Kaiser-Frazer sold the Henry J in the early ’50s as a low-budget economy car. It began as a pioneering concept for an American compact, but became lost in higher-than-expected costs, unattractive styling and a growing national appetite for big cars. Today they’re relatively rare, but that doesn’t really make them collectible. Seems like a lot of guys have the same idea: the best thing to do is send them to the drags!
This jacked-up 1952 Henry J features a mildly built 350 Chevrolet V8, Muncie 4-speed and a Ford 8-inch rear. The engine and transmission are only 200 miles old. Other go-fast and new parts include a Speedway straight axle, headers, fuel and brake lines, wiring, and gauges.
Metallic green scallops accent the Wimbledon White body. Not much needed to be changed with the interior for drag racing, as they were Spartan from the factory. (Back up lights and turn signals were optional on the Henry J models in 1952.) New glass fills the frames except the still-in-good-condition rear window. But the car isn’t quite complete. It still needs a grille and hood. Also, the interior upholstery is tattered, but that literally just means the bench seat needs recovering.
Nine 1951–54 Henry Js sold on eBay Motors in the past year. Good examples averaged $9k and excellent ones reached nearly $15k. Four of the nine sold were listed as race cars. Click the link to see this one’s auction listing – 1952 Henry J Gasser