Ride Of The Week 06/13/2022: Wally Melvin's 1951 Kaiser Henry J
THE HEMI J
Regular Car Show Life #rideoftheweek readers know I love the car show oddball. That car that you just don’t see every day. So, among the Opels, Studebakers, Bantams, and AMCs we’ve featured in the past you can add this Kaiser Henry J known as “HEMI J”.
Wally Melvin of Edinboro, PA took this 1951 Henry J and restomodded it. An original car would have come equipped with an 83 horsepower straight-six. Now, the HEMI J is motivated by 5.7 liter Hemi sourced from a 2015 Dodge Pickup and backed by an 8-speed automatic transmission.
To make it all fit, the firewall had to be pushed back into the passenger cabin. Among the other many modifications are a fully boxed frame, Ford 9” rear end with four-link suspension,and Ridetech coilovers on all four corners accompanied by Wilwood 18” discs, Rocket Racing Wheels and BFGoodrich rubber.
Melvin believes the original color was white, but now GM Butternut Yellow adorns the exterior. Inside the seats are original with new upholstery and the rear seat folds down, because that is the only access to the luggage compartment in the rear.
The Hemi J weighs in at 2750lbs, a good 450lbs more than the original car. But with that extra weight comes about 317 more HP from the Hemi which is about 1.4 horsepower per pound, so I guess that’s a good trade-off, right? #noreplacementfordisplacement
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