Manhattans could be identified by the words “Kaiser Manhattan” on the sides of the front fenders and by the wide chrome trims around the bottom of the body. They had the same new styling features as the 1952 Kaiser Deluxe. The Manhattan was powered by a flat-head six engine with a cast iron block. Its wheelbase was 118.5 inches with an overall length of 208.5 inches for a Special and 210 3/8 inches for a Deluxe. A three speed, manual, column-mounted transmission was standard. You could add overdrive transmission for $98 or dual range Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmission for $179.
The Kaiser Car Company was founded by a shipbuilder, Henry J. Kaiser, at the close of World War II. He formed a partnership with Joseph Frazer of Graham Motors, makers of the Graham automobile prior to WWII. They teamed together until 1951 when Kaiser began to face financial problems. In an attempt to revitalize the company, Kaiser hired Howard ‘Dutch’ Darrin, a master craftsman along with designer Carlton Spencer.
1952 Kaiser Manhattan