Everything Must Go! Variety of Cars in Kansas

When you see a group of cars offered for sale in various states of repair/disrepair, you must wonder how the collection came about. Especially when it seems the seller does not lean toward a specific make or production era. Case-in-point is these dozen-or-so cars (and tractors, bicycles, and clocks) that go back to 1936 and as recent as 1995. There’s a bit of everything hanging around in Lawrence, Kansas, and here on Facebook Marketplace. Little information is provided on each car, so you’ll have to contact the seller for details and pricing. Thanks, Chuck Foster, for the heads-up on this find.

The seller has recruited his son to list his collection for sale as he’s not a social media kind of guy. These cars range from basket cases to pristine barn finds. Some classics have been kept inside to protect them, while others are sitting outdoors doing battle with Mother Nature. Let’s run through what has been amassed here. Everything is subject to inspection and negotiation.

1951 Kaiser Deluxe Dragon – Let’s start with what may be the best of the lot. A 1951 Kaiser Dragon convertible. The Dragon was a $125 luxury option package in 1951 on the Kaiser Deluxe after the high-end Manhattan had been discontinued. Its biggest claim to fame was special upholstery that used a patterned, pleated premium vinyl which was nicknamed “Dragon” because it resembles alligator hide. The option was offered for just one year and then came back in 1953 as a standalone model.

Production data on the 1951 Dragon is elusive although the total Kaiser builds that year would total 56,723 cars. Most of that number were sedans, so convertibles were not plentiful and those equipped as Dragons that survive today are probably few and far between. For that reason, we think this car is the diamond in this group of automobiles and other stuff. It looks good and we hope its running condition and unique interior are as good as the exterior.

1936 Chrysler Airflow – The Airflow was an experiment in aerodynamics that didn’t go over well with the buying public. They were built with Chrysler badging between 1934-37 and a little after that as DeSoto’s. The photo provided looks as though it was taken at a car show.

1949 Packard Clipper – These cars had a straight-8 engine and were the “bread-‘n-butter” cars of Packard after World War II. This one has probably been sitting outside for years and is slowly going back to the Earth. It may only be good for parts and we’re not even sure about that.

1954 Oldsmobile 98 – This is one of the lucky cars, stored indoors and it looks good from what we can see sandwiched between two other cars. The seller says it’s a  4-door with all kinds of options, including power windows, seats, and AC – which was quite rare in those days.

1955 DeSoto – An early example of the “Forward Look” of automobiles that would dominate Chrysler styling in the second half of the 1950s. This one may or may not be an indoor car and is said to come with a 331 cubic engine Hemi engine.

1955 Oldsmobile – I think this one might be a Holiday 88 coupe and has been indoors given the amount of dust. It may be a runner, but there is no reference to that.

1957 Dodge Coronet – A 2 door sedan that has taken residence out in a field. These cars were famous for rusting and given that this one has been mowed around a few times, I’d want to know what the undercarriage looks like.

1968 Cadillac Coupe DeVille – See the note about the Coronet as the same situation may apply here. This is a 2-door hardtop with a 472 cubic inch V8 and some visible rust.

1969 MG Midget – Not in any of the photos and no further reference is made to it.

1980-ish CommutaCar – An early EV that found its way in use by public service departments in the 1980s. When these turn up for sale, it’s usually because the batteries are shot and other parts are hard to find.

1995 Ford Ranger – This is the second electric car in the collection. This Ranger has a 5-speed manual and was converted to electric power for reasons unknown. Its running condition is not stated either.

Besides these vehicles, there’s a Jeep that we don’t know much about other than it’s been kept inside and there is a 3-wheeler called a Wildfire that is of Chinese origin. It’s a small truck and we’re told it has less than 100 miles on it.

Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Russ, I can tell you exactly how many ’51 Kaiser convertibles came off the production lines, regardless of model: ZERO! This has to be an aftermarket hack-job and, judging by the appearance of the top, not a good one. Also, to be really fussy, the Dragon was a standalone model/trim package, so the “DeLuxe” name is superfluous and inaccurate. In fact, Richard Langworth’s Kaiser-Frazer book (far more accurate, I believe, than Wikipedia), does not list any ’51 Dragons, and this car lacks the “Kaiser Dragon” fender script anyway.

    To me, most of rest of these cars appear to have been gathered because it cost little or nothing to do so. Nothing here grabs me. Hope they all find good homes, though; I know some people will dig ’em!

    Like 20
    • Steve Bush Member

      Great post, Ray T! Love hearing from guys like you who know the history of vintage cars. If and when I’m in market, it would be well worth me paying someone like you to look over something I was considering buying. It could easily save me tens of thousands on a bad purchase or help me negotiate a much better price.

      Like 9
      • RayT Member

        Thanks, Steve, but not so much an “expert” as just someone who has owned three Kaisers in past years (wishing I’d kept one) and took an interest in them.

        I recall being told by a real expert that Kaiser-Frazer did build one or two experimental convertibles using the ’51-’55 body, but never put them into production. By the time the Darrin-designed cars went on the market, the company was already suffering a fairly steep drop in sales, so the open-top model and a V8 engine which apparently made it to the prototype stage never happened.

        I found it interesting that Russ mentioned the “Dragon Vinyl” interior material. My ’53 DeLuxe had that as well, but not any of the Dragon-specific doo-dads.

        Like 4
    • Will Fox

      Correct Ray. Home-made convertibles are to be run away from. The frames are never reinforced, and anyone who knows cars knows a real one from something out of a back yard. This Kaiser is nothing more than someone’s idea, and not very well thought out. Having been hacked, it’s value is at curb level.

    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      RayT,

      I agree this is not a production convertible. Not only does it have a non K-F V8 engine [a quick look makes me think it’s an Olds V8], but it’s a second series ’52 or later body, because it’s got a one-piece windshield and the later front end with a combination of 52-53 trim pieces. The VIN is K-511 032893. If I remember right, that’s a late ’52 car.

      I don’t have the time to check into the possibility this could be one of the K-F prototype convertibles, but I would love to see a photo of the firewall body plate. I might call the owner [Howard] a call and see if he can send me a photo.

      Like 1
  2. George
    • Fred W

      I hope the buyer thoroughly inspected it first. I would have done that to make sure it’s not a prototype that survived, otherwise, run Forrest run!

      Like 5
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      George,

      I think this listing is several years old, when it was last offered for sale.

      Like 1
  3. Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

    Isn’t that a 54/55 Buick with the Dagmars sandwiched between the green Olds and the Jeepster?

  4. HelenaNOLA

    There is more info on some of these cars if you click on the profile of the person listing. 1956 Desoto Firedome 4 door sedan with 330 cid Hemi engine and automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, and air conditioning. This car is a good solid vehicle with very little rust. It runs but not drivable. Needs brakes gone thru etc. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/2729912313924497/?ref=product_details&referral_code=undefined
    2 Dr hardtop 88 Holiday coupe. 324 ci. Rocket 4bbl. 202hp V8. Auto. Good solid running car. New paint original interior https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/230673094885562/?ref=product_details&referral_code=undefined
    Airflow nice looking car https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1038954086565559/?ref=product_details&referral_code=undefined
    1968 Cadillac de Ville 1st posted on marketplace 45 weeks ago https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/4015387115143239/?ref=product_details&referral_code=undefined
    1854 2 Dr hardtop Olds 88 Holiday coupe. 324 ci. Rocket 4bbl. 202hp V8. Auto. Good solid running car. New paint original interior. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/2417223015009227/?ref=product_details&referral_code=undefined

    Like 1
  5. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Been up for awhile – the Jeepster is sold as well good luck fining some homes for the other loved ones.

  6. Chris

    If I had a million dollars !!!!

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