1954 Kaiser-Darrin DKF161

The 1954 Kaiser-Darrin DKF-161, Howard "Dutch" Darrin's dramatic sliding-door sports car, utilized a Willys F-head engine under a fiberglass body laid over the Henry J chassis. Features included an unusual "kiss me" grille, sliding doors, three-position "landau" top, full instrumentation, and a floorshift (with overdrive a common option).

More a boulevardier than an outright sports car, the Darrin could nevertheless do 0-60 mph in about 13 seconds and approach the 100-mph mark. But at its steep price, few were sold. Darrin purchased about 100 leftovers and fitted some with Cadillac V-8 engines. The vast majority of Darrins are still around; most have been traced by enthusiasts.

Pluses of the 1954 Kaiser-Darrin DKF-161:
  • Swoopy styling
  • Unique sliding doors
  • Rare and hotly sought-after
  • A guaranteed show-stopper
Minuses of the 1954 Kaiser-Darrin DKF-161:
  • Fiberglass bodywork subject to stress cracks
  • Hardware and windshields extremely scarce
  • Not cheap
  • No performance
Production of the 1954 Kaiser-Darrin DKF-161:

Specifications of the 1954 Kaiser-Darrin DKF-161:
Wheelbase, inches
: 100.0
Length, inches
: 184.1
Weight, pounds
: 2175
Price, new
: $3,668 (U.S.)

Engines for the 1954 Kaiser-Darrin DKF-161:

Type Size
F I-6
161 90 1954

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