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

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