Colorful Dragons of 1953

Colorful Dragons of 1953

Five Lacquer Colors Were Chosen – Plus one

While Kaiser automobiles were painted with enamel (as with most automotive manufacturers of the time) this was changed for the Dragon line. Instead, lacquer was chosen which produces a very glossy transparent finish – the colors applied are more shiny and brilliant in luster.

Just five lacquer colors were offered over the course of production and these included in order of announcement and availability below.  A sixth color for Kaiser “Show Dragons” is also discussed.

The following information was summarized using Harold Hagen’s Kaiser Registry as well as Dick Langworth’s book “The Last Onslaught on Detroit.”

Onyx Black

According to Langworth, Onyx is very rare and only found on cars with low serial numbers.  In addition, Art Wrightman who worked for Kaiser said “We dropped black on Dragons because the lacquer showed the waves in the sheet metal.”

Onyx Black (code 096) Announced September, 1952

1953 Onyx Black Dragon: Rendering by Dan Palatnik

Stardust Ivory

Stardust Ivory was a popular color and was available for the entire run of Dragons.

Stardust Ivory (code 097) Announced September, 1952

1953 Stardust Ivory Dragon: Rendering by Dan Palatnik

Jade Tint

Jade Tint was a popular color and was available for the entire run of Dragons.

Jade Tint (code 098) Announced September, 1952

1953 Jade Tint Dragon: Rendering by Dan Palatnik

Frosted Holly Green

Frosted Holly Green (a fancier name for Tropical Green Metallic) is relatively uncommon.

Frosted Holly Green / Tropical Green Metallic (code 099) Announced October 31st, 1952

1953 Frosted Holly Green (Green Metallic) Dragon: Rendering by Dan Palatnik

Maroon Velvet

Maroon Velvet was a special deep-gloss metallic lacquer developed by Carleton Spencer for Dragons only.  No other Kaiser cars used this color.

Maroon Velvet (code 107) Announced March 13th, 1953

1953 Maroon Velvet Dragon: Rendering by Dan Palatnik

Turquoise Blue

A sixth color was found on “Show Dragons” painted with turquoise lacquer.  These were factory built Dragons to be used in Auto Shows and could be special ordered at shows by attendees.  Approximately six or twelve of these were built depending on the source referenced.

1953 Turquoise Blue “Show Dragon”: Rendering by Dan Palatnik

Estimated Production Numbers by Color

Just 1277 Kaiser Dragons were built from late 1952 through May, 1953.  Not all colors were produced in equal numbers.  Here’s a summary provided by G.B. Bonham (November, 2018) concerning the colors found on the remaining approximately 160 Dragons identified in the Kaiser Registry.

Onyx Black (code 096):  3

Stardust Ivory (code 097):  50

Jade Tint (code 098):  47

Frosted Holly Green / Tropical Green Metallic (code 099):  25

Maroon Velvet (code 107):  33

Turquoise Blue (code unknown):  3