Saturday, May 26, 2012


1954 Kaiser-Darrin
Made in Toledo, Ohio. Only 435 of these dream machines were ever built and most are still
around today. A futuristic fiberglass body, 90 hp, 161 cube three speed on the floor transmission.
Top speed of over 100 mph with a 25 mpg fuel consumption. More like a T Bird than a Corvette.
This is a boulevard cruiser, not a true sports car. Another great reason that illustrates why 1954
might have very well been the apex of American car design. It's all been downhill from there.


Ol'Buzzard said...

I had an uncle who sold Kaisers in the early 1950 - Kaiser also had a smaller car called the Henry-J.

I had a 1962 Pontiac wagon (390 cubic inch)that got 29 miles to the gallon - pre-pollution devices.
the Ol'Buzzard

microdot said...

Have you ever seen a 54 Kaiser Manhattan? One of the most impressive autos I have ever seen....I'm not kidding about 54 being the high water mark of original American car design. The Packard Carribean and the original Raymond Loewy designed Packard coupes....before they started with the ugly paint jobs and pasting chrome all over it, it was just about the purest perfect production car dever designed.
I did own a 54 Austin Healey, I spent a yer restoring it and then sunk it in a flood during a storm in Oregon Ohio....It had to be totally rewired...a real heartbreaker.

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello Micro,
In the 50's my Grandfather use to have a Kaiser sedan. It was a good car.

It did not look as fancy as the one shown. 54 Austin Healeys are very nice too.

microdot said...

The Kaiser-Darrim is a bona fide dream machine. I have more fantasy cars from the year 54....check out the Ford Crown Victoria...what the American designers achieved that year was an uncluttered purity of form. The Ford is remarkable for the sheer amount of window area. That is one of the most remarkable things about the Kaiser Manhattan. A beautiful luxurious svelte sexy shape. It looks like the most comfortable American production car ever made.
Also, remarkable milestone, The 54 Chevy Nomad Station wagon...true rugged utilitarian function meets impeccable design. Those V6 engines are still being used. I once owned a 67 Jeepster...sort of sports had the same V6 used in the Buicks and Chevys of the early 50's.