An unexpected and impressive sight for people walking on West Campus last week: Two “ultra-rare” 1951 Frazer Manhattan convertibles parked outside Duke Chapel.
The two beauties belonged to Nathan Swanson, a staff assistant at Duke’s Population Research Institute, and Rex Crews, a lecturing fellow in Duke’s classical studies department. The cars and their owners came together for a photo shoot and interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Most people haven’t heard of the Kaiser-Frazer company – one of a number of small automobiles to unsuccessfully challenge the Big Three in the post-war period-- but to car enthusiasts, the model is a special find. Known as a luxury model, only 131 Frazer Manhattans convertibles were built in 1951. In that year, co-owner Joe Frazer left the company, and the model was discontinued.
“Our 1951 Frazers were among the last built,” Swanson told the Wall Street Journal.”If I had to guess, I would say that there are only a dozen 1951 Manhattan convertibles mobile today. Part of the joy of owning this car is keeping the history alive.”
Click here to read the Wall Street Journal story. A subscription is needed, but people with a Duke NetID can create a free account for full access.