1955 Frazer Custom: Walter Omelenchuk Special
Owner: Undiscovered Classics
History of This Car
This one-off custom show car was built by Walter Omelenchuk who started building it in 1954 and finished it in 1955.. Starting with a 1947 Frazer, Walter designed and fabricated custom steel body panels as well as used available automobile production parts in creative ways.
Design inspiration came from two areas: Detroit “Show Cars” being shown across the country and a nautical or “boat” theme which can be seen in the rear styling of the car. It was designed to attract attention from the start and it succeeded in every way.
After many years of use, the Frazer Custom (also nicknamed the “Orca Special” based on its coloring and nautical theme) was retired and thought lost. Found in a barn in the late 1990s by car hunter Mike Barker, the car was returned to running state and preserved for future displays and restoration plans.
10 Year Search For The Car
Daniel Strohl of Hemmings and I started looking for the background of this car in 2007. That’s the date of the photo shared in Hemmings that he posted shown below. We shared the photo and looked for historical information on the car but there was nothing. A brief photo shared with us below and nothing else. We thought the photo was from around the same time we received it. It turned out to be a bit earlier – from around the year 2000.
Nine years later in 2016, Dan Strohl sent me another photo he found shown below. Certainly the car was on the same trailer and perhaps at the same show. The person who provided the photo thought it was from the 1990s. Dan posted this photo for readers thoughts in Hemmings Classic Car in December, 2016 but still no information. For such an intereresting looking car, it certainly had to have a history and an owner – but who was it?
In January, 2017 I bought a restored Kaiser Dragon and joined the Kaiser Frazer Club. By early 2018 I had met fellow Kaiser Frazer club member Mike Barker, and found out he owned the car. When he started telling me about his car, he didn’t have any photos, but I could quickly tell it was the car we had been looking for 10 years standing.
By July, 2018 I was honored to have purchased the Frazer Sport Custom from Mike Barker. Good friends Craig Johnson and Art Flores helped bring the car back to its new home at Undiscovered Classics in Tampa, Florida. Photos below are from the pick up day on July 2nd, 2018.
- Design: Sport Custom designed by Walter Omelenchuk
- Body: Custom panels built from steel. The only original panel used from car was the hood, and Walter modified this by creating an opening at the front
- Drivetrain: 1947 Frazer
- Chassis: 1947 Frazer
- Side Chrome: 1955 Pontiac Star Chief
- Dashboard: Modified 1947 Frazer
Vintage and Modern Photos
Photos Shared Here
Pennzoil Autofair at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Celebration of America’s Independent Automotive Designers
1962 Shark Roadster and 1954 Frazer Custom
Viewing Time: 2 Minutes
WCCB Charlotte: October 17, 2019
Great Fun at our First Charlotte Autofair – October, 2019
Undiscovered Classics: November 6, 2019
Great Sectioning – Part 2
Hemmings Classic Car: November, 2018
Great Sectioning – Part 1
1955 Frazer Sport Custom
Hemmings Classic Car: December, 2016
Kaiser-Frazer Club Calendar
Kaiser-Frazer Club Calendar
Opening Page, 1999
Walter Omelenchuk Special
KKOA Trendsetter: January, 1994
Show Cars From The Sea:
1954 Frazer “Orca Special” and 1937 Gougeon Streamliner “The Whale”
Darienite, Darien, Connecticut News: June 3, 2019