1952 Henry J Corsair

Illustration for article titled 1952 Henry J Corsair

Welcome to Down On The Mile High Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the City That Rust Sorta Ignored: Denver, Colorado. You don't often see Kaiser-Frazer products on the street in the 21st century!

Illustration for article titled 1952 Henry J Corsair

DOTSBE tipster Evestay shot this Henry J two years ago, but the car wasn't in a street parking space and thus didn't qualify for this series.

Illustration for article titled 1952 Henry J Corsair

Then I was out walking the dogs not far from my house and I spotted a beautiful primered-out Henry J! I couldn't find the owner, so I can't tell you what it has under the hood... but I'm betting it's not the original Kaiser four-cylinder that came in the Corsair. The Henry J was one of the cheapest "real" cars you could buy in the early 1950s, but it was just a few bucks less than the larger and better-equipped Ford, Chevy, and Dodge sedans. For the whole story of the Rise And Fall Of Kaiser-Frazer, jump over to the excellent Ate Up With Motor piece.

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You know, this just popped a question into my head.

Whatever happened to the abundance of microscopic car companies of yester-year? When one guy had a design, some capital from god-knows-where, and some know-how and he just started making cars? (I know I'm over-simplifying)

Now it's the same 'buy from the biggest company or the most popular', which in many cases doesn't work.

(Not to mention all those safety regs that make it much harder to build a car)