1954 Kaiser Darrin | Concord, CA | Carbuffs
- Red Leather
- 6 cyl
- 62,000 miles
MPGCity: – Hwy: Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.
Full photoshoot soon! Story from the owner:
“The Darrin History
In 2004 my friend, Tom Murray purchased the Darrin from Henry Mead Kaiser. The Darrin had been stored at Val Strough Chevrolet in Oakland, Ca and known to both of us. I tried to buy the car from Tom at that point but his son wanted it. So off to Oregon it went to be stored for another 10 years. At that time Tom turned 90 and his son lost interest. Tom asked me if I was interested in buying it so we made a deal and back to California it came. To re-license it in California and meet current laws, the engine number 3495286A (commonly used in the 1950’s for licensing) was changed to the cars actual VIN# 161-1403 which appears on 3 places on the car. The metal build tag from Willys on the firewall under the hood shows this number as well as 2 places on the frame. #161-1403 indicates it is the 403rd of the 435 built.
After cleaning the car up I found bubbles in the paint in places and had Contra Costa Auto Body sand it completely down and do a beautiful repaint in Wimbledon White code 9A. It is the closet color to what Kaiser called Champagne. Next I had Superior Upholstery match and redo the interior including the dash which required total removal. I had some of the smaller exterior chrome pieces rechromed by Johnson Plating. The convertible top is believed to be original to the car as it is red inside and out. It works in the landau position only as it has shrunk some due to age. I didn’t replace it as it was original to the car and was in good shape for its age.
Original 62k mile engine starts and runs well, no knocks and no oil use. Transmission with overdrive kicks in and out as new. Brakes were done shortly before I bought the car. I completely rewired the car with a rewire set from Bob’s Wires for Kaisers in Florida. Recommended by the Darrin group, they are perfect fit in proper color code and fabric. I removed the instruments dusted and re-gasketed them as they all work well, even the cigarette lighter. As I don’t smoke I didn’t reinstall the ashtray, but it is in a plastic bag in the trunk. Easy install.
This car never overheats, probably because Kaiser used what looks like a truck radiator. Good oil pressure, turn signals, lights, headlamps, clutch, transmission, all work as they should. I had a (6) spring cover built replacing the original (3) spring chattersome auburn clutch the car came with and it works very smoothly.
Putt Georgi makes replacement tops for the Darrin and his info is in the included information packet. Lastly, Henry Mead Kaiser is Edgars son and the grandson of Henry J. Kaiser. If it was not for his financial problems in 2004 he probably would have kept the car for family history. Copies of ownership history included.”