1954 Kaiser Darrin
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | February 19-27, 2021
This car is what, almost 70 years old? It still looks like a concept car today. It was designed by Howard “Dutch” Darrin and produced by Kaiser, a company generally known for staid sedans produced on a shoestring budget. This car had the potential to raise Kaiser above other companies with pure style. But it wasn’t to be.
The Darrin was based on the compact Henry J frame and was powered by a 2.6-liter Willys inline-six rated at 90 horsepower. Not exactly supercar territory, but it was light. The concept car debuted in 1952, and it was America’s first fiberglass sports car, even though production didn’t start until 1954 – the only model year the car was offered.
Kaiser’s finances were a mess at this point, so it never really stood a chance. Only 435 examples were built, the last 50 of which were sold by Darrin himself with different engines or superchargers (this car was later retrofitted with a supercharger). The cars have doors that slide on tracks into the fender wells. How cool is that!? This one also has a rare hardtop. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $125,000.