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1952 Kaiser Manhattan…Pickup?


No, you’re right, Kaiser didn’t make a Manhattan pickup; as a matter of fact, apart from the Jeep pickups, they didn’t make one at all that I can find. However, someone thought it would be a great idea to transform a 4-door 1952 Manhattan sedan into one! Located in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and up for sale here on eBay, this unusual vehicle may be the only one of it’s kind.


The story in the ad goes that a fire station used the pickup in parades and other events. It looks like Frankie & Johnnie’s Auto Repair had something to do with the conversion, though, or at least they got to advertise themselves on the rear of the “truck”.


The faded graphics on the side of the vehicle add some credence to the fire station story. I hope whomever ends up with the vehicle is able to either preserve what’s left or re-create them in a restoration.


The inside needs some help, especially the seats. Being a simple bench seat, and since originality isn’t an issue at this point, I think I would be tempted to replace it with a late model bench from something else, as long as the appearance and size were suitable. Since the dash appears to be metal rather than padded, a little refinishing would go a long way here.


I think the best thing about this one is that it already runs and drives with it’s original drive train. So maybe some cosmetic refurbishment over the winter and then a lot of driving next spring? I think it would be nice to drive to the first event of the year “as-is” and then improve it from there. What would you do?


  1. Howard A Member

    People have been hacking apart sedans into pickups for years. Usually, they use station wagons, but I suppose any car and a cutting torch will do. I’m not aware of any factory Kaiser pickups, but they have been done. This one looks like someone spent some time, but pretty shot now. I’d be very surprised if it moved at all. Found this from Hemmings. Apparently, a custom job from a wrecked Kaiser in the early 50’s.

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  2. Fred

    Lots of changes from the original on this one, including grill, taillights and side trim. Too bad they didn’t go with a Nomad type roof line. I see they were inspired by the Subaru Brat with the rear facing bed mounted seats.

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