Tag: Joseph W. Frazer

Kaiser Capers: Memories of Howard A. “Dutch” Darrin, Part 3

Kaiser Capers: Memories of Howard A. “Dutch” Darrin, Part 3

Kaiser-Fraz­er, the post­war won­der com­pa­ny, pre­sent­ed Dutch with many opportunities—and as many frus­tra­tions. Con­clud­ed from Part 2

Part 3

Excerpt: For the com­plete arti­cle and illus­tra­tions, refer to The Auto­mo­bile, May 2017. 

Postwar Kaiser and Frazer 1947 Fraz­er: a stretched sales illus­tra­tion; if it actu­al­ly had those pro­por­tions, it would have been sen­sa­tion­al.

Dutch had an earthy vocab­u­lary, and his meth­ods of work were forth­right with a touch of reck­less­ness. He need­ed these qual­i­ties when, after the war, he pre­sent­ed him­self to his old friend Joe Fraz­er, father of the wartime Jeep, to offer designs for the all-new cars Fraz­er was plan­ning, in part­ner­ship with Hen­ry J.…

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Joe Frazer, Father of the Jeep, Part 3

Joe Frazer, Father of the Jeep, Part 3

con­tin­ued from part 2…

Jesse Jones (old-world­pic­ture-com)

 Jesse Jones, Franklin Roosevelt’s Sec­re­tary of Com­merce, was a rugged Ten­nessean who was hard to meet and hard­er to know. Joseph Wash­ing­ton “Jeeps” Fraz­er was Pres­i­dent of Willys-Over­land, a scion of the Vir­ginia Wash­ing­tons and Nashville Fraz­ers; but this and more wouldn’t get him in to see Jesse Jones at Com­merce. See­ing Jones required more pow­er­ful strat­e­gy.

On an urgent mis­sion to Wash­ing­ton for his Jeep-build­ing com­pa­ny, Joe Fraz­er had arrived one morn­ing in 1943 and parked him­self in Jones’s out­er office, despite repeat­ed warn­ings that the Sec­re­tary wasn’t like­ly to arrive until evening—if at all.…

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Joe Frazer, Father of the Jeep, Part 2

Joe Frazer, Father of the Jeep, Part 2

con­tin­ued from part 1

JWF cel­e­brat­ing K-F's 100,000th auto­mo­bile, 25 Sep­tem­ber 1947. (Life Mag­a­zine)

See­ing an oppor­tu­ni­ty to run his own com­pa­ny, Fraz­er took con­trol of mori­bund Gra­ham-Paige in 1944, and two years lat­er merged its auto­mo­tive inter­ests with a new cor­po­ra­tion he and Hen­ry Kaiser had formed, leas­ing and then buy­ing the gigan­tic ex-bomber fac­to­ry at Wil­low Run, Michi­gan. Dur­ing Frazer’s 1946-48 pres­i­den­cy, Kaiser-Fraz­er was the fourth largest car pro­duc­er in the world, and ranked eighth in pro­duc­tion by make, ahead of all oth­er inde­pen­dents. He stepped down as an active offi­cer in 1949.…

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