses is the number of these that have survived in salvage yards. I saw 3 in a Minnesota yard we visited as part of the Buick Club national meet this past summer, proudly displayed in the front of the yard. I remember seeing several of the early style at a frequented "project car seller" near Bates City, Missouri for years, until he must have passed away and everything was cleared out.

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YES THERE IS!! Thanks for the site. I have just relocated the 1951 Kaiser that I restored in 1972 and bought it back. It had been sitting in a garage untouched for 17 years. What a mess!! I am working on it now. For all the Kaiser people, here is a site with gobs and gobs of Kaiser pictures info and stories. http://oldcarandtruckpictures.com/Kaiser/ When you get to this page If you scroll down till you get to a story titled "Home again II" you will see the story and pictures of the recovery of my Kaiser. I am also re-reading The last Onslaught On Detroit. I read it last in 1974

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wanted: Late 1940s to mid 1950s Willys overhead valve six cylinder stock head,and/or speed equipment,including multi carb or high compression head,carb,distributor,headers,supercharger,etc. Need above for my 1952 Woodill Wildfire Type One car. See photos of it under my name at www.woodillwildfire.com Leads appreciated! George Albright 209 S.E. 15th Ave. Ocala,Fla. 34471 cell 352 843 1624 Email: gnalbright@gmail.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rick,

I am really enjoying Langworth's book, although it is taking me some time, usually read 2-3 pages at a time, at bedtime. The 1st thought is boy would I love to own a 49-50 Frazer convertible or Virginian (4 door HT name I believe?) I do not care for the final 51 restyling of the Frazer. I like the 49 tweaks to the styling. I would even like to own a 49 Frazer. 2nd thought is the anger I have with the Kaiser's messing up the whole deal, removing Frazer's influence. If you look at the beginnings of the corp., it was a great marriage. Bringing in Frazer's deep automotive experience with the Kaiser's can do industrial optimism and resources. But Henry never had any intention of a combining of assets both tangible and intangible. He simply wanted to build his small car and he bid his time until he could come out with the Heny J. Fashioning himself as some 50's version of Henry Ford I believe.

But your K-F cars you have collected are very impressive. I can't even imagine how hard or expensive it would be to get a Frazer convertible or 4 door HT, as I am sure you K-F guys only trade these rarities among each other. I definitely enjoy the Darrin inspired restyled 50-53's. As I tend to collect 2 door models, in my opinion, the 2 door Kaiser's circa 50-53 look worse then the four door models.

I haven't got past 52 yet in the book but I am enjoying this read for sure.

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The 1949 Frazers (the 1950's were reserialed leftovers) are definitely pleasing to the eye with their eggcrate grilles. Joe Frazer always remarked that he was most proud of this car as it was "all his" as far as design approval, etc. It was shortly after that Henry and Joe had their big falling out and Joe packed up and left. The 1951 Frazer existed only to continue to use up the 10,000 or so leftover bodies from 1949 and 1950 - the whole reason Joe and Henry had their rift. Joe knew the car business and advised to retrench on production until they had a new body style ready. Mr. Kaiser stated that the Kaisers never retrench. The result was an overproduction of cars that did not sell and were reserialed for 1950 and then still marketed in 1951 as Frazers. You are exactly right in your assessment - both men had their strengths - and together they made a good team. It is just too bad Henry could not see that.

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