9-10 October 2014

Previous Next

Lot 180

1951 Frazer Manhattan Convertible

  • Chassis no. F516001002

Sold for $41,250

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

  • Believed to be the pilot production car shown at the 1951 Chicago Auto Show
  • Known history, including extensive documentation
  • Less than 66,000 original miles

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 is serial number 002, and it is believed to have been one of the two pilot cars built for the 1951 Chicago Auto Show. According to the owner, the car was returned to Willow Run upon the close of the show, and it spent many years as Henry J. Kaiser’s personal car in Michigan and Hawaii. It still bears the Hawaii driving sticker, dated 1962, in the lower right corner of the windshield.

The car was later sold to 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. The Frazer has always been properly stored, as evidenced by its remarkable condition. The odometer reads 65,955 miles at the time of cataloguing, which are believed to be original.

The car is well known by Kaiser-Frazer enthusiasts, and it comes complete with much documentation, including factory correspondence, owner’s and shop manuals, and other period Kaiser-Frazer memorabilia.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more