“Kaiser Flyer # 7”
The Unique Kaiser - Frazer
“Traveler” & “Vagabond”
Kaiser’s “Convertible” Station Wagon - The First “Hatch-Back” Car Another Kaiser “First”
In 1949 the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation devised the first real “Hatch-Back” sedan. The standard model was named the “Traveler” and the deluxe model was called the “Vagabond”. The rear deck area was divided into two pieces. The upper part included the rear window and folded upward. The lower part folded down somewhat like the tailgate of a pickup truck. The rear seat bottom folded forward and the seat back folded down to create a large flat cargo area from the tailgate to the back of the front seat. The K-F engineers had created a “convertible” Station Wagon. A normal-looking sedan could be “converted” into a Station Wagon in just seconds.
This idea was very unique and revolutionary for the 1940's. The concept was very sound and was later widely copied by most auto manufacturers and is common today on many “hatch-back’s”. Henry J. Kaiser’s personal desire for a Kaiser “Fishing Car” had resulted in another Kaiser “First”. He told his son, Edgar, that “he was tired of driving station wagons that drove and rode like a truck”. He wanted a luxurious car that could be “converted” in less than a minute into a “utility” car - - Mr. Kaiser’s name for a “Hatch-Back”. The actual time required to convert the new Kaiser Traveler into a utility cargo hauler was just 10 seconds.