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Hot Rod Henry J Hypes 60 Hot Rod Suppliers

Hot Rod Henry J Hypes 60 Hot Rod Suppliers


The big news at Kaiser-Frazer Corp. in 1951 was the all-new compact Henry J. with a 100-inch wheelbase and 174-1/2-inch overall length. The Henry J was available with the choice of two Willys engines, a 68-hp four-cylinder or an 80-hp six. It was marketed not as a Kaiser or a Frazer, but as a separate marque (though everyone knew who built it). The standard four-banger was $1,363 and the Deluxe "six shooter" was listed for $1,499. Both were two-door sedans.

The Henry J was advertised as "the most efficient car in America" because it moved a greater payload with less dead weight. There were owner reports that it could travel 30 miles on a gallon of gas. Despite being small, the new car had full-sized doors and a 58-inch wide seat. The '51 model did not have a trunk lid. Kaiser-Frazer did fairly well selling its early compact. Model-year production was 88,959. Eventually, Sears, Roebuck & Co. sold a badge-engineered version of the Henry J, in specific market areas, as the Allstate.

Ted Dzus owns a yellow Henry J with a lot more get-up-and-go than the original. The tiny coupe as a 528-cid Hemi powerplant with a Vortec supercharger. His Hot Rod Henry (known as RollinaJ) was first constructed in 2012. It was a big hit at the 2013 SEMA Show and on the 2014 Hot Rod Power Tour. In the Fall of 2015, the car returned to SEMA. Dzus was giving out a card promoting his car and company on one side and showing 59 product brands on the other side to promote the equipment he used in building the car.

Dzus is the sun of William Dzus who started Dzus Fastener Co. ( during World War II. In the 1930s, William Dzus invented the "quarter turn fastener", a self-locking device used to attach aluminum skins to military aircraft, Ted transformed the West Islip, N.Y. company into a giant firm. Then, he retired in the 1990s and started building hot rods like his Henry J.

Dzus says he wanted to build a Pro Touring car, drop a monster motor in it and drive it all over the country. he said he doesn't know how he picked a Henry J for the project except that he always liked the drag racing versions he saw back in the '60s and '70s. He found the car in Texas and it was in such good shape that he was able to use most of the original chrome as is. As for the color, he says he knew some magazine editors who told him that he had to get a color that "really pops" if he wanted to get the car featured. One day he saw a school bus coming down the street from a long distance away and noted how it stood out.

During the 2014 Power Tour he put 3,500 road miles on the car, which he constructed with help from S7W Race Cars in Spring City, Pa. The Hemi houses a crankshaft and connecting rods sourced from K1 Technologies and Wiseco pistons. The supercharger feeds twin throttle bodies. Other engine goodies include Total Seal rings, Mopar aluminum heads, Comp Cams hydraulic-roller cam, Hogan's Racing Manifolds, Kooks headers, and a F.A.S.T. Dual-Sync distributor and fuel injection system with pumbling by Vibrant Performance. Induction Performance and M&S Performance dialed the car in. A 2,400-stall TCI 4L80E automatic transmission is attached to the motor.

According to Dzus, the basically stock body was simply lifted off the original chassis (he still has it), reworked by Higbie Collision in West Islip and painted PPG Ford School Bus Yellow. Then, it was placed on a platform with an S&W tubular A-arm fron tsuspension, Maval "Understeer" electric power steering, and an S&W cage and 3-link rear AirRide suspension. The Ford 9-inch rear axle came from Randy's. Baer six-piston brakes are used at all four corners. The Weld ET Street wheels (17-in. front/18-in. rear) wear Mickey Thompson tires.

Phoenix Upholstery of Franklin Square, N.Y. trimmed the interior in brown leather and slightly re-worked the dashboard. Auto Meter gauges were used to monitor the car's vital signs. Painless Wiring supplied the wiring kit and the interior hardware came from On Time Auto Parts in West Islip.