1953 Kaiser "Hardtop" Dragon

No Dragons were built for 1952, but the following year the luxury 1953 Kaiser “Hardtop” Dragon appeared, with a unique interior by designer Carleton Spencer, now a separate model. It featured 14-carat gold-plated hood ornament, exterior emblem, fender script, and glovebox nameplate.

Cars of the 1950s Image Gallery

1953 Kaiser
1953 Kaiser Dragon sedan.  See more pictures of 1950s cars.

Thick carpeting was found inside, along with "Bambu" vinyl upholstery, combined with boucle-grained vinyl (if you got the canvas top), or "Laguna" cloth (with the "bambu" vinyl top). Standard equipment included automatic transmission, radio, heater, trunk carpeting, and extra sound insulation, plus power steering late in the production run.

Even though it wasn't a true hardtop, as the name implied, the 1953 “Hardtop” Dragon was the most luxurious Kaiser ever built. And well it should have been -- it listed at $258 more than a Cadillac Series Sixty-Two four-door sedan.

Pluses of the 1953 Kaiser “Hardtop” Dragon:

  • Desirability, appreciation both high
  • Very comfortable long-haul tourer
  • Sharp looks
  • Distinctive luxury furnishings
Minuses of the 1953 Kaiser “Hardtop” Dragon:
  • Gold plating expensive to restore
  • Bambu vinyl difficult to match or replace
  • Laguna cloth extinct
  • Twitchy power steering
  • Still just a six-cylinder sedan underneath

Production of the 1953 Kaiser “Hardtop” Dragon:

Specifications of the 1953 Kaiser “Hardtop” Dragon:
Wheelbase, inches
: 118.5
Length, inches: 211.1
Weight, pounds
: 3,320
Price, new
: $3,924 (U.S.)

Engines for the 1953 Kaiser “Hardtop” Dragon:

Type Size
sv I-6
226.2 cc
118 1953

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