History
All 6 titles are listed alphabetically by author.
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Henry J. Kaiser: First in War, First in Peace by Daniel Alef
(Titans of Fortune Publishing; Santa Barbera, CA; 2009)

Less of a book and more of a long multimedia article, this biographical profile of Henry J. Kaiser's life is perfect for students writing a term paper or for the new Kaiser-Frazer fan.

Henry J. Kaiser built the Hoover Dam. He built battleships during World War II. And he helped to fund the last major challenge to the Big Three after the war: Kaiser-Frazer. This work is a tidy description of Kaiser's accomplishments throughout his lifetime. (K-F was just one tiny part.)

Keep in mind: this book is digital only. You can download it to your Amazon Kindle. You can also download it through the Kindle app on your iPad or other tablet device.

Kindle Edition, $1.99

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Kaiser-Frazer Limited Edition 1946-1955 by R.M. Clarke (Editor)
(Brooklands Books; Cobham, Surrey, England; 1997)

Brooklands publishes collector car books that are compilations of vintage news and magazine articles. This is another title in that series.

Compared to other books in this series, it looks like this book covers a sliver in time of a car company's history. But no. As Kaiser-Frazer, this company only made passenger cars in the U.S. for about 10 years.

You'll find articles from Motor Trend, Road & Track, etc., covering the Kaiser, the Frazer, the Manhattan, the Henry J (four- and six-cylinder models), the Henry J Corsair, the Willys Aero Wing, Willys Aero Eagle, the Willys Aero Ace, the Willys Bermuda, and the Kaiser-Darrin.

Softcover, New: $14.96

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Floyd Clymer's Independent Test Report and Investigation of Kaiser-Frazer Cars by Floyd Clymer
(Floyd Clymer Publications; Los Angeles, CA; 1947)

Floyd Clymer was a motorcycle racer/salesman/distributor who started his publishing company by ingratiating himself with the marketing departments of various car companies in order to get access to their cars.

He then wrote reports about the cars and published them as Consumer Reports-style analyses of the strengths and weaknesses of the models he tested.

These books often have some interesting insight, because Floyd Clymer was outside the mainstream of the publishing world. They are never extremely critical, but they're often interesting and entertaining snapshots of their time.

Since it was published in September 1947, this book is about the Kaiser Special that he bought off the lot in Detroit and drove back to Los Angeles.

This book was a bit of a scoop for Floyd Clymer, because these cars were among the very first newly-designed automobiles available to the public after World War II. As such, they were in great demand. Clymer was able to publish the inside scoop on the newest cars on the road.

Vintage Softcover, Used: from $25.00

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Kaiser-Frazer 1947-1955 Photo Archive by Patrick Foster
Iconografix; Osceola, WI; 2009)

Iconografix is well known for publishing photograph albums of just about every automotive marque.

This volume on Kaiser-Frazer is true to form. Great publicity stills and behind-the-scenes photos with insightful captions combine to tell the story of a car company that was here and gone fairly quickly.

Softcover, New: $21.75

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The Last Onslaught on Detroit: An Intimate Behind The Scenes Study of the Postwar American Car Industry by Richard Langworth
Automobile Quarterly Publications; New Albany, IN; 1975)

This is the best automotive history book ever written. (Sorry, other history books. You gotta stop focusing on data and statistics. It's just too boring.)

Langworth wrote the archetypal auto history book when he published this work on Kaiser-Frazer.

Smart Thing He Did #1: he talked to all of the major players in the drama before they were dead. This book has tension and drama, because it's as much about the people as it is about the cars. Langworth isn't afraid to quote people, and sometimes this book reads like a novel. (I loved reading what Joe Frazer had to say about having his own car brand.)

Smart Thing He Did #2: he uses Kaiser-Frazer as a metaphor for all of the independent auto makers after World War II. They were all in the same boat. Squeezed by bigger competition. Satisfied postwar market demand. Not enough vision to anticipate how to move forward.

Usually, I would never say this, but with Last Onslaught, I say it without reservation: buy it at any price. It's that good.

Hardback, Used: Prices vary widely, but this book has held its value over the years. Look for it used in the $45-$75 range.

Henry Kaiser: We need more Kaiser-Frazer books!
Joe Frazer: You're nuts! We need to sell the ones we already have!
Henry Kaiser: That's it. You're fired!
Joe Frazer: You say "fired." I say "paid consultant."
Henry Kaiser: Let's ramp up production!
I want every Kaiser-Frazer title you can find!
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Built to Better the Best: The Kaiser-Frazer Corporation History by Jack Mueller
(MT Publishing; Evansville, IN; 2005)

Jack Mueller has been the Kaiser-Frazer Club's historian for years now, and he has learned enough new information about K-F to fill the Willow Run plant.

Like Jame's Ward's book on Packard and Charles Hyde's book on Nash/Hudson/AMC, this book is a business history of Kaiser-Frazer.

It has some excellent new information that Richard Langworth could never have known when he published his Last Onslaught on Detroit book in 1975.

Mueller's book is filled with useful facts and biographical information about Henry Kaiser and Joe Frazer. At times the book is a page turner. Other times, it sputters like a Henry J with fouled plugs. There are a lot of typos in the book. It really should have had a proofreader.

However, I consider this and Langworth's book to be the essential bookends for your Kaiser-Frazer book shelf.

Still on the fence? Check out the podcast I did with author Jack Mueller.

Hardback, Used: Prices vary but are often quite high. Look for this book used in the $175-$200 range.