1951 Kaiser DeLuxe

The 1951 Kaiser DeLuxe was the top-line series in Kaiser's all-new second-generation lineup. A daring and successful styling departure for its day, it featured the lowest beltline and greatest glass area in the industry -- a distinction it would retain until Virgil Exner's 1957 Chrysler products appeared.

The 1951 Kaiser DeLuxe was designed largely by Howard "Dutch" Darrin, assisted by Duncan McRae, with detail trim applied by Herb Weissinger. The wheelbase was shortened five inches, and the unique Traveler utility sedan/wagon model was continued, bolstered by a two-door running mate.

Unfortunately, power continued to be the Kaiser L-head six, which was already becoming increasingly old-hat as other makes had or were adopting modern V-8s. Kaiser never would get one, though, and this was one factor that caused sales to spiral downward, leading eventually to the death of the Kaiser marque.

Pluses of the 1951 Kaiser DeLuxe:
  • Beautiful styling, perhaps the best among early-1950s domestics
  • Good quality
  • Smooth highway performance
Minuses of the 1951 Kaiser DeLuxe:
  • Can rust, particularly rocker panels and fenders
  • Vapor lock a constant problem
  • Other engine quirks, including overheating
  • Lack of hardtop and convertible models
Production of the 1951 Kaiser DeLuxe:
  • Traveler 2-door utility sedan: 10,000
  • 4-door sedan: 70,000
  • 2-door sedan: 11,000
  • 4-door Traveler utility sedan: 1,000
  • 2-door club coupe: 6,000
    (estimated breakdowns; total model year production including Specials: 139,452)

Specifications of the 1951 Kaiser DeLuxe:
Wheelbase, inches
: 118.5
Length, inches
: 210.4
Weight, pounds
: 3,111-3,345
Price, new
: $2,275-2,433 (U.S.)

Engines for the 1951 Kaiser DeLuxe:

Type Size
sv I-6
226.2 cc
115 1951

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