1953 Kaiser Deluxe Traveler Custom 307 V8 Sedan

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Type: Used
Year: 1953
Make: Kaiser
Model: Deluxe Traveler Custom 307 V8 Sedan
Body: 4 Door Sedan
Engine Size: 307 V8
Trans: Automatic
Mileage: 0
VIN: 07233
Stock: 07233
Ext Color:
Int Color:

1953 Kaiser Deluxe Traveler Custom Sedan Resto Mod
307 V8 Chevy, four-speed overdrive automatic .
Camaro rear end with high gears.

From an earlier era in America, when there was such a thing as traveling salesman.

These were vehicles marketed towards this lifestyle, no different than a sedan delivery for a plumber. By the 1950s, as America continued to evolve past World War II, the life of a traveling salesman was on its way out, and vehicles being offered to this lifestyle were becoming fewer and fewer. Kaiser was among the last holdouts of this type of model, which is what makes the 1953 Kaiser Deluxe Traveler a rare and collectible find!

The Traveler was developed in 1949 but came into its own with the redesigned 1951 models. Touted as the worlds most versatile car, the Traveler was a luxurious 6-passenger sedan that converted into a cargo carrier in 10 seconds. It was like having a sedan with station wagon versatility or, if you prefer, a camp-on-wheels for two sportsmen thanks to the double-hinged rear deck. Most were offered in the Special and Deluxe trim levels, though at least one has been found in the upscale Manhattan series. Travelers also featured novel heavy-duty vinyl upholstery that was created by low-pressure refrigerator embossing. Some think the Traveler was the first hatchback, though more in function than style.

Henry Kaiser had conceived the 1951-1953 Kaiser Traveler with a simplistic idea: cut out the entire deck and rear window area, hinge half of it to lift up and half to drop down, let them meet about halfway on the deck, and presto: a new kind of utility car.

It wasn't to prove quite so easy to develop; over 200 changes had to be made to the basic sedan before the Traveler could be built. It required stronger springs and shocks to handle the increased payload, new floor pan wiring, a method to display the license plate, and reinforcement to replace lost stiffness.

This particular example is a 1953 Kaiser Deluxe Sedan Traveler, the Deluxe version of the rare woody rear "station wagon", trunk area with folding rear seat with the rear window folding up like a station wagon for putting larger items. Very low production with reportedly only 12 left in the world.

First year only produced in 1951, no production in 1952 and last year was this year, 1953. Professional restoration from little old ladies' survivor to start with. Striking Medium Blue Metallic and Ivory base coat/clear coat finish for that sweet, wet, shiny look. All new expensive quality chrome. Straight, rust-free body to start with. Even new rear tail light bezels and front headlight trim (note stock cool airplane-looking). Hood ornament is large and one of a kind.

Total "sleeper" with all the right custom upgrades. 1969 307 / 4BL Chevy V8 with 4-speed overdrive automatic (shifts great and great MPG yet peppy). Power steering, power disc brakes (stops nice!) Detailed motor and motor bay, 12-volt rewire. Cool full gauge digital dash done in original cluster. Original dash and excellent chrome. Only some 1,142 miles since the build. Rear wood is all re-stained and looks good. Also 1969 Camaro rear end with high gears (easy highway cruising).

Also, shoulder belts, buckets, console all new including door panels, visors and headliner. True custom one of a kind.

The 1951 - 1953 Kaiser Traveler was offered in both the Special and Deluxe series for 1951, with two and four doors. Sales of two-door versions were minimal, and after a handful of ex-1951s were sold off as 1952 "Virginian Travelers," Kaiser built only four-door models.

These four-door Kaiser Travelers continued through 1953, with more luxuriously trimmed 1952-1953 "Manhattan Travelers" were ostensibly offered, and at least one example has been found. Though the pre-1951 models had sold in good numbers, these later Travelers did not appeal, possibly because the new body restricted their capacity -- only a few thousand were sold between 1951 and 1953 making then a very rare find today.

Compared to the workaday station wagon, which still tended to be a boxy, truck-like vehicle made largely of wood in the late 1940s, the Kaiser Traveler was a revelation -- and probably did more to popularize the civilized, all-steel wagon than most people realize.

Reportedly General Motors and Ford bought Kaiser Travelers just to tear them apart, to see if their obvious advantages were compromised by any structural shortcuts which the engineers found not to be. Much later, of course, the Traveler idea would lead to the modern hatchback, though not in quite the same way.

This particular example is novel beyond its inherent traits as its been updated in several ways for modern living.

Looking in the engine bay, youll find the antiquated straight-six replaced by a 307 V8 from a 1969 Chevrolet, though the four-speed overdrive automatic is decidedly newer. A 1969 Camaro rear end with high gears makes highway cruising much more tolerable than the original powertrain combination.

Move to the interior and youll notice digital gauges in the instrument panel. Look around some more and the original vinyl has been updated with more modern, power-operated velour seats. Power steering, power disc brakes (stops nice!). Detailed motor and motor bay, 12-volt rewire, with safety not being ignored either thanks to shoulder belts from a newer vehicle.

With just over 900 built, this is a car thats rare, and you will look long and hard to find a more unique piece of 1950s Americana anywhere else!


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