John Bond, editor and owner of Road & Track Magazine was on the cutting edge.
It was in February 1953 when official word was released from Kaiser-Frazer that the “Darrin Sports Car” would become the “Kaiser Darrin.” And when the issue in this story was published by Road & Track, I’m sure John Bond was mighty pleased.
What was discussed as a “prototype” and “possibility” in the magazine became a reality in the same month and year – and Road & Track was one of the first to give the public a “heads-up” on this brand new sports car.
Let’s see what John Bond had to say about what was going to become the first announced production sports car in America.
Darrin Sports Car
Road & Track Magazine, February 1953
To the old timer, the name Darrin conjures visions of long, sleek, foreign custom cars. To the younger set, the name means the graceful Kaiser sedan, while to the not-so-young, not-so-old, the name means pre-war Packards of a semi-sports concept.
Howard Darrin’s latest effort is the new sports car prototype body, mounted on the stock Henry J chassis. Mr. Darrin saw the possibilities of fiberglass construction very early and his custom convertible built in 1945 utilized that material for body paneling.
By drawing on his earlier experience, Howard Darrin has developed a fiberglass body which eliminates much of the costly tooling generally associated with the introduction of a new body style. The “Darrin Sports Car” is one of several experimental prototypes under consideration by the K-F Corporation.
The final decision on the actual model to be produced (if at all) has not been made.
We’ll have lots of new information to share about the “Darrin Sports Car” – which soon became the “Kaiser Darrin Sports Car” here on Forgotten Fiberglass in the next few months. And you might be asking…”why all the attention from us?”
Well….as I mentioned before, in February 1953, the Kaiser Darrin became…… America’s first announced production sports car. And of course it was made of our favorite material – “fiberglass!” 🙂
Pretty darn good for a small independent automobile manufacturer and their “rock star” designer – Howard “Dutch” Darrin.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
Click on the Images Below to View Larger Pictures
The Kaiser Darrin was one of the first non-traditional cars that I saw in my youth. It was yellow and immediately unmistakable as a specialty car. The owner lived only 1/2 a block away on my street in Cleveland, OH. The only other cars that captured my attention as much as the Darrin was the 1953-57 Corvettes and the unfortunate Chrysler Turbine car. As a side note, I was aware later that Ashtabula Fiberglass was located a short distance from my home and making Avanti bodies. I always wanted a 1963 or 1964 model as I owned both a 1956 Sky Hawk and a 1962 Gran Turismo. Those were the “good old days”!