Wordy Wednesday #182 “Henry J at SEMA”


The SEMA show is next week—Nov 3 – Nov 6, 2015 and is one of the best car-oriented trade shows in the USA. In 1963, the Specialty Equipment Market Association was formed by Roy Richter, Willie Garner, Bob Hedman, Robert E. Wyman, John Bartlett, Phil Weiand, Jr., Al Segal, Dean Moon, and Vic Edelbrock, Jr. and now consists of 6,383 companies. The largest of the events is the SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and (sadly) is not open to the public. Registration as media, manufacturer, buyer or exhibitor is required.

This Henry J drag racer was on display at a recent SEMA show that I was able to attend as media. The Henry J was the idea of Henry J. Kaiser, who sought to increase sales of his Kaiser automotive line by adding a car that was affordable for the average American. The goal was to attract “less affluent buyers who could only afford a used car” and the attempt became a pioneering American compact car. Production of six-cylinder models began in July 1950 with four-cylinder production started after Labor Day, 1950. Official public introduction was September 28, 1950. The car was marketed through 1954.

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Author: Joe Farace

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