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Kaiser’s Hawaii Kai Hydroplane & Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Roger Martin shared a trimmed version of this Hawaii Kai image with me via Facebook. I later discovered the image below on Pinterest. Given the pink color scheme, the name of “Hawaii Kai” (an area on O’ahu developed by Henry Kaiser) and the fact that a matching jeep was pulling the hydroplane, convinced me that Henry Kaiser owned this pair.

However, thanks to information supplied by the hydroplane museum (a place Ann and I visited the museum in 2015), I learned it was actually his son Edgar that owned the combo (Henry had his own fleet of hydroplanes). The Hawaii Kai hydroplane was built for Edgar in 1956. The wagon, by all appearances a slightly modified Jeep Field Ambulance, was being sold at that time as well.

Below is the image I found on Pinterest. Based on the text font, this looks like the image and caption could have been published in a jeep news magazine or a brochure, but I don’t remember seeing any color versions of those documents.


For comparison, here’s the Jeep Field Ambulance (images are from brochure form W-992-5). Note how the Hawaii Kai wagon has a sloped rear bottom (slopes down toward the wheels), versus the stock flat bottom as seen below from a 1955 brochure. It also looks like the Jeep Field Ambulance has different sized windows on the driver’s and passenger side of the cargo area.

1955-form-w-992-jeep-field-ambulance2-lores 1955-form-w-992-jeep-field-ambulance1-lores


5 Comments on “Kaiser’s Hawaii Kai Hydroplane & Wagon

  1. anonymous ( vernon )

    these ambulances were built on the willys truck chassis , can carry more victims than a regular willys station wagon ..

  2. Dan B.

    Whoa, that’s awesome. Kaiser also had custom Wagons on Hawaii… ones with overhead panoramic clear roof. I think they were four (or six!) door. Wonder where all his Hawaiian vehicles went.

  3. Mom

    David, do you remember Hawaii Kai racing on Lake Washington? The pink certainly stood out with all the rooster tails spraying behind the hydros. Almost called them “boats”. Not good.

  4. David Eilers Post author

    I don’t remember seeing the Hawaii Kai. I was more focused on my favs: the Oberto, Pay N Pak, and Atlas Van Lines … those are the ones I remember.

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