For those not familiar with the Kaiser story, the brand was launched immediately after the end of WWII into a seller’s market, as part of the Kaiser-Frazier Corporation. As with most car companies after the war, Kaiser experienced a post-war boom. However, by 1949, the seller’s market was over and Kaiser sales were down. Luckily, Kaiser introduced a new Manhattan sedan for the 1951, which sold reasonably well. But, Kaiser built more 1951 Manhattans than were sold. The solution was the 1952 Kaiser Virginian.
1952 Kaiser Virginian
To help sell the leftover 1951 Manhattan, Kaiser delayed production of true 1952 models and made slight trim changes to the existing 1951 Manhattans: the clear hood ornament were replaced with a blacked out hood ornaments and a continental kit was added to the rear of the car. Along with the trim changes, the cars received new serial number and were called 1952 Kaiser Virginians. The Virginians were sold in Special and Deluxe trim levels. The slight changes worked. By February 25, 1952, Kaiser had sold all the renamed Virginians at full price and the true 1952 Manhattans could manufactured. The Kaiser Virginian was the only car sold with a production continental kit.
Even with the creative marketing, the Kaiser brand would not be long for the U.S. Market. Kaiser car production would cease after shortened 1955 production run. Kaiser would continue on producing cars in Argentina and there is some Kaiser DNA in the Jeep history.
To find your own Classic Car or to sell your Classic Car see the listings in Classics for Sale.