1952 Kaiser Manhattan
When you're the little guy, you have to stand out in order to be
noticed. In the automotive industry of the early 1950s, hearty
sales figures and the difference between black and red ink on the
books were what separated the runners from the almost-ran. General
Motors, Ford and Chrysler feasted on the American auto market,
leaving independent brands to fight over table scrap sales figures.
Although they are nearly forgotten today, Kaiser-Frazer's 1952 and
1953 Manhattans made up a good portion of the company's sales in
those lean years, and their charming style, proven mechanicals and
enthusiastic club support make them truly underrated, worthy
For consignment this nice overall condition Kaiser Manhattan, which
for 1952 was the higher end model, in 2 tone gray. Known for their
innovative styling, this car pushes the limits on interior
surfaces, and options within the dash. A closer look will reveal a
very interesting combination of textures, as well as solid
mechanicals. A slight detraction will be due to the all steel
construction, rust can be a problem on the underside, and this car
has suffered from this in the rocker panels. They have been
repaired, however attention should be paid to them on this original
A product of designer Howard "Dutch" Darrin and Duncan McRae, some
features can be picked right up on this Manhattan. The "Dutch Dip"
where the C pillar meets the rear door, the sloping rear and
steeply raked front windshield have an unusual center dip, which
actually makes the windshield stronger. On this particular model a
sunshade has been added to the windshield. 2 tone light and dark
gray in nice condition adorn the car exterior. A very unusual
Kaiser spear hood ornament in clear plastic adorns the hood, and in
this writers mind is worth the price of admission alone!
Swing open any of the 4 doors and you are met with dragon skin
adorned door pulls, panel uppers, and tufted dash. This is worth
the second price of admission on this car. Highly unusual, but
oddly attractive, and very retro cool, this interior will hold a
gaze for a long time. Lots of chromed recessed knobs, "luxura"
fabric seat covers, and thick pile carpeting surround you in early
1950's luxe. An original crack free and amazingly pristine cream
bakelite steering wheel fronts the exotic dash.
The Kaiser Manhattan's sole available engine in 1952 and 1953 was
the "Supersonic Six," the long-running L-head straight-six cylinder
that displaced 226.2 cubic inches via its 315/16 x 43/8-inch bore
and stroke. This solid-lifter engine featured pressure lubrication
for all bearings, including the four main bearings, and splash
lubrication for its timing chain and valve tappets. Much better
breathing via a Carter WGD 999S carburetor and an improved manifold
and exhaust design is seen. Shifting is a 3 on the tree 3-speed
Some extensive repair work has been done on the rocker area, in
particular where some body mounts meet it. The frame is definitely
very solid, and rust free. Floor pans are in good shape, as well as
suspension parts and all-around drum brakes, which have been
replaced with new lines, drums, and wheel cylinders.
Innovative design and lines, as well as use of materials that the
average person would not even think of where readily available at
the Kaiser dealer to let your mind run wild. This Manhattan is very
tastefully done, presents in good condition, runs smoothly, and has
some amazing features.
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special
interest automobile showroom, featuring over 300 vehicles for sale
with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle
barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania,
conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76
Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and
our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for
more information or to come see the vehicle in person.