53 Kaiser Carolina

Starting a hobby is not just for teenagers and young ones. As long as you have the passion for your new-found hobby, nothing should stop you from doing it. There is no age limit when it comes to being a classic car collector.

1953 Kaiser Carolina

Cindy and Greg Endres started their car collection hobby when they were in their late fifties. Their first car was a Kaiser Carolina. The original owner bought the brand new car in Missouri then it was sold to the next two owners in Upstate New York. They are the fourth owner of the car whey they brought it home in Homestead, Florida.

The history of this car brings us to an unfortunate beginning.

The car was we’re talking about is the 1953 Kaiser Carolina which failed to serve the purpose it was built for.

A Brief Past Of The Kaiser Carolina


For 1953, Kaiser went through the expansion of the company’s automobiles lineup. The first was the Dragon which was the most high-priced car among the Kaisers. Additionally, there were a total of 1,277 units sold for this Dragon car.

Next in line was the Carolina which was supposed to bring customers into showrooms. This is to lead them towards the most valued cars such as the Manhattan and Dragon. But the plan didn’t work out that way. That’s why Kaiser lost $10 million during 1953.

Records show that there were a total of 1,812 Carolinas built. And registry numbers from the Kaiser-Frazer Owners Club International states that only 17 Carolinas were known left existing.

How This Car Collection Hobby Started

Greg explained that he and his wife were sort of retired. They ended up buying a restaurant. The couple hosted a couple of car shows afterwards for their restaurant’s promotions. His wife Cindy loved the feeling when she’s in the car shows. There are lots of fantastic people. Not to mention that she grew up seeing old cars around her, that’s why she ought to have one for herself.

Her admiration for old cars began way back her younger years. Cindy still remembered how she watches her father along with her brothers and brother-in-law as they work on the old stuff. She never ended her fascination for cars, especially those from the Fifties. She even boasts that she could tell each of them when she was already a teenager.

Greg opted to buy Cindy an orphan-make instead of a Ford or Chevrolet. He purchased the 1953 Kaiser Carolina, now called as Miss Carolina.

53 Kaiser Carolina

As Cindy recalls, “It was a 20-footer when we got it, and the only thing we had to do was repaint it and redo some of the chrome. The hood had been chipped, and since we wanted to show the car, we decided to repaint it, but the interior and almost everything else is all original. But I fell in love with the way it looked. I love the heart-shaped windshield, with that little dip at the top of it.”

This Carolina Is Not Cheap And It’s Also Well-Maintained.

Some of you may think that a Carolina was a cheap one just because of the purpose behind its manufacturing. Actually, it is not a cheap car, may it be in its quality or performance.

The Carolina was the outcome in Kaiser’s attempt to equip a Manhattan more like a Henry J. This is the reason behind the J’s plain unadorned headlamp rings, as well as door handles that you would see in the car. It even had a single sun visor for the driver and a single courtesy lamp inside. The interior furnishings are of premium quality though.

1953 Kaiser Carolina interior

This Carolina’s automatic transmission is a two-speed variant called the Dual Range and is column shifted.

1953 Kaiser Carolina dashboard

“It’s a little clunky. It’s not going to come off the line like you’re in a drag race, that’s for sure. On the turnpike, it runs good at 60 or 65. We had it up to 75 MPH one time, just to see what Miss Carolina could do. It’s like being in a wrestling match when you’re going slowly, but the effort eases up once you’re going faster. We have Firestone radial tires on it, and it’s very comfortable to drive. The manual drum brakes perform well, as long as you have enough leg strength to push the pedal,” says Cindy as she describes her driving experience with Miss Carolina.

On a weekly basis, Miss Carolina wanders around along the roads of South Florida. The couple doesn’t trailer it. And, they ride on it everywhere they go.

1953 Kaiser Carolina engine

This Carolina L-head straight-six, with 118hp is very much capable of keeping up with freeway traffic. It is likely accumulating an estimate of 1,000 miles in a year.

To protect the fuel system, Cindy said that the Carolina has been utilizing an ethanol-free unleaded or ‘sport gas.’ The 30-weight Pennzoil is the engine oil, which is also appropriate for Florida heat.

Once a month, the couple detail the car and uses Meguiar’s products for the paint while Blue Coral Dri-Clean Plus for the interior fabrics.

1953 Kaiser Carolina interior fabrics

Cindy And Greg’s Affection For American Orphans Leads Them To A Mission

Cindy and Greg now already have a 1952 Crosley Super because of their increased affection for American orphans. Furthermore, Cindy says both of them are on a mission to inform the motoring world regarding these long-departed nameplates. She also liked the history of Kaiser-Frazer. That’s why on car shows, they were eager to share the story between Henry Kaiser and the specific model Carolina that they own. Since they were often the only Kaiser owners during shows, they tend to catch more attention.

Cindy delightfully narrates, “When we drive the Carolina, we both feel like rock stars, because people always wave, blow their horn, give us the thumbs-up.”

cindy and greg

Cindy further recalls an experience where they had to stop at a store to buy a bolt for the license plate. She came out carrying bolts, along with an employee. And just after a while, every employee came out to have a glance at the car. Because the employees were missing in action, just imagine some chaos in the store.

Reference and Photo Credits:—1953-Kaiser-Carolina/3748788.html

One Response

  1. Wayne Graefen April 27, 2016

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