There are vintage cars that are rare, some that are very rare and a few that are so rare hardly anybody’s ever heard of them. Because really, who among us remembers the Frazer Manhattan 4-door convertible?
Yet here it is, in all its glory. The Pick of the Day is a 1951 Frazer Manhattan 4-door convertible, one of just 131 built and looking fresh after a 10-year, “frame-up total restoration,” according to the Greenfield, Indiana, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com.
Frazer was a short-lived premium brand of the Kaiser Corp., then known as Kaiser-Frazer, that built cars from 1946 through 1951, making this one part of the final batch of luxurious Manhattan convertibles.
Named for Joseph Frazer, who was president of Michigan-based Kaiser-Frazer, the cars were among the first full-sized US automobiles with slab-sided post-war styling, several years ahead of the 1949 Ford that usually receives that accolade.
In Onyx black with a red fabric top and leather-and-vinyl interior, the Frazer is drivable and fully functional, the seller says. Much of what went into the complex restoration is described in the ad, including rebuilding the flathead engine; new paint, top and interior; replacing the glass; installing a new wiring harness; and servicing the automatic top.
“The convertible top operates perfectly and comes with matching boot,” the seller notes.
The Frazer Manhattan received a facelift for 1951, with a gleaming new front-end treatment that set it apart from the crowd.
“The new front-end treatment was less-conservative than the earlier Frazers and gave the ‘51s a very distinctive appearance,” according to published commentary about the cars included with the ad. “This, coupled with the 4-door convertible body and unusual window treatment gave this model an appearance different from any other car on the road.
“Unusually styled cars tend to polarize people – either you love it or hate it. 1951 Frazer styling remains a little controversial, but it is being appreciated more these days.”
Whatever your view on this Frazer’s looks, it is an enticing piece of little-known automotive history that is sure to attract plenty of attention, especially in this sparkling restored condition.
The asking price is $75,000, which most likely would fall far short of what was spent on the undoubtedly difficult restoration of this rarity.
To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.