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Kaiser’s 1951 Auto Show Cars


By 1951, Kaiser sales were in decline. What looked new and different in 1947 had begun to look dated by 1950. They had hoped to introduce a facelifted car that year, but could not get it ready in time. The restyle had wait until 1951. In order to attract as much attention to the sleek, new Dutch Darrin design, four show cars with what were arguably the most flamboyant interior appointments of any car in that flashy decade were rolled out for the 1951 Chicago Auto Show.

  • Kaiser4      Kasier7      Kaiser1
  • South Seas Show Car – 1951 Ad – Swenson Sales in Redwood City, CA

Their Worldways in Motoring exhibit featured the Explorer with polar bear fur seat covers, the Safari done in zebra skin and lion fur, the Caballero, upholstered in palomino and unborn calf hides with western buckles on door-mounted saddlebags and spurs for window cranks and the South Seas as seen in our top and bottom photos. However much attention they might have attracted, the company’s sales peaked at around 31,000 in 1953 but slid steadily downhill after that until passenger car production ceased in 1955. You will find more Kaiser-Frazer posts on The Old Motor. Photos courtesy of Alden Jewell.


9 responses to “Kaiser’s 1951 Auto Show Cars

  1. I don’t think you needed to say that they were “arguably” the most flamboyant interiors. The only thing you could argue is which was the ugliest. The Kaisers were sleek and good looking for their time, it’s a shame they didn’t sell.

  2. The Ypsilanti Auto Museum had the Explorer on display a few years ago. Don’t know if it is still there, or if any of the others survived.

  3. A V-8 engine would have saved the company….for a while…..Being dependent on GM for their automatic trans. hurt them when the Hydra Matic plant burned.

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