Eric Gordon's

 
 

My oldest brother pumped gas for the only "Esso" service station in the "Jersey Meadows."
The gigantic  Pulaski Skyway bridges The Cliffs (overlooking the Hudson and New York City)
to the east, then over the Passaic and  Hackensack rivers with swampy meadows, on to the
flatlands towards Newark airport in the west. Some like to point  out the  Skyway's
brief role in the original science fiction  film of: "War of the Worlds."
Besides gasoline, the  station also sold  automobiles. "Fixer-uppers," explained my brother:
"...when someone trades a car up, wants to sell it... or for transportation...  right now they got a
Packard, two Chevys, a Dodge and a Kaiser. So, you just got your license? Right?
Why not buy one of their cars?"
I carefully examined all the cars at the "Esso." I do not remember now if it was Bob or Smitty at
the station who tried to do 'a real fatherly talk.'  Something like this: "Look, you're his younger
brother, right? So you're smart! Listen to me son, get a Chevy! I'll give you a good deal, you
know. I give you honest advice, stay away from the off-brands. They're all gone bust. You'll be
wasting your time. Stay away from the Packards and Kaisers; hard to get parts, you know."
I was convinced that I would take this advice as the "ultimate truth" and really follow
the logic of their "tete-a-tete."
However, it  was the 5" stainless steel trim strip that ran the length of the car from the front fender,
along the doors, then as a removeable "skirt" over the rear wheels, then along the rear fender,
and finally to meet up with the bumper; that overruled 'fatherly'  truth  and  logic!
And more chrome (actually stainless steel) was generously sculptured around the bottom of the windows;
'what a beautiful car' I thought.
The "heart-shaped" dip on both front and rear large windows; the spear-space-rocket on the hood,
maybe I can hook up a light to the lucite tip, the way the Indian Chief is lit on Pontiacs?
This car is really different, neat. And all that chrome on the dash; a pure white steering wheel, incredible.
The cool way the spare fits under the trunk floor. Those front and rear "vents."
And that was, to use a line from  Rudyard Kipling: "
...what and why and when and how and where and from whom
" I bought my very own:  "My First Car."
There, at that station, below the Skyway: a 1951 Kaiser Deluxe 4 door Sedan,
gray interior, for only $145, a real bargain.
It was black and needed a real good compounding and waxing.
Yes, I could bring it back, make it new again.... yes, I could!
Today, many decades later, I think  that my brother being a 'gas-jockey' there had a lot to do with
the very reasonable price. I also remember my first drive in "My First Car" that evening: I took all
the side streets very, very slowly, cautiously, carefully all the way home.
Three weeks later, my Kaiser Deluxe now all shined up, I even drove the busy Skyway to the
Jersey Shore or Lake Hopatcong, even West Point and Pennsylvania.

For me, back then,  taking pictures was very rare;  in black & white, and usually family"stuff"...

                                                                  These following photos of  "MY FIRST CAR"  survived:



 


 
 
 



 
 

After a nearly 20 year search, Eric's car was found by a Kaiser-Frazer
Club member.  On January 14th 2006 the present owner allowed Eric 
and this K-F Club member to view  Eric's car and take some snapshots.

Surprisingly, it is only 99.9 miles from the New Jersey driveway where 
Eric had built/rebuilt this convertible in the early 60's. 
It is now stored in a barn and needs lots of TLC. There are no major damages,

as these pictures show..........
I do believe the KFOCI slogan should be:

THE IMPOSSIBLE WE  DO AT ONCE
MIRACLES TAKE A  LITTLE LONGER

THE   IMPOSSIBLE:
My '54 Kaiser Convertible I built in the 60's was found only 99.9 mi from where 
I modified a 2 door coupe into a convertible. I had to sell it 25 years ago for family reasons.

