The Henry J was an American car that was manufactured by the Kaiser- Frazer Corporation and named after its owner Henry J. Kaiser. The mass production of vehicles with six-cylinder engine began in July 1950 and the four-cylinder in early May 1950. September 28, 1950, the model was officially presented.
The car was the brainchild of Henry J. Kaiser, who wanted to increase the sales of his automobile company by brought out a car that cheap to make and therefore should be affordable for the average American, as before the First World War, Henry Ford's Model T. The Kaiser- Frazer Corporation in 1949 had been granted for the construction of the vehicle a government loan, which was subject to conditions: the price of the car including taxes and delivery fee could not exceed U.S. $ 1300; he had to be delivered no later than September 30, 1950, at least five adults had to find space in the car and its cruising speed had to be at least 50 mph (80 km / h).
To achieve this, the Henry J from as few parts was built and had little special equipment. To save costs, early samples had no trunk lid; the owners could reach only the trunk of the folding rear seatback. Another saving measure was the design of the car as a two-door sedan with fixed rear side windows. The basic version also lacked the glove compartment, armrests, the sun visor on the right and the ventilation system.
The engine of the Henry J had 4 cylinders and delivered 68 hp SAE (51 kW); later versions were also available with a 80 SAE-PS- (60 kW) six-cylinder engine. The engines were supplied by Willys -Overland, they had standing valves, the four-cylinder came with only a few changes from the Jeep CJ -3 (The base engine can be swapped between the two models ).
In 1952 Kaiser Motors sold the Henry J also about Sears Roebuck under the name Allstate. The Allstate was the Henry J very similar, differences were found only in the radiator grille, the logos, the hubcaps, the interior, the tires (brand: Allstate ) and the battery. After 2 years with disappointing sales figures Sears Roebuck introduced a sale. The car was also available in Japan from 1951 to 1954 under license from East Japan Heavy Industries, a part of the Mitsubishi Group.
The Henry J proved to be a disappointment for Kaiser Motors. The Henry J was indeed cheap, but for a few dollars more you could buy a Chevrolet One -Fifty, which was equipped with a trunk lid and exhibitable rear side windows. The Chevrolet, Ford and other cheap competition models were also larger and offered more interior space. Kaiser- Frazer offered from 1951, the trunk lid along with some other equipment details as an option package, the advertising still aimed at the low operating cost of the vehicle, and this at a time when the gallon of gasoline cost only 27 cents. Sales decreased from year to year back. Henry J. Kaiser wanted to do with this car profit through high production numbers, but the sluggish sales prevented this
The compact Rambler Nash sold much better, it was marketed as a well-equipped convertible. The Henry J was a very easy -equipped two-door sedan; customers could very well distinguish between " inexpensive " and " cheap" and for them the Henry J soon had a bad name.
After the purchase of Willys -Overland in the spring of 1953, the management of Kaiser Motors decided to set the car at the end of the model year 1953. Attempts to sell off the remaining cars in 1953, failed. So you made these cars to 1954 models until all around the factory at Willow Run scattered cars were sold.
The chassis of the Henry J was also used as the basis for the sports car Kaiser Darrin KFD -161.