Howard "Dutch" Darrin had been one of America's foremost automobile designers since the Classic era when he was hired by Henry J. Kaiser and Joseph Frazer to design the Kaiser and Frazer, their revolutionary postwar automobiles. Always at the forefront of automobile concepts, Darrin began to assemble a prototype fiberglass bodied sports car on the compact Henry J chassis in his Santa Monica, California shop. Darrin soon had Kaiser enthused over the concept car. This 1954 Kaiser-Darrin is one of only 435 that were built. It is powered by the 161 cubic inch 90 horsepower F-head Kaiser six with overdrive 3-speed transmission. Low, streamlined and incorporating a feature Darrin had long wanted to employ -- doors that slid into the front fenders instead of being hinged -- it is one of the most rare, distinctive and individually designed vehicles of the Fifties. This example is particularly rare and unusual because it is -- aside from an old repaint in the original color and an engine that obviously has been out, worked on and repainted before being slid back under the hood -- complete and completely original. Its preservation is remarkable. The spare tire is still covered in leatherette that matches the original seats which themselves are aged but free of tears or pulls. It has all its weather equipment, wind wings, turn signals, heater and the correct Kaiser-Darrin wire wheel covers. The previous owner stated the 35,369 miles on the odometer were correct, a statement which is supported by the car's condition. It is a beautifully preserved time capsule of a particularly attractive, sporty design by one of America's greatest automotive designers.
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