THE MIRACLE:
Convertible was found in Jan 06 and bought and transported to my home on  29 April 2006 :

The MIRACLE WORKERS:

Charlene  Dayton who took down all the info at a KF meet at Kent Falls, CT in 1991 (yes >1991)  and said: "Our club has ways of finding ..."
and  gave me a good luck wooden nickel  from  Vermont.
Chuck & Betty Hucker: encouraged me to join KF in 2005.
Jane and Don Gordon: invited me to KF meet Spring 2003. 
Larry Barker:     "We will find it, no problem."
Mike and Karen Barker: Aug. Kaiser Frazer  '06 Calendar.
Dave Hollen:   very wise encouragements per "e-mail".
Rudy Phillips: 1st sighting in San Diego, phoned.
Norm Canfield: letter writing campaign.
William Brown: insert in his internet www.kaiserbill.com 
Vern Ludwick: 2nd sighting, Santa Barbara,  phoned.
Dale Johnson: a previous owner phoned &  gave leads.
Dieter Ballogh: 3rd sighting Los Angeles, phoned.
Gary Micanek: phoned with info & encouragement.
Mike Lovy: donated KF literature since 1966.
Barbara Mueller: KFOCI  editor inserted a photo of 
car in Jan '06 Bulletin that convinced Gene Webb to
call about whereabouts of car  & helped with towing. 
And Canadian John MacDonald owner of:
http://oldcarandtruckpictures.com/Kaiser/

THANK YOU  and others not KF club who helped,
 and extra special THANK YOU to  Glenn Love !

Eric Gordon     KFOCI   # 9378



 
 
 
 

THE MIRACLE OF GETTING
  A CHANCE TO REBUILD MY CAR AGAIN, 20 YEARS LATER
Click here to watch the progress being made in restoring this one of a kind car
Click here to watch the progress being made in restoring this one of a kind car

c  copyright  2005 by Aigle Books
POST SCRIPT:
ERIC GORDON, Writer, Editor, Publisher of Aigle Books, Place ST. Georges, Paris, France  GIVES HEREBY
PERMISSION: for John MacDonald- "Eastlink Mail" <johnm@eastlink.ca
to use my writtings, computer sendings and pictures for the above named internet pages.
(Saturday 26 March 2005.)


"...my Kaiser Deluxe now all shined up,
I even drove the busy Skyway to the Jersey
Shore or Lake Hopatcong, even 
West Point and Pennsylvania..."
   
"...I also remember my first drive in 
'My First Car'
that evening: I took all the side streets very, very slowly-cautiously-carefully 
all the way home..."
   
"...At that time my family lived in an
apartment and our cars were parked
on city streets..."
   
"For me...taking pictures was very rare in black and white.." I still remember today trying to get a full shot of my Kaiser..
and that pole and tree got in the way...
   
and friend Billy...picture:
"...and friend Billy wants to be in the 
Kaiser pictures too...or else..he'll throw a 
snowball at me and my camera...
And then came "Conny the Colly" she wanted to be in the photo with a front picture of my Kaiser.  "I usually only 
took black and white photos, and usually family "stuff"... 
   
 I just shoveled a nice spot for my shined up
4 Door Kaiser Deluxe in front of our apartment house, 
and here comes the snow plow and plows me in again, 
this is the third time this morning....
   
 The 51 Kaiser would also take my 
brothers and friends and me to our 'summer place' 
in the deep of winter... 
we would go skiing among the cabins...
 
 
The Kaiser's heater worked well on long trips into the 
country like to Lake Hopatcong 
or Bonnie Brae and go skiing among the 
summer cabins/homes.
 
 
...it was the 5" stainless steel trim strip.... 
that overruled 'fatherly' truth and logic!
 
 
  ...more chrome, actually polished stainless steel, is
generously sculptured around the bottom of the windows...
 
 
...the spear-space-rocket on the hood, 
maybe I can hook upa light to the lucite tip,
the way the Indian Chief is lit on Pontiacs?
 
