Lot 175

Motor City 2015

1951 Frazer Manhattan Convertible Sedan


$55,000 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Plymouth, Michigan



Chassis No.
  • One of the last American production four-door convertibles
  • Believed to have been owned by Henry J. Kaiser
  • One of only 131; the second example built

115 bhp, 226.2 cu. in. L-head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission, coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 123.5 in.

For what would turn out to be its final year, the Frazer was given a complete restyle not shared with its sister Kaiser, which ultimately made the 1951 Frazer a rare model when new. All Frazers were essentially hand-built at Kaiser-Frazer’s Willow Run facility, which was necessitated by the fitting of either the unusual four-door hardtop roof or the convertible architecture. Interiors were swathed in leather that was befitting of a luxury automobile. Hydraulic power windows and a convertible top were included, and most cars, including this example, were optioned with GM’s Hydra-Matic transmission.

This particular Frazer, serial number 002, is the second example built after the new 1951 Kaiser-Frazer models debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in February 1950. According to a previous owner, the car is believed to have been owned and driven by Henry J. Kaiser during his time in Michigan and to have even followed him to Hawaii in 1955. Though not confirmed, the early production number, as well as the Hawaiian registration sticker, dated 1962, in the lower right corner of the windshield, would coincide with Kaiser’s tenure with the company and his subsequent move to the Islands.

The car was later acquired by an owner in Texas, where it resided until 1989, when it was again sold to a collector in Maryland, who stored the car for some years. The car has never been completely restored, but some paintwork has been done, and the car has only been freshened when needed. The chrome was recently redone as well. The Frazer has always been properly stored, as evidenced by its remarkable condition. The odometer reads barely 66,000 miles at the time of cataloguing, which are believed to be original as well.

The Continental-derived Supersonic six-cylinder engine is in fine order, mated to GM’s sturdy Hydra-Matic transmission, which was standard equipment on Manhattan models. The black leather interior is luxurious and beautifully preserved. The power top is hydraulically operated, as are the windows. The car is also equipped with a push-button radio, heater, dual windshield post spotlights, directional signals, and backup lights.

This rare find in today’s marketplace will enhance any collection.