Treasure Trove of 1946 Fiberglass Darrin “Life Magazine” Pictures Found!

The Only Picture I Knew Existed Was Very Small And Appeared On One Page Of A Life Magazine Article in December 1947.

Hi Gang…

Appreciation of cars knows no boundaries.  And that has led to a great friendship with Rik Hoving – Custom Car aficionado who lives in the Netherlands.  Rik is one of the best sources out there on history of custom cars in America, and maintains a website with vintage custom car photography and historical reference pieces too.  Click here to visit Rik Hoving’s Custom Car websites.

I received an e-mail today from Rik discussing some custom car issues of mutual interest when he added, “Geoff – you’ve seen all the Life Magazine photos showing Darrin’s fiberglass car in ’46 – haven’t you?

No…”   I replied, “I have seen only one photo.”

And then Rik shared “Do I have a surprise for you…”

And he did.  I knew of just one photo from Life magazine that ran on December 8th, 1947 showing the Darrin car.  The magazine showed just a small picture in that issue, but the picture I had found on the internet was beautiful in detail – but I only found just one photo.

Rik Hoving found 15 more.  He’s simply an amazing researcher 🙂

Let’s take a look at the treasure trove of photos – the best I’ve ever seen of the 1946 Darrin car – one of the first postwar fiberglass cars produced anywhere in the world.  The photos were taken by Allan Grant on January 1st 1947 – nearly a year before the single photo appeared in Life Magazine shown above.

Life Magazine 1946 Darrin Car:
Allan Grant Photos: Taken on January 1st, 1947
One Photo Appeared in December 8th 1947 Life Magazine


The story of Darrin and his postwar fiberglass cars is a great story to review and we’re continuing to write it today.  Be sure to click on the link below to checkout all stories concerning Howard “Dutch” Darrin, his designs, cars, and concepts.  Dutch was the consummate designer.

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…


Update:  10/30/2011:   The Darrin family confirmed that the gentleman in the car in the pictures above is “Bob Darrin” – Dutch Darrin’s oldest son.
Click on the Images Below to View Larger Pictures


Treasure Trove of 1946 Fiberglass Darrin “Life Magazine” Pictures Found! — 6 Comments

  1. That is a 1941 Cadillac behind the Darrin car. This car was destroyed when a flash flood in the canyon where Darrin lived came down his street and did tremendous damage. Theose floods were an annual problem in the West Los Angeles canyons clear up into the 1960’s. It is great that these photos survived.

  2. The wide stainless band at the bottom of this car is similar to the Kurtis Sports Car. Could Frank Kurtis have been influenced by this Darrin when building his first series ? Muntz left it of when he took over the project.

    The Life Magazine Photo website has a million gems like this. All it takes is someone to discover them in their files.

  3. Rik, and Geoff,

    Thank you for sharing these photos. I’ve searched high and low for photos of this car and have never found more than 3-4, small examples. Each has been of the front or a 3/4 shot showing the front and passenger side. A couple have 2 women in the car and the others have noone in the car. These photos are AMAZING.
    I found it very interesting that two of the photos are taken in front of a Kaiser-Frazer office. Darrin approached Kaiser-Frazer, Packard, and several others to build this car, but never found the funding. It should also be pointed out that the car behind it in the same photos has a strikingly similar grill, but the car is neither Kaiser-Frazer or Packard. – I’ll let the gang here dig to figure out what that car is! 😉

  4. What a fantastic find, the photos of Dutch Darrin’s 1946 car. My favorite is no. 4 (from the top of the series) with a plane caught flying high overhead. Staged? Probably not, but the photographer sure must have had a eye for composition and seized the moment.

    As usual Geoff, a superb job of it. My congratulations and also my sincerest thanks.

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