I’ve been fascinated by the Kaiser-Darrin for the past several years. It looks unlike any other sports car. Its prototype debuted in 1952 and it was available in dealerships two years later
Built from fiberglass, the Kaiser-Darrin is both odd-looking and elegant. It has odd-shaped front grille, sliding doors and its was the second carmaker after Nash to have seat belts.
The 1954 Kaiser-Darrin also had bucket seats, full sports-car instrumentation, a floor shifter and cost $3,668, slightly more than the newly arriving Corvette.
The buying public was at first enamored by the Kaiser-Darrin. It had a standard three-speed manual overdrive transmission and got 30 mpg delivered 30 mpg. Even though the Kaiser-Darrin had a top speed of about 100 mph, it was more stylish upscale cruiser than a sports car. Corvette proved more popular and the Kaiser-Darrin’s popular quickly faded.
The uniqueness of the car is why it’s included among by 24 collections of iconic automobiles on eBay.com. The collection is called Cars With Odd Bells And Whistles.
My eBay Collections were curated as part of my collaboration with eBay.
Article Last Updated: April 22, 2014.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.