How do I keep my '51 Kaiser 
shiny in the winter? 
Luke warm water and a sponge kept
'My First Car' sparkling...even though 
some ice starts to form...
   
Kaiser handles very well in snow,very 
large windows give excellent visibility.
   
 ...from the third floor  my '51 Kaiser
looks like a brand new car....
 
 
 ...my mother took the only color
photos, although somewhat blurred...
 
 
 ... eventually spring arrived and I would 
go on longer trips again, away from 
the cars parked in city streets...
 
 
  "This car is really different, neat.
And all that chrome on the dash;
a pure white steering wheel, incredible."
 
 
 This was the last photo taken when the '51 Kaiser 
was still running.
However the engine....
 
 
  ... had total catastrophic  failure.
And yet still managed to drive onto our drive. 
To get a new engine was too expensive.
 
 
  I had just bought a 1954 Kaiser Manhattan 2 door 
Coupe, and was in the finishing stages of converting it
into a Kaiser Convertible. 
(www.oldcarandtruckpictures.com
Eric Gordon'sKaiser Convertible) And then volunteer 
for four years in the US Air Force, out West.
 
 
On my first military furlough, now sporting a 
regulation crew cut, 
I pushed the '51 Kaiser Deluxe way in the back of the 
drive (barely visible here), the '54 Kaiser Convertible 
came with me to Nevada where I was stationed. (It took 
me only 2 days and 22 hours to drive back to Nellis A.F.B.)
 
 
...it is now the late 60's and  'My First Car' my 
'51 Kaiser performed one more important duty, it 
shielded my mother's "summer place" from a 
crashing tree. 
The car however,was a total wreck. 
It was decided to get the "Sky hook!" but not before 
we did a quick twilight salvage.
(Kaiser Convertible in background).
 
 
  "Sky Hook?"  Air Force  fictitious term used to 
send "Rookie Airmen" from shop to shop, until "they
catch on": there is no such thing.
However, this "Sky Hook" pulls 'My First Car' 
ignominiously out of my driveway; 
where it sat for over 5 years. This time....
 
 
 ..........however "Mine Hill Salvage Yard" wanted 
me to pay  $150.- to have it removed.
Which I did. "I do wish I had just that 
pure white steering wheel, today...."
 
 
Two decades passed.  New Jersey had changed.
People think nothing of driving 50 miles to work in
NYC. I had certainly changed.
However there was still a slight touch of
"naiveté" left in me...
While driving in Kent Falls, Connecticut, I had "
..an encounter of the <Kaiser> kind," and met the 
'Yankee Region' of the " Kaiser Club" displaying 
about 15 Kaiser  cars.
I honestly did not know such clubs exist.
They are very helpful in finding parts, 
etc. and are fun.
 
 
 
 And the end result of this is:
 
 Click on the picture to see the complete
rebuild of this beautiful car
 

 
THE MIRACLE OF GETTING
  A CHANCE TO REBUILD MY CAR AGAIN, 20 YEARS LATER
Click here to watch the progress being made in restoring this one of a kind car
Click here to watch the progress being made in restoring this one of a kind car
 

 
 
       Links
Historic Aircraft Pictures
The 1952 cars of The World
The Netherlands and most of Europe has a large following of North American Cars
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The Model A Ford

The Cars Dreams are made of
Those Old Classic Convertibles
Cadillac, Duesenberg, Cords and many more
All you Kaiser lovers would like to have one of these. Watch it being made.
Eric Gordon's 1954 Kaiser
Convertible Convertion
Eric Gordon's Kaiser Rebuild
There are many pictures showing 
the details of this Rebuild
"Coming Home"
The story of Eric Gordon finding and bringing his Kaiser Convertible Back Home

John's  Old Car and Truck Pictures
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Have a look and see how a 
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If you can't find it anywhere else, try here
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If any one is interested in Microsoft's Flight Simulator I have written some scenery files for Summerville. Maitland, Windsor and Hantsport. Summerville now has an Airport
 
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