Graham-Paige, Joseph Frazer and the Forgotton Frazer Tractor
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A Kaiser-Frazer partnership seemed to serve the interests of both parties, so in August 1945 a new Kaiser-Frazer Corporation and Graham-Paige became equal partners. K-F would make the Kaiser car, while G-P would build the Frazer, and, as a separate operation not connected with K-F, agricultural machinery as well. Kaiser-Frazer, with Henry J. Kaiser as chairman of the board, and Joe Frazer as president and general manager, leased the huge Ford bomber plant that now lay idle in Willow Run, Mich. Both the medium-sized Frazer and the smaller Kaiser were to be built at Willow Run, along with Graham-Paige's tractor, farm equipment and Rototiller lines.
Starting in April 1946, Rototillers were built at Willow Run and sold through Kaiser-Frazer car dealers, along with some lawn, garden and farm equipment dealers. Powered by a Graham-Paige (Simar-Swiss) one-cylinder, two-cycle, air-cooled 5 hp engine, the machine had a 20- or 26-inch cut. The company claimed to have 100,000 orders for the tillers, and the future looked bright.
A March 1946 ad discussed the proposed Frazer tractor, and claimed it would be built to the modern power farming requirements that farmers themselves had demanded; i.e., it must have ample power, and it must save time and labor. The new tractor would meet these requirements, being a universal-type with power to pull a two-bottom plow under the toughest conditions. It would have hydraulic controlled, quick-hitch attachments, and many other long-desired features, as well as be available at a popular price.
A running prototype of the Frazer tractor was built in April 1946, but not much is known about it, except that is had a flat-head, four-cylinder Continental engine. The one known photo of this machine is a poor quality, three-quarter view of the left rear. It looks like a conventional, tri-cycle tractor of the day, with 10'x38' tires on the same Motor Wheel Company wheels used by Cockshutt and several other tractor builders. There are clamshell fenders on which the headlights are mounted, an unusually high seat, a power take off and a rear-mounted hydraulic pump (although there is just a swinging draw bar with no sign of a quick hitch for attachments). The rounded, sheet metal nose has rows of oval holes instead of a screen, while the engine compartment is completely enclosed with full, louvered hood sides. The chassis and sheet metal are painted a light color, and the wheels are dark; the actual colors are unknown. The Frazer name is in dark, slanting letters at the front of the hood side, with two dark stripes extending back along the sides.