January 20, 1945 – Kaiser Frazer debutes

Following WWII, many entrepreneurs foresaw the need for new commodities, such as houses and automobiles. Successful shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser was one of those businessmen, and set his sights on the auto industry. To build vehicles, Kaiser partnered with Graham-Paige Motors, leading to the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation being founded in August 1945. It was named after Kaiser and Graham-Paige CEO Joseph Frazer. It was on this day in 1946 that non-running prototypes of the new Frazer and its counterpart, the Kaiser K85 front wheel-drive car, debuted at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. 

There were numerous issues that would need to be overcome to bring the front wheel drive vehicle into production, so many in fact that the idea was scrapped. It was decided to use the same body of the Kaiser for the initial Frazer and Kaiser vehicles, but with a reworked drivetrain. The cars soon were rolling out of the former Ford Willows Run factory and more than 11,000 of the vehicles were produced by the end of 1946. In 1948 the 300,000th Kaiser Frazer came off the assembly line.

1947 Frazer Manhattan (Blue) by John Lloyd CC2.0

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