EXCLUSIVE: 1952 Kaiser Henry J

It seems like many of the Henry Js that are still around have been turned into hot rods, with small block Chevy V8s and all the accompanying speed parts. As cool as these hot rods are, it’s really nice to finally see one that has been kept stock. Reader James R is a bit of a Kaiser fan, so it makes sense that he’d want to keep this Henry J stock. It’s been given a complete frame off restoration and is a beautiful machine. He’s decided to thin the herd, so this one needs to go. You can contact him with questions, to set up an inspection or to make an offer via the form below.

This Kaiser was taken all the way down to the frame and built back up from there. The body and undercarriage were repainted, the chrome was all replated and the drivetain was fully rebuilt. Any parts that couldn’t be restored, were replaced. It’s been sitting in James’s garage, so it’s going to need to be cleaned back up.

The 161 cui inline-six received a complete rebuild, as did the 3-speed transmission. While they were apart, a new clutch was installed. It will likely need a tune-up after being parked, but it’s always good to do that when you buy a classic anyways.

Due to health issues, James was unable to get us photos of the interior at this time, but will hopefully be able to snap some additional photos soon. He told me that it has the original seat cover and door skins, both of which are usable. Included with the sale is a new, in the box, 1955 seat cover. The original is in fine condition, but he bought the new one to have a replacement if needed. Overall, this could be a really fun vehicle to have, whether you keep it original or modify it. So, would you leave it original or would you hot rod this one?

  • Asking Price: $18,000 OBO
  • Location: Maple Heights, Ohio
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: K-5241047859

Contact The Seller

List your car here on Barn Finds for only $50!


  1. Terry

    Please note, this is a model WITHOUT a trunk??????

    Like 2
    • Rube Goldberg Member

      Also, no glove box, passenger sun visor, no arm rests, they were pretty basic cars. I believe the Allstate was even more basic.

      Like 3
    • rolls5278 James

      yes that is right

      Like 1
  2. Jason H.

    That has to be a 1951. That’s the only year with that grille and the only year with the inset brake/tail lights (all the other years had the lights on the fins, with ‘K’ dummy plates in the location that housed the lights on the 51). The only other option would be if it was a 52 HJ Vagabond – which were just leftover 51s re-serialized and sold as 52s.

    Like 1
  3. Gaspumpchas

    Wow a stock one…amazing. Looks good. dad had one. Would be a shame to hotrod this one since its done up so nice stock. Good luck to the new owner!

    Like 5
  4. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    I remember my great uncle in some tiny one horse town ( village really) in Pennsylvania had a Kaiser Manhattan or Dragon in his barn. We would visit occasionally and since I was bored beyond belief, I’d go outside and look around and that’s when I saw the Kaiser. Never had the nerve to go in the barn to check it out, but that front end is unmistakable. This was probably around the early 1960s so was probably around eight years old, and that was my introduction to the Kaiser-Frazer line.

  5. Fid

    Regarding “That’s the only year with that grille and the only year with the inset brake/tail lights (all the other years had the lights on the fins, with ‘K’ dummy plates in the location that housed the lights on the 51). ” Not true. About 7,000 1951s were reserialed and re-badgeds as 1952 Vagabond models. I know this car that’s what it is, a 1952 Vagabond. A very rare model Henry J.

    • Jason H.

      That’s exactly what I said at the end. I had a vagabond, I’m familiar. And it’s still technically true – nothing was built as a 1952 with those features.

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