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Kaiser-Darrin DKF-161

The Kaiser-Darrin was styled by designer Howard ‘Dutch’ Darrin, who worked for the American car manufacturer Kaiser-Frazer.

‘It’s as if the car wants to give you a kiss’ – this was someone’s opinion of the Kaiser-Darrin’s front. The styling is indeed unique, as are the doors, which slide into the front wings. Unfortunately they don’t slide in far enough, so getting in and out of the car is rather difficult. The car’s padded dashboard was an unusual safety feature for the early 1950s, and it was only the second American car (after Nash) to have seatbelts.

Designer Howard ‘Dutch’ Darrin was very excited about the design and production possibilities presented by the new glass-fibre material and decided to build a sports car on the chassis of a Kaiser-Frazer ‘Henry J’. He undertook this in secret and funded the car himself. Darrin then took the design to his boss Henry J. Kaiser; the latter was not very enthusiastic but his wife was. That was the decisive factor. However, the car was only produced for one year as the factory stopped manufacturing passenger cars. A mere 435 Kaiser-Darrins were produced.

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