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On The Trailer: 1951 Kaiser Dragon


Yes, it’s my favorite pet peeve again, a flipper who doesn’t even take the car off the trailer to take pictures. I’m guessing since the ad states that this unusual Kaiser “runs well…drives and stops” but the taped message on the inside of the windshield says “NO BRAKES” that these pictures were taken on the day they brought it home. On the bright side, the ad states that some work has been done since then. Thanks to Robert R for this find, which is located in Beloit, Wisconsin and is listed for sale here on craigslist. The ad states that less than 500 were made; I couldn’t find a source to confirm this, but at least some of the distinctive original “dragon skin” vinyl upholstery has survived, which I’d love to see up close. There’s plenty of rust in the rocker panels to keep a restorer busy, but the car does look complete, and with the gas tank and brakes already done and it running and driving well, $3,250 may be reasonable. 

I’m really intrigued by the idea of a car named for it’s upholstery! What do you think?


  1. Ed P

    Nice looking car. I am surprised at how nice the interior looks. Fix the rust. Check the brakes and drive. If these cars just had V8’s………………..

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    • MikeW

      This one has a v8

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  2. John

    So,if this is a pet peeve,why in the hell did you feature it? $$$ perhaps?

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    • SoCal Car Guy

      Thank you John! My thoughts exactly, and seems like every few days we see the S.O.S. (Same Old , er, excrement).

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  3. Fred

    I happen to own this car, the Deluxe version which is the same car without vinyl top and Dragon upholstery. Not as rare, but I would sell for $8500 for a completely restored car. The previous owner put nearly 20K into the restoration. I think this Dragon would require similar or more money, especially considering the expensive, hard to find interior.

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  4. Fred

    As far as being intrigued by a car named for it’s upholstery- well, the 49 and 50 Kaisers were named for the paint color! Whatever color the car was painted was spelled out in script on the fender.

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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Thanks, Fred. I came across those while I was looking for Dragon info. I wonder how many cars left the factory with the wrong badge by accident (if any)?

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  5. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Just because the car was on the trailer didn’t mean I didn’t like the car. We feature a wide variety of cars here; there’s no way every car will appeal to everybody. To answer the simple question, I think it’s unusual and attractive, and the upholstery makes it different from the norm. After researching the car I thought it was worth submitting.

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    • Jeff

      I agree, the Dragon is a pretty rare car and worth seeing regardless. Also, I agree that poor photo staging in general is a pet peeve/source or amusement. If you’re trying to sell something for thousands of dollars, is it too much to ask to take a few extra minutes to take some nice photos? Make the car look like it’s ready to drive down the road, even if it isn’t. You know, pump up the tires, put away that 2×4 that’s leaning on the fender, fully remove the car cover, drag the car onto a driveway or freshly mowed grass. That sort of thing. I’ve bought used tires just to put on cars for photos. A picture of a car sitting on the rim knocks a bigger chunk out of the price than the cost of an old tire.

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  6. Fred

    Definitely worth the submission, a very rare beast. The ‘gator vinyl in the cars is almost always original because it’s so hard (and expensive) to find the repro material, and because the original stuff is so durable that junkyard cars are often found with gator interiors in good shape.

    I don’t think this is the year that had it, but later Dragons had a nameplate on the glovebox door that said “this Dragon built for …….” or similar. And gold plated emblems. Wire wheels were an option. Extremely expensive when new- only appealed to the few that didn’t care about having a V-8.

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  7. Howard A Member

    For the record, Beloit is in Wisconsin, right on the Wis/ ILL. line. ( however, S. Beloit IS in ILL.) Really a neat car, sadly, not by ’50’s standards. I guess, “flippers” are just a part of life, as we can’t be everywhere to find these things (although BF sure helps) Saw a Manhattan at a car show, and it got a lot of attention. Sure was different looking on the outside, but outdated on the inside.

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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Thanks, Howard, I fixed that!

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  8. MikeW

    Very nice, Dragons appeal to me.

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  9. Chris A.

    Glad you showed this Kaiser. Yes, you could get the “built for” plaque if you ordered the car. As a small kid “Whoa, Kaiser will build a car just for you”. Neat car.

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  10. Robert Member

    To all BF readers here is an update. She is off the trailer and now listed at “$4,500 or best offer.” Listed here: https://rockford.craigslist.org/cto/5228337709.html



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