Rare orphan 1953 Kaiser Special with ‘Bermuda Rose’ luster

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Kaiser
The Kaiser Special is dressed up with a set of wide whitewalls

The Kaiser-Frazer Corporation was a short-lived auto manufacturer, starting at the end of World War II in a joint operation with Graham-Paige, which had built some notable cars before the war.

Of the many orphan brands scattered through automotive history, Kaiser is a minor player, mostly remembered for its quirky lineup of Henry J compact cars (named for Henry J. Kaiser) as well as the stylish Kaiser-Darrin, a limited-production sports car designed by Howard “Dutch” Darrin.

Kaiser
The Kaiser is laden with chrome

That, and the company’s acquisition of Willys, maker of the Jeep,  effectively becoming Willys Motors in 1953 and eventually, Kaiser Jeep, which was later sold to AMC.

The Pick of the Day is a 1953 Kaiser Special, part of the automaker’s ambitious effort to build a premium sedan to compete with those of the Detroit Big 3.  Despite its attractive styling and reputation for durability, the Special was a modest seller.

“This 1953 Kaiser Special is one beautiful car,” says the Kentwood, Michigan, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com. “Showing in a lovely Bermuda Rose with great chrome this car cleans up well!

Kaiser
Power is provided by a flathead inline-6

“With heavy documentation, this vehicle has been serviced frequently, shown annually at over 20 car shows, and has been loved dearly by its owner.”

No mention in this ad of any restoration history for the sedab, although the paint at least appears to have been resprayed.  The odometer shows 47,640 miles, although there is no indication in the ad whether the mileage is authentic or if the car is in original condition.

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The sedan appears to be in completely stock condition, powered by its correct flathead 6-cylinder engine and  column-shifted manual transmission.

Kaiser
The simple dashboard looks to be in nice shape

“The car originally sold new out of Nevada in 1954 and was later licensed in California,” the ad says. “The interior is very clean and tidy with a beautiful classic display along the dashboard. With three large totes full of documents and records, this car has a history of greatness.”

With the Kaiser sedan’s rarity and “history of greatness,” the modest asking price of $15,900 seems like a good deal for something you’re unlikely to see parked next to you at a car show.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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