Car Catcher: The Kaiser Darrin Could Have Been the Corvette

It's hard to imagine the sports car market without the Corvette in it, but that could have been the case if the Kaiser Darrin had won the race to create an American version of a European roadster. While both were fiberglass cars with inline-six power, the Darrin had unique doors that slid into the front fenders and an engine borrowed from Willys, of all places, that produced less than 100 horsepower. Not only was the Darrin underpowered, it was overpriced, so sales were slow. Kaiser’s failing finances and a snowstorm that ruined the final 50 cars put the final kibosh on the model; in the end only 435 were produced before production ended. Values on Darrins remain healthy, with a No. 2 worth around $114,000 according to Hagerty. You can find this Kaiser Darrin on offer at Mecum's Kissimmee show January 2-12. 

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