1954 Kaiser-Darrin 161

RM Open Roads February 2021
Friday, 19 February - Sunday, 28 February 2021
Sale Price
$170,000 - $180,000
Est. Range
27 February 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Cosmetic restoration
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
Chassis no. 161001390. Yellow Satin with black hardtop and white soft top over white leather. 161 cid Willys F-head six, McCulloch centrifugal supercharger, single one-barrel carburetor, 3-speed, wire wheel covers, whitewalls, Motorola radio, turn signals, heater, wind wings, dual rear antennas, side curtains. This car has overdrive but the handle has been tape secured to keep it from being engaged.

Evaluation: Paint is chipped around the driver’s door handle. Large touch up at the bottom right of the windshield. Very pretty, shiny paint otherwise. Very good, lightly worn restored interior. Good top and hardtop. Very good chrome. Cosmetically restored relatively recently, leaving the chassis and underbody with old undercoat and dull chassis black paint. The rare period options the car is advertised with, namely the supercharger and the hard top, were not fitted to the car originally but added later. A neat car in striking colors and sound condition for weekend drives and display at local events. The Dutch Darrin-designed hardtop is very attractive.

Bottom Line: Reported sold by RM at Arizona in 2016 for $176,000 where the odometer showed exactly the same 39,197 miles as it does here. The later supercharger detracts from originality while adding to performance, although it’s still not very fast. The hardtop is a distinctive, rare and attractive addition and at nearly $40,000 less than it brought five years ago this is a very good value.

by Rick Carey
6 March 2021
Valuation Tools

See how much your car is worth.

Get current values, historical values, model history and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More on this topic

Hagerty Insider Newsletter

Your weekly dose of auction reports, market analysis, and more.

Thank You!
Your request will be handled as soon as possible
Hagerty Insider Newsletter
Your weekly dose of auction reports, market analysis, and more.
Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.