This 1954 Kaiser-Darrin is one of more than 140 vehicles from the Ron Pratte Collection crossing the block at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction in January.

This beautifully proportioned two-seater was called the Kaiser-Darrin because it came from wealthy industrialist Henry J. Kaiser’s fairly large Kaiser-Frazer Auto Company and was designed by legendary custom coach builder, Howard A. “Dutch” Darrin.

The first true American sports car, the Kaiser-Darrin prototype was introduced even before that of the Corvette and Thunderbird. Always a forward-thinker, Darrin recognized the benefits of fiberglass construction as well as incorporating his patented, sliding “pocket” doors and 3-position convertible top.

Bodies were supplied by Glasspar Boat Company, a pioneer in the use of fiberglass for specialized cars. This is body #208 of only 435 Kaiser-Darrins ever built during its one year of production and is a total, professional rotisserie restoration of an untouched and original car. Every nut, bolt and component was removed and totally rebuilt and restored to like-new condition.

This piece of history features an 80hp, 161cid L-head 6 cylinder Kaiser engine and 3-speed manual overdrive transmission with pocket doors and matching interior and top.

This 1954 Kaiser-Darrin Convertible (Lot #2017) will cross the auction block in Scottsdale on Tuesday, Jan. 13.

Ron Pratte’s prestigious collection of automobilia will kick off the 44th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction beginning Saturday, Jan. 10 at 9 a.m. and running through Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. Pratte’s vehicles first cross the block at 4 p.m. on Tuesday with lot numbers 2000 through 2109 and will continue with lot numbers 2500 through 2530 on Saturday, Jan. 17.