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1954 Kaiser Darrin $89,500


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I mentioned in the Rolls thread below that Peter Kumar is a genius because he sells mostly non running project cars.   Cuts way down on the complaints when the car shows up with the engine in pieces in the trunk.    This is another car he has that I'm fascinated by.   I've always loved the styling on the Kaiser Darrin.   I like the gray on this one,  most are Red or White.

 

Having spent a lot of time behind the wheel of a XK140MC I'm worried I would be severely disappointed after I got this running and went for my first drive.

 

https://www.gullwingmotorcars.com/1954-kaiser-darrian-c-4338.htm

 

This 1954 Kaiser-Darrin Roadster is quite a rare and exciting find wearing an older restoration that has held up quite well over the years. Silver with burgundy interior. Just out of a large collection where it's been in storage under loving care. A clean car overall with nice paint and chrome. Very tidy interior with newer side windows and soft-top fabric. The fiberglass is in excellent condition and the frame is very solid. The car was running and driving when parked but is ready for mechanical servicing at this time. Beyond the sweeping profile and heart-shaped grille, the fiberglass-bodied Darrin was most famous for its pocket doors that disappeared into the front fenders on sliding tracks. Just 435 of these stunning cars were built, making them both rare and desirable. They were all sold as 1954 models and came equipped with a three-position Landau top. Although some 60 percent of production survives, it amounts to barely 300 cars. With so few examples left in existence, this great car is sure to command attention. An incredible opportunity to enjoy a rare and iconic American sports car.  

Renowned Dutch Darrin design

One of just 435 produced in its single year of production

Innovative and epic automotive styling

A legend of 1950s motoring

Price: $89,500

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"Having spent a lot of time behind the wheel of a XK140MC, I'm worried I would be severely disappointed after I got this running and went for my first drive."

 

A Henry J chassis with a Willys F-head 161 ci six, sedate performance best describes it.

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47 minutes ago, alsancle said:

Got to admit the back three quarter view is awesome, right Steve?

 

Too bad they didn’t drop the blown big Manhattan motor in it.

AJ:  Darrin got every other line and wonderful surface development prefect on the Kaiser Darrin except that 'kiss-pucker' grille!    A Jaguar XK or Facel-Vega FVS grille would have made the front also prefect.  It hit 95% on that one.

Steve

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1 hour ago, 58L-Y8 said:

AJ:  Darrin got every other line and wonderful surface development prefect on the Kaiser Darrin except that 'kiss-pucker' grille!    A Jaguar XK or Facel-Vega FVS grille would have made the front also prefect.  It hit 95% on that one.

Steve

 

You will note I said "rear 3/4 view".

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Too much hyperbole!

 

"...in storage under loving care....stunning... rare and desirable...sure to command attention.  An incredible opportunity...A legend..."

"The car was running and driving when parked but is ready for mechanical servicing at this time." 

 

My translation, getting past the empty words:

"A stylish car when new, but Kaisers aren't so popular today...

No longer operational.  Needs work which we haven't diagnosed."

 

What did he do to get the car "ready" for mechanical servicing?  Open the hood?

Are some cars not ready to be worked on?

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9 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

Too much hyperbole!

 

"...in storage under loving care....stunning... rare and desirable...sure to command attention.  An incredible opportunity...A legend..."

"The car was running and driving when parked but is ready for mechanical servicing at this time." 

 

My translation, getting past the empty words:

"A stylish car when new, but Kaisers aren't so popular today...

No longer operational.  Needs work which we haven't diagnosed."

 

What did he do to get the car "ready" for mechanical servicing?  Open the hood?

Are some cars not ready to be worked on?

 

I think the Kasier Darrin is fairly popular based on some public auction results.   Not sure everybody is gonna get 100k plus for their car but there has been a few sales above that number.

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image.jpeg.89ebae17b48e2322e1d2aac08c943e56.jpegimage.jpeg.955e7346cbf058fc057458168d277b15.jpegimage.jpeg.8675f839ca842e1c3d1e2de84abc1b4e.jpeg

If you were a starlet who wanted to drive down Beverley Boulevard to Nieman Marcus and get noticed you might want one. But you would not want an ugly gray color with a dark red interior.

 

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On 7/3/2021 at 11:35 AM, 58L-Y8 said:

AJ:  Darrin got every other line and wonderful surface development prefect on the Kaiser Darrin except that 'kiss-pucker' grille!    A Jaguar XK or Facel-Vega FVS grille would have made the front also prefect.  It hit 95% on that one.

Steve

that "kiss-pucker" grille is merely one of Darrin's design signatures as any artist frequently puts in their work.. Dutch incorporates an "image" of a heart in his designs, e.g., windshield of full size Kaisers. rear window of the Henry J, grille and turn signal lights on the Kaiser Darrin.  I'll excuse your naivety.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, kfcarguy said:

that "kiss-pucker" grille is merely one of Darrin's design signatures as any artist frequently puts in their work.. Dutch incorporates an "image" of a heart in his designs, e.g., windshield of full size Kaisers. rear window of the Henry J, grille and turn signal lights on the Kaiser Darrin.  I'll excuse your naivety.

