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Diecast Forums – Forum 43 – Diecast Zone

Posted By: David Holcombe
Posted On: Wednesday January 30, 2019 at 7:33 AM
This one took just a little research. Here it is: (pics)
Singer Bobby Darin stands beside a hand-made automobile called the "Bobby Darin Dream Car," unveiled on March 31, 1961, in Hollywood, California. Owner Andrew Di Dia, who designed and built the $150,000 car, will take it on a nationwide tour.

Andrew DiDia was a clothing designer by trade, but his artistic vision led him to create the DiDia 150, one of the wildest concept cars of the 20th century. Also known as the “Bobby Darin Dream Car,” the flashy and futuristic automobile reportedly took seven years to build, at a cost of $93,647 for labor alone. On February 24, Andrew DiDia died, aged 96.

Bob Kaiser of Clark Kaiser Customs began work on the DiDia 150 in 1953, and no expense was spared in the car’s creation. Its frame was crafted from tubular aluminum, over which a hand-formed aluminum body was installed. The car’s exaggerated tailfins and bubble cockpit were clearly aircraft-influenced, and to ensure the car produced the right amount of thrust, a Cadillac-sourced 365-cu.in. V-8 was installed between the front fenders (though a 427-cu.in. Ford V-8 was later installed when Ford presented the car on the show circuit). The too-much-is-just-enough theme was carried over to the car’s paint as well, which reportedly consisted of 30 hand-rubbed coats, embedded with diamond dust for additional sparkle.

Inside, the DiDia 150 was equally futuristic. Headlamps were hidden behind the car’s wrap-around grill, while the taillamps were said to pivot as the car turned. Air conditioning was thermostatically controlled, and each of the four bucket seats contained a cigarette lighter, ashtray and concealed speaker. Even the windshield wipers were the stuff of science fiction (in the 1950s, anyway); rain-sensing, they deployed automatically when moisture was detected on the glass.

Andrew DiDia met Bobby Darin during a Detroit concert in 1957. The two soon became friends, and DiDia shared sketches of the car under development. Darin made a few design suggestions of his own, and promised that, if he ever managed to strike it rich, he’d buy DiDia’s dream car. Darin proved to be a man of his word, and in 1961 wrote DiDia a check for $150,000 to purchase the car; at the time, The Guinness Book of World Records considered this the highest price ever paid for a custom-built automobile.

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Message thread:

(PIC) Do you think any mfg. could get this right in 1:43? by Lloyd Mecca #25270
Lloyd, Ask Autocult. They like to do proto types and exclusive models (EOM) by Jacques Roest #25270.1
I visited the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis County, Missouri by Bob Jackman #25270.2
This one took just a little research. Here it is: (pics) by David Holcombe #25270.3
Looks like a Bizarre to me - are they still being made? (EOM) by Karl Schnelle #25270.3.1
I met Andrew DiDia at the Bloomfield Hills Andiamos restaurant by Mark Millar #25270.3.2
WoW! What a chance encounter! (EOM) by Karl Schnelle #25270.3.2.1
Interesting design. Was it always one color or did it get a change? by Don Anderson #25270.4
[PICS] Yes, definitely quite intriguing. by Graeme Ogg #25270.4.1
if this is a custom-made car, I seriously doubt that Autocult will ever do this. by Joop Gisbers #25270.4.1.1
Well, Matrix did the "Vista Bird" ... by Graeme Ogg #25270.
(PICS) The remaining photos...Color & B/W... by Lloyd Mecca #25270.5
Now that I see it closer I am more afraid of it. I think you could by Don Anderson #25270.5.1
p.s. (if anyone is interested) by Graeme Ogg #25270.5.2

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