History of the Kaiser Frazer Owners Club 

 

The Kaiser Frazer Owners Club was organized at a meeting on April 19, 1959, in Chicago at the Hotel Palmer House. The “movers” behind this meeting were Tom Rankine of Michigan and George Domer of Pennsylvania. Both eventually advertised for prospective members for such a club (Domer’s ad appeared in Cars and Parts and Rankine’s ad was published in Motor Trend). Domer became Charter Member #1 and Rankine went on the roll as Charter Member #2. Rankine had a long history of service to the club including serving as the first President and editing the Quarterly magazine. He is deceased but Domer is still with the club.

The club published a Bulletin starting in June of 1959. The first issue of the magazine soon followed in the autumn of 1959. The role of the Bulletin was incorporated into the magazine until late 1962 when Tom Wilson undertook the task of publishing a new Bulletin, publication of which has continued on an almost uninterrupted basis until the present time.

Rankine was succeeded as editor of the magazine by Dean Moore (1962-64), Paul Barker (1965), Tom Wilson (1966- 68), Dick Langworth (1968-1970), Rankine again (1970-73), Don Rice (1973-75), Alan Payne (1975-1976), Jack Mueller (1976-79), Harold Wells (1980-81), Jack Edward (1982-84), and Ben Walker (1985-2001). Karen and Mike Barker have been editing a calendar issue of the magazine commencing with the 1985 issue.

Early copies of club publications are scarce since the membership did not warrant large press runs. Any publications from the 1959-1962 era are especially difficult to locate.

There have been periods in which the magazine did not appear either due to absence of editors or lack of funds. The most recent accounting of back issues was published in the Quarterly (Volume 27 Number 3) in 1991. The magazine has been published continuously since 1985.

The present club structure of three Divisions, each divided into Regions, had its beginnings as early as 1960. In recent years the elected and appointed Officers, Divisional Directors, Regional Managers, and publications editors have operated as a Board of Directors for the club. A new Constitution was adopted at the 2001 International convention in Wisconsin.

The club recognized the need for members to gather together for fellowship and education and the first National Convention was held in the organizational year in St. Louis, Missouri. This has been followed each year since with meets held throughout the United States and once in Canada (a complete listing of sites is available). Regional and Divisional meets are held on a regular basis as well. National Officers are elected every two years by the paid members in attendance at the National Conventions.

The Bulletin is distributed monthly and includes a calendar of planned activities such as Regional and Divisional meetings. New members can become active easily by taking advantage of this information. Members may advertise at no charge for parts and cars. The Bulletin is probably the best starting point in the search for a car.

The Quarterly magazine is published in three regular issues and the special year end calendar issue. The first issue of each year includes a report on the National Convention and the current membership directory.

The Handbook is the other major publication of the club.

Current membership of the club stands at about 1900. This includes members in most states, Canada, and many overseas countries including Sweden, Finland, Australia and Argentina.

 

Kaiser Frazer Owners Club, International

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