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1954 Kaiser Darrin
Posted by: Fritz
Date: July 25, 2022 10:04AM
1954 Kaiser Darrin

pretty interesting looking. few to be seen.





!#$@@$#!

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Re: 1954 Kaiser Darrin
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: July 25, 2022 03:15PM
Wait.. Fiberglass body ?
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Re: 1954 Kaiser Darrin
Posted by: Buzz
Date: July 25, 2022 03:53PM
Not a fan of his automotive wares for the most part, but old Henry J. was a part-time neighbor when I was growing up in the East Bay. I walked thru the back end of his palatial estate's property as a short cut to/from school when I was a kid. His property/compound was huge, even for the area, and included an Olympic size swimming pool (the ULTIMATE personal lap pool), a tennis court, all sorts of guest/servants' quarters, massive garage space (w/ full mechanic's garage).

The main house/mansion was a pretty good sized, semi-mid-century modern two story number, that if it had been next/closer to some of the truly palatial, older, 3/4/5 story manses in the neighborhood, would have seemed dwarfed by them, but Henry's multiple building's total square footage (and big ass pool), w/ its acreage kicked their butts. Henry had a lot of business interests in the Bay Area, and elsewhere, and divided his time among his many homes. His local compound was more business and personal "man cave" centric, as he had other "family" digs in the Bay Area.

After his auto escapades, Henry spent a lot of time in Hawaii.... I always thought he needed Hawaii to shake off the design failings of his cars. When he got older (in the 1960's) and couldn't swim laps anymore, he drained the big pool (much to the chagrin of many of us local lads that had been known to go for the occasional uninvited swim on a hot day). Hey, if he couldn't use it, nobody could. After he passed, they started dismantling a lot of the fun stuff on the property, and I left town for L.A., so I didn't get to watch what was going on w/ the compound, like I was able to do while walking to/from school for those many years growing up.

The funky Kaiser car thing was somewhat of a local phenomena, as even with his massive garage space, there was frequently a smattering of Kaiser's to be seen parked in front of his compound and/or on his personal access road that led to the compound's many driveways. The neighbors were always trying to guess which cars were Henry's, or the property's massive staff's, or those of his business guests' that would periodically congregate there. They represented the only place around the area where there was more than the occasional solo Kaiser car spotting. I don't specifically recall seeing a Darrin, but give it a better looking front end, and it would make a nice summer Sunday driver.
==
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Re: 1954 Kaiser Darrin
Posted by: PeterW
Date: July 25, 2022 05:33PM
Quote
cbelt3
Wait.. Fiberglass body ?

Yep and doors that slid into the front fenders. Somehow they never caught on.
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Re: 1954 Kaiser Darrin
Posted by: Fritz
Date: July 25, 2022 07:02PM
the cars I like ain't practical.



if I could find one of these with a decent body, I'd EV it.



!#$@@$#!





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2022 03:41PM by Fritz.
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Re: 1954 Kaiser Darrin
Posted by: Speedy
Date: July 25, 2022 09:25PM
Buzz, great story!



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: 1954 Kaiser Darrin
Posted by: Buzz
Date: July 26, 2022 04:34AM
Quote
Speedy
Buzz, great story!

Thanks. Just trying to preserve some of the childhood memories. A lot of our old local streets started their numbering at 1, and didn't skip a lot of numbers. New blocks weren't automatically started at the next "100" series, they just continued from the previous block, and if they got to the next 100 in the middle of the block, the numbering just continued.

When the old, giant, properties were subdivided, and new houses were built, the city/county/USPS had a hot mess on their hands trying to figure out how, and where to renumber. I had headed south before the major headaches kicked in. When I was kid, there was a small, undeveloped loop/street right at the edge of city limits, that when it was built on in the late 1950's, caused the dozen, or so, houses inside the loop to be deeded over to/annexed by our city. Numbering the loop side wasn't a problem, but numbering the handful of houses on the "main" street became an issue; they went from having a four digit address number in their old city, to starting w/ #1 in ours.

There was a bunch of city property, and a park that had been the edge of town. It now separated the new start of the "main" street by about 3-4 blocks from the old beginning numbering. The old houses started at #5, as the city had used #1 & #3 for its property and park. The city added "20" to all the old houses for the original two and half blocks of the "main" street on the odd numbered side (since the even side wasn't affected). While the even side then continued on unabated, there was an unbuildable hillside for a couple of blocks on the odd side, so after that the numbers no longer needed correction.

That had been "the great street numbering snafu" until people started subdividing their family estates several years later.... they wanted the money from selling some of their property, but nobody wanted to give up their beloved street number. Henry's old access road/driveway was turned into an actual city street as a result of all the subdividing.

Henry also owned a pretty spiffy mansion on another neighboring street that connected to his compound thru the rear of that property, and he used it for "good impression" access to his compound. We had friends that lived in that mansion that they rented from Henry. Of course that mansion property got subdivided in the 1970's and got caught in the later street numbering snafu.

My school short cut paralleled Henry's mansion property, originally two houses up the street from it, then three, when Henry sold a chunk off the back end of my short cut to Stephen Bechtel (of Bechtel Corporation fame), and I intermittently lost my shortcut during Bechtel's home construction. Thankfully, one of Steve's daughters liked me, so the short cut inconvenience was only temporary.

While I grew up in a nice neighborhood, our old odd side of the block still has the same houses, numbered from 1 thru 33 that it always had, as there was no room to subdivide our comparitively smaller lots. There was one, small, vacant lot in the middle our block when I was living there, and its street number had long been accounted for. It was (finally) built on after I left, so no numbering issues. My folks sold the old family home in 1978, after a 30 year run, and becoming empty-nesters a few years after my younger bro finally flew the coop. Then they downsized to a nearby community into a much smaller home (with no room for any kids to move back in; subtle, eh?).
==
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Re: 1954 Kaiser Darrin
Posted by: Speedy
Date: July 26, 2022 11:04AM
1, 1a, 2, 2a, etc.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: 1954 Kaiser Darrin
Posted by: Buzz
Date: July 26, 2022 03:10PM
Quote
Speedy
1, 1a, 2, 2a, etc.

Themz rich peeps wants their own damn street numbers for their own multi-million dollar homes! ..."a's" are for their guest houses, no neighbor houses/mansions would ever accept an "a" or a "1/2" for a street number! Numbergate was simply a product of greed, resulting from the shortsightedness of the city's founders that didn't foresee future subdividing as part of the city's resident's wealth plans..... my old school short cut, cut thru a couple of billionaires' properties, so whatever the wealth plans were, they worked well for some.
cool smiley
==
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