Lot 161

Hershey 2012

1951 Frazer Manhattan Sedan


$37,400 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.

115 hp, 226.2 cu. in. Supersonic L-head Continental six-cylinder engine, Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, independent front coil spring and semi-elliptic rear leaf spring suspension, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 123.5 in.

• One of just 152 sedans produced in 1951

• Complete nut-and-bolt restoration to original specifications

For what would turn out to be its final year of production, the Frazer was given a complete restyle not shared with its sister Kaiser—ultimately making the 1951 Frazer a rare model when new, and even more so today. All-new front-end styling imitated the 1949 Studebaker. Body sides gained front and rear wheel lip moldings, quite a novel feature in 1951, and linear creases that made the cars look longer and lower. The first 1951 models, in what would be an abbreviated model year, came off the production line March 15, 1950, including the Manhattan four-door hardtop sedan, which was new to the lineup for 1951. Not a true hardtop, it retained a center B-pillar fashioned of glass and framed in chrome-plated metal, along with chrome framework to hold the door windows in place. Also unique was a nylon-covered metal top, giving the car an upscale look and mimicking a convertible top in the upright position. The final production 1951 Frazers rolled off production lines in October 1950, including 152 Manhattan hardtop sedans and 131 convertibles.

According to author Jack Mueller in his book about Kaiser-Frazer, “These last Frazer automobiles were true luxury machines, whose interiors rivaled the best of the grand first-class staterooms on ocean-going passenger liners. Leather was used liberally, and all models had power windows. Only the earliest production cars had the overdrive transmission; most had Hydra-Matic (a $158.61 extra).” Manhattan sedans started at $2,995 before options. The company reportedly lost nearly $1,600 on each one sold, and the Frazer was abruptly cancelled to concentrate on Kaiser production and make way for the new compact Henry J. Sporting. In a color Frazer called Glass Green, this rare Manhattan has benefitted from a total nut-and-bolt restoration to original configuration.