Is It Real? 1947 Frazer Manhattan Prototype Pickup

Cool custom or rare concept? You make the call, call call call call call.. (echo) (ok, enough of that).. Thanks to Dominic O for sending in the tip for this fantastic 1947 Frazer Pickup. This guaranteed head-turner can be yours for $10,000, if nobody else bids on it here on eBay, that is. It’s located in Dixon, New Mexico, one hour north of Santa Fe, and there are two days left on the auction for this interesting truck.

There’s a mad story behind this mad truck. The story goes that Earl “Madman” Muntz, one of the biggest Kaiser-Frazer dealers in the country, wrote a giant Price-is-Right-sized check to have three Kaiser-Frazer concept pickups built to see if there might be a market for an upscale pickup, and this is one of the three, I think, possibly. It may be the last original truck, other than the obviously non-original wheels. Frazer cars were a cut above their sister cars, Kaiser, sort of like Mercury is/was/is to Ford, and both Kaisers and Frazers were built in booming post-war America by the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation with WWII ship building extraordinaire Henry Kaiser at the helm, so to speak.

The rear quarter panel treatment almost has a Crosley pickup look to it. It sounds like nobody is 100% positive, even the owner/seller, that this is in fact one of the three trucks that were made to show the big wheels at Kaiser-Frazer, but all signs point to the fact that it is. In fact, one of the three pickup concepts has been restored and even customized (why would anyone customize a rare 1-of-3 Kaiser-Frazer concept pickup?!) and here is a photo of it – from our friends at Custom Classic Trucks:

Ok, now this looks like a custom pickup. No, I mean, it’s obviously a custom restomod pickup, but it looks more finished and refined, design-wise, compared to the pickup for sale above in the eBay listing. Muntz did have more than one design built to show to Mr. Kaiser, with the eBay truck being a Frazer Manhattan, the only Frazer pickup. The other two trucks were Kaisers and one one of those had a Pontiac straight-8 engine.

This is a three-speed column-shifted manual transmission, such as a 1947 Frazer sedan would have had and the original Frazer Manhattan concept pickup is said to have had. This pickup was found in eastern Oregon which helped to keep it in decent condition being a somewhat arid region. There is almost no rust on this truck other than surface rust. The seller has included a few underside photos which do show a solid undercarriage and they say that they would just get things working and keep it as original as possible. There are no engine photos and no indication of which engine it is. If it’s an original 1947 Frazer engine it should be a 100 hp Continental L-Head 226 cubic-inch inline-six. It reportedly turns over by hand, but I think this whole pickup deserves a full restoration. What would you do, restore it back to perfection or keep it original? And, more importantly, is this really one of the three concept pickups?


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  1. King Al

    In ebay, it’s listed for sale as a 1947 Ford. Even seller is confused.

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      Listed as a ’47 Chevrolet.

  2. jw454

    It also seems a little odd that one of the pictures used in the Ebay ad is the same picture used in the magazine story (minus the tow strap).

  3. JACKinNWPA Jack in NW PA Member

    I’m not too sure about this, I’m even suspect of the green on not being entirely custom, those fenders reek of late 50’s Ford pickup.

    Like 1
  4. Ed P

    This is an interesting find, if the story holds true. The lines on the cargo box closely match the front. That makes it look like a quality conversion. This vehicle should definitely be restored. It is to rare to mess with.

    Like 1
  5. williamcleary

    It’s Real ugly!

  6. SAM61

    Neat truck but I would mess with it. I see a hot dog in a bun based on the fender lines and general profile. Maybe fabricate a metal rear tonneau.

    It could be a Johnsonville brat truck, Hebrew National beef frank truck…etc.

    • glen

      A hot dog truck, oy vay.

    • Paul


      • Kevin

        My thought exactly Paul

  7. paul

    Just after WW2 my grandfather bought 2 new kaisers from the NEKAF, NEderlandse KAiser Fabriek. (Dutch kaiser factory)
    One was converted to ambulance (see picture), one was streched (unfortunatly no pictures…) The ambulance was stored until 1975, and then probably scrapped.

    Like 1
  8. Rube Goldberg Member

    I’d have to think this is the real deal. It’s far too well made for some cobble job. Car pickups didn’t go over well, and Kaiser knew this. It’s a shame K-F didn’t stick around, they were good cars.

  9. Paul

    I really admire that the box and cab are one. And those lines, WOW!!! Much nicer than the Kaiser. Real deal or not, this truck is a serious head turner and, in my opinion, have a complete stock restoration. Half the fun is tracking down the history and correct parts. Hope it gets one. I must add a comment to the seller, good luck on the 10K…

  10. That Guy

    I’m leaning toward “real.” It’s far too well-crafted to be a backyard creation, unless its creator was a professional designer and body craftsman.

    It also seems to be in fundamentally solid condition. This is definitely deserving of a full restoration.

    I really like that restomod truck too. It’s kind of too bad a one-of-three vehicle was used to create it, but what’s done is done and it’s great-looking.

  11. Glenn from Wisconsin

    Looks a phony as the top half of a lady wrestler.

  12. Rick McKee

    Kaiser Frazer did build some pickups that were used as service vehicles by their dealerships. I remember the dealership in Davenport, Iowa had a dark green one.

  13. Rick McKee

    I found this online it looks just like the one I remember from my youth.

    • waynard

      Here’s a little more on this truck conversion. “The Old Motor” website has this photo and a brief article as well. Worth a look.

      The subject truck, though it might be the real thing, looks as if it would be so difficult to manufacture, in 1950, that it boggles the mind: cab, bed, fenders all made as one piece? Not likely in that time period. I know this one is purely custom, but they would had some problems putting this on a production line.

  14. Fred W.

    Found a thread on Jalopy Journal with a lot of back and forth debate on this particular truck.


    I’d love to see this truck saved…A word about Madman Muntz. He was a major player in early television sets, kind of like Henry Ford with automobiles. (He produced a good set for a reasonable price) He also produced a 1953 Muntz Jet, a small sports car with a Caddy engine. My friends dad’s Father in law was a racketeer and was involved with Muntz and he’d bring a car home once in a while and I got to ride in a Muntz Jet. At 9 years old it was the thrill of a lifetime.

    Like 1
  16. DweezilAZ

    Is there any clue in the fact it has a CA dealer plate from 1950 on the front ? Was it never registered ? Used as a parts getter for a dealer in CA ?


      The plate must mean it was registered. I can’t imagine a dealer using an uninsured vehicle to chase parts.

  17. dr fine

    Bidding ended at 10:07 Sunday with zero bids.

  18. chad

    the ‘riser’ above the rear fender (for the last 1/4 of the bed) on this 1 looks different (is straight there) on the Hemmings link.

    Great find Scotto! Thanks to the rest for the links/stories!

  19. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Didn’t blue tags come later in California? Wouldn’t this truck have a black tag if dated from the 1950’s?

  20. Bill

    I’ve heard about these trucks my whole life. Glad two were found. Awesome looking low rider.

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