I'm familiar with 'Dutch' Darrin's design history and work both pre-war and postwar.   He had very specific design themes that identify his work.   That 'Darrin Dip' you refer to in the windshield header was to evoke the shape of his pre-war Packard Darrin convertible victoria windshields, which is does.    Overall, the long 'throw' of the front fenders into a similar rear fender form also evokes this pre-war work particularly during his Fernandez et Darrin years.   This '40 Packard 120 Darrin victoria illustrates it perfectly.   His love of the long hood/short deck proportions is also a hallmark of his designs.

'40 Packard 120 Darrin conv vict - a.jpg

Edited by 58L-Y8
Added long hood/short deck proportions comment (see edit history)
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On 7/4/2021 at 7:05 AM, B Jake Moran said:

I never liked or understood the grille.  Some Darrins have legitimately hit 6 figures in the past few years.  

grille=Darrin's artistic image of a heart--common in his designs

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5 minutes ago, kfcarguy said:

grille=Darrin's artistic image of a heart--common in his designs

 

So are you the one guy out there that likes the grill?    Not a problem, to each his own,  but most people would admit it takes away from an otherwise nice effort.


Btw,  I can't think of another screw up in Dutch's long career.   That smooch is the only one that comes to mind.

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9 hours ago, nick8086 said:

They are cool cars.. Not cheap to own...

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I do not understand your  "not cheap to own"..in the past 13 years and 15, 000 miles, a few oil changes do not cost that much!!...I drive mine all the time, including on THE TAIL OF THE DRAGON

2012 Tail of Dragon.png

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35 minutes ago, kfcarguy said:

I do not understand your  "not cheap to own"..in the past 13 years and 15, 000 miles, a few oil changes do not cost that much!!...I drive mine all the time, including on THE TAIL OF THE DRAGON

2012 Tail of Dragon.png

 

Nice!    I don't like the grill but the rest of the car does make up for it.   

 

Overdrive?   Does it do HW speeds ok?

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I own a Darrin and while it won't win many drag races, it's perfectly capable of keeping up with most highway traffic. But, with a car like this, it's not meant to be driven at that speed...rather, it's more of a boulevard cruiser meant to make a statement when you pull up to your destination. There's a weekly cruise in near me that holds a Corvette night. I attend with my Darrin, waiting until the place is about half full to arrive and when I do, I am absolutely making a statement.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, kfcarguy said:

I do not understand your  "not cheap to own"..in the past 13 years and 15, 000 miles, a few oil changes do not cost that much!!...I drive mine all the time, including on THE TAIL OF THE DRAGON

2012 Tail of Dragon.png

Car  insurance?? Cost of parts... I have more than one??

Edited by nick8086 (see edit history)
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14 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

Nick,  is the Kaiser Darrin, any more expensive to own and maintain then other 1950s cars?  

I got some bolts they were 85.00 each.. I think a picked up 10 of them last year..

 

The small stuff is very high..

 

It cost more to get the parts..  If you can find them..

 

 

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8 hours ago, nick8086 said:

I got some bolts they were 85.00 each.. I think a picked up 10 of them last year..

 

The small stuff is very high..

 

It cost more to get the parts..  If you can find them..

 

 

 

I agree if you are restoring one (or any car, really) costs are insane.   But if you have a running/driving car,  is a KD any worse than any other car to maintain?  I wouldn't think so.

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9 hours ago, nick8086 said:

I got some bolts they were 85.00 each.. I think a picked up 10 of them last year..

 

The small stuff is very high..

 

It cost more to get the parts..  If you can find them..

 

 

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some Darrin parts can be very expensive, especially if you buy them from some guy on eBay, namesake "jake", ironically same root name as your email address..what a strange coincidence!!!

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I don’t want to be insensitive either, but Nick, could you please show us a picture of an $85 dollar bolt, and explain what’s valuable about same?  Thanks

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, trimacar said:

I don’t want to be insensitive either, but Nick, could you please show us a picture of an $85 dollar bolt, and explain what’s valuable about same?  Thanks

Here are the bolts..

 

They are done ready to install.. 

 

I broke two of them.. So I picked them up..

 

It was cheaper to buy them.. If I had them made I would have to make 40 of them.. 

 

It was just under 2600.00

 

 

bolt2.jpg

bolt 1.jpg

Edited by nick8086 (see edit history)
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On 7/5/2021 at 8:09 AM, kfcarguy said:

I do not understand your  "not cheap to own"..in the past 13 years and 15, 000 miles, a few oil changes do not cost that much!!...I drive mine all the time, including on THE TAIL OF THE DRAGON

2012 Tail of Dragon.png

Is this the dragon?

seny.jpg

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