loader

Lot 25

2018   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2018

1953 Kaiser Dragon

SOLD $37,400

Estimate

$70,000 - $90,000| Without Reserve

Chassis

001894

Car Highlights

One-Year-Only Model Designed by Carleton B. Spencer
One of Just 1,277 Dragons Built for the 1953 Model Year
Striking Color Combination and Well-Preserved Original Interior
High-Quality 1980s Restoration Conducted by Marque Specialists
An Extremely Rare and Distinctive Piece of Americana

Technical Specs

221 CID L-Head “Supersonic” 6-Cylinder Engine
Single Carter 2-Barrel Carburetor
118 BHP at 3,650 RPM
3-Speed Automatic Transmission
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
Front Independent Suspension with Coil Springs
Rear Live Axle with Leaf-Spring Suspension
Register to Bid

In 1951, Kaiser offered upscale trim packages that it called “Dragon.” The Dragon returned in 1953 as a stand-alone model. Designed by Carleton B. Spencer, the 1953 Kaiser Dragon was a thoroughly modern, well-appointed automobile. Priced higher than the contemporary Series 62 Cadillac, it came standard with nearly every Kaiser option including automatic transmission, tinted glass, electric clock, push-button AM radio, windshield washers, and striking “Bambu” vinyl top. A first for an American production car, it was adorned with 24-carat gold exterior trim and interior appointments, earning it the nickname “Golden Dragon.”

According to the consignor, this Kaiser Dragon remained in the loving care of its first owners until 1997. In 1982, Kaiser specialists were commissioned to restore the car in its correct original colors of Velvet Maroon with a “Bleached Bambu” top. Its distinctive interior trim remains original and still shows remarkably well. The Dragon’s exterior was also enhanced with popular Kaiser accessories, including fog lights, a driver’s-side spotlight, and wire wheels. According to the consignor, the car has been an absolute joy to drive.

In its single year of production, Kaiser built just 1,277 of these richly optioned and visually distinctive Dragons. Today, these cars are an exceptionally rare sight. With its reliable six-cylinder engine and smooth GM Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, this head-turning American classic presents an opportunity for its next owner to drive, show, and enjoy.