Thursday, July 28, 2011

1954 Kaiser Darrin - The First USA Made Fiberglass Sports Car

by Mike - 

Kaiser Motors has an interesting history. The company was formed in 1945 as Kaiser-Frazer. They changed the name to Kaiser Motors and merged with Willys Overland in 1953 and changed the name again to Willys Motors Incorporated.

The company name was changed one more time in 1963 to Kaiser Jeep Corporation (the Jeep brand came along with the Willys merger).

They were sold to American Motors in 1969 and in 1987 American Motors was acquired by Chrysler which today continues to make the Jeep. What a complex and confusing history and I haven't even mentioned Renault, Daimler-Benz, Fiat or the US government.

The Kaiser Darrin model was made in 1954 and was the first USA made fiberglass sports car. Yes, it beat the Corvette to market.

The looks are unique as is the pocket sliding door. In 1954, the only year of production, they made 435 Darrins.

There is one for auction by RM Auctions on July 30, 2011 at the St. John's event with a selling estimate of $75,000-$100,000.

Photos by Michael Menetto were taken at this event.

Click on the images for a larger view.

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