1954 Kaiser Darrin

Originally formed as the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation in 1945 upon the departure of Joseph W. Frazer in 1951 the corporation was reorganized in 1953 under the name Kaiser Motors Corporation. The company, founded by Henry J Kaiser, a US industrialist, and Joseph W. Frazer, president of the Graham-Paige Corporation, started making cars inder the names Kaiser and Frazer after WWII. Kaiser-Frazer also built a small car called the Henry J named for Henry Kaiser. A slightly re-designed version of the Henry J was sold by selected Sears Auto Centers during 1952 and 1953 under the brand name Allstate. This car was tagged as a product of Sears Roebuck. While listed for informational purposes in the Sears "wish books" the Allstate could not be purchased by mail order.

In 1948, after too many disputes with Henry Kaiser, Joseph Frazer resigned as president of Kaiser-Frazer; Henry Kaiser's oldest son, Edgar was made president in April of 1949. Frazer remained as a sales consultant and Vice-Chairman of the Kaiser-Frazer Board of Directors until 1953. At the 1953 annual stockholders meeting, Kaiser-Frazer Corporation's name was changed by stockholder vote to Kaiser Motors Corporation. Shortly before the stockholder meeting, Kaiser-Frazer's Kaiser Manufacturing Corporation division worked out a deal to purchase certain assets (and assume certain liabilities) of the Willys-Overland Corporation, makers of Willys cars and Jeep vehicles. Kaiser Manufacturing Corporation changed its name after completing the Willys acquisition to Willys Motors, Incorporated. During late 1953 and 1954, Kaiser Motors operations at Willow Run Michigan were closed down or moved to the Willys facility in Toledo, Ohio. Kaiser car production in the USA ended during 1955.

At the end of 1955, the management team of the Henry J. Kaiser Company used Kaiser Motors Corporation to create a new holding company encompassing the various Kaiser industrial activities. Kaiser Motors' name was changed to Kaiser Industries Corporation, and functioned as a holding company for various Kaiser business holdings including Willys Motors, Incorporated.

The Kaiser Darrin is arguably the most important cand collectible car the company ever produced. Designed by the legendary Dutch Darrin, the car was the first fiberglass production car made beating the Corvette to market by 1 month. They feature unique "pocket doors" that slide into the body versus hinging outward. A little under 500 of these cars were produced, and they are among the most desirable Milestone Cars in the marketplace.

This example is a nice driving older restoration/original car that could use a paint job and other minor cosmetic work, but still presents pretty well. The car has a Chevy 283 V8 Corvette drivetrain installed but does come with a correct 6 cylinder motor and transmission, should the new owner wish to return the car to its original specifications. The car starts right up and runs and drives very well. The interior is in very nice condition and appears original, and is really quite exceptional given this fact. The top is quite nice as well for an original top with only the smallest of flaws, and the original side curtains are present and with the car. The fiberglass is in very good condition. This car would look stunning with just a repaint. Here is an oppportunity to acquire an important and stylish 50's Icon for an affordable price with plenty of upside.

 


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