1949 Kaiser Virginian

Hardtop Sedan
Chassis Num: 808901
Sold for $38,500 at 2007 RM Sothebys.
During the Second World War the production of automobiles ceased in order to support the war effort. Many manufacturing plants were converted to military production. For Kaiser, they supplied the U.S. military with everything from motors, guns, aluminum and steel components, to entire ships. When the war came to a close, automobile production resumed. Like most other marque's in the industry, production resumed where it had left off, with few styling changes or enhancements. The Kaisers sold well in 1947 but within a few short years, that all changed. Turmoil at the management level and stiff competition in the market place had reversed Kaiser's good fortunes. By 1949, Kaiser had a vast amount of unsold inventory in their warehouses and on dealers lots. To help stimulate sales, a number of specialty models were created, including the Virginian. It featured a revised roofline, a fabric-covered top, and eye-catching paint schemes. They were two-door sedans with seating for six that took on the appearance of a convertible. The doors featured thin window frames and removable center posts. They were listed at $3,000 which put them second in price only to the convertible sedan.

This vehicle was brought to the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it had an estimated value of $50,000 - $60,000. It was offered without reserve, and since there were not many of these made in 1949, they do not come up for sale too often. The lot was sold for a high bid of $38,500 including buyer's premium.

It is powered by a 226 cubic-inch L-head six-cylinder engine that produces just over 110 horsepower. There is a three-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel self-centering hydraulic drum brakes. It is finished in its original shade of Indian Ceramic and its odometer reads less than 38,000 miles since new. It is the recipient of a cosmetic restoration that was completed in the early 2000s. It came equipped from the factory with a radio, clock and heater plus defroster.

It is believed that less than 1,000 units were created with only a few still in exist in modern times.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
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