HomeThe MarketCountdown to Barrett-Jackson: 1954 Kaiser-Darrin

Countdown to Barrett-Jackson: 1954 Kaiser-Darrin


1954 Kaiser-Darrin | Barrett-Jackson photo

Cars from the Ron Pratte Collection

Editor’s note: This is the 19th in a 30-day series featuring cars from the Ron Pratte Collection that will be sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction in January.

This beautifully proportioned two-seater was called the Kaiser-Darrin because it came from wealthy industrialist Henry J. Kaiser’s Kaiser-Frazer Auto Company and was designed by legendary custom coach builder Howard A. “Dutch” Darrin.

The first true American sports car, the Kaiser-Darrin prototype was introduced even before that of the Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Thunderbird.

Always a forward-thinker, Darrin recognized the benefits of fiberglass construction as well as incorporating his patented, sliding “pocket” doors and 3-position convertible top.

Bodies were supplied by Glasspar Boat Company, a pioneer in the use of fiberglass for specialized cars. This is body #208 of only 435 Kaiser-Darrins built during its one year of production and is a total, professional rotisserie restoration of an original car. Every nut, bolt and component was removed and totally rebuilt and restored to like-new condition.

This piece of history features an 80-horsepower, 161-cubic inch L-head six-cylinder Kaiser engine and 3-speed manual overdrive transmission with pocket doors and matching interior and top.

This 1954 Kaiser-Darrin Convertible (Lot #2017) is scheduled cross the auction block in Scottsdale on Tuesday, January 17.


The Ron Pratte Collection will begin being auctioned at the 44th Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction with automobilia from Saturday, January 10 at 9 a.m. (MST) through Tuesday, January 13 at 1 p.m. Prattes vehicles first cross the block at 4 p.m. on Tuesday with lot numbers 2000 through 2109 and continue with lot numbers 2500 through 2530 Saturday, January 17.

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