1954 Kaiser Darrin model 161

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Vintage Car of the Month
1954 Kaiser Darrin model 161

Posted On October 1, 2023

Owned by Hal, Toronto, ON

This is a 1954 Kaiser Darrin model 161, also know as the Darrin. It was manufactured by Kaiser Motors and first introduced in 1953 at the New York Auto Show. The designer is Howard “Dutch” Darrin, these car were only produced for 1 year and a total of 435 were made. This car is body number 307. The Darrin’s claim to be the first fiberglass body cars ever built.

She is a beautiful roadster, 3 speed manual transmission with overdrive. Under the hood she has a Willy’s Hurricane 161 cu in (2.6 L) F-head 6 cylinder engine with 90hp. She was lovingly restored to her full beauty and potential, the car was house in a museum for a number of years but now in my hands it is out on the road.

Why this car as opposed to any other? Two things, one is the front grill which looks like a French kiss and second the sliding door. This is the only car ever made with a door that slides into the body. Its is such a unique and useful feature.

She is my first vintage car and what a way to enter this world. The car definitely makes an entrance at every car meet and it is wonderful to see so many people get excited at seeing something they have only been able to read about or see on TV.

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