For such a small auto manufacturer, Frazer made several noteworthy automobiles that were loaded with many distinctive styling attributes. Some were produced in such limited numbers that they are rarely seen today, or even known about. One of those models is this striking 1951 Manhattan convertible.
The Kaiser Frazer Club held their winter meet at the recent AACA show in Vero Beach, Florida, with this beautiful blue Manhattan convertible stealing the show. It captivated people throughout the day, and its dazzling color and unfamiliar body style had many car enthusiasts scratching their heads in disbelief. It was brought to the show from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, by its enthusiastic owner, Lowell Johnson.
For the 1951 model year, Frazer offered four different models. In the Standard line, there was a four-door sedan and a four-door utility sedan, more commonly known as the Vagabond. Combined total production was just 9,931 cars: 6,900 Standard sedans and 3,000 Vagabonds. In the more upscale Manhattan trim line, there were also only two distinct models offered: a four-door hardtop sedan, of which just 152 were built, and this very rare four-door convertible model that had a production run of a scant 131 units. Back in 1951 it retailed for a pricey $3,075, so it’s no wonder that so few were produced.
Power was never the Frazer’s strong suit, as its 226.2-cubic-inch flathead straight-six engine produced just 115 horsepower. When combined with the car’s fairly heavy weight of 3,941 pounds, its performance, shall we say, was lacking. However, these cars weren’t built for speed, rather for comfortable, reliable cruising, which is what the Manhattan did so well. It provided its six passengers with plenty of room, and with the open top, a truly matchless motoring experience.
Article courtesy of Hemmings Daily, written by Richard Lentinello.