Kaiser Darrin

1954 Kaiser Darrin

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | February 19-27, 2021

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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.

Packard Super Eight

1940 Packard Custom Super Eight One-Eighty Convertible Sedan by Darrin

Offered by RM Auctions | Plymouth, Michigan | July 26, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The Packard 180, as it is sometimes known, is more correctly called a Custom Eight Super One-Eighty. The model was new for 1940 and was Packard’s top-of-the-line offering. The chassis and engine were the same as the One-Sixty, but the One-Eighty was more luxurious. It was essentially a replacement for the ultra-grand Twelve.

The engine is a 5.8-liter straight-eight making 160 horsepower (which was more than Cadillac’s V-8 in 1940). A number of different bodies were offered, but Howard “Dutch” Darrin’s are perhaps the nicest of all Packards produced immediately prior to WWII. This four-door Convertible Sedan is quite a bit rarer than any of its two-door counterparts. It is estimated that less than 20 Convertible Sedans like the one you see here were built and only nine remain.

This car was sold new in Illinois. The restoration was completed in 1994 and the car was soon acquired by Otis Chandler. It now comes from the Richard & Linda Kughn collection with a pre-sale estimate of $225,000-$300,000. It’s incredibly rare and one of the more gorgeous four-door sedans you will ever see. You can see more here and check our more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $236,500.