Bobby Darin’s Dream Car

Between Elvis and the Beatles, there was Bobby Darin. He married America’s sweetheart of the moment, Sandra Dee. They were a dream couple. Bobby also got a real ‘Dream Machine’ when he bought a 1960 DiDia, one of the most unusually designed cars ever. It kind of reminds me of the TV show, ‘The Jetsons.’ If this car could fly, it would be theirs.

The 1960 DiDia 150 is a luxury handmade car, also known as the “Dream Car,” forever associated with its second owner, singer Bobby Darin. The car was designed by Andrew Di Dia. Bobby met him in 1957 while on tour in Detroit.  Darin told Di Dia that he would buy the car if he ever “hit it big”. Well, he did and he bought it.

The DiDia 150 was hand-built by four workers, at a cost of $93,647 and sold to Darin in 1961 at a cost of over $150,000 (1.5 million today). At the time, the car was listed as, ‘the most expensive ‘custom-made’ car in the world,’ by the Guinness Book of Records. The body was hand-formed by Ron Clark and constructed by Bob Kaiser from Clark Kaiser Customs.

Built in Detroit, Michigan, only one was ever finished. Its metallic red paint was made with 30 coats of ground diamonds for sparkle. V8 engine displacement 365/427, rear-wheel drive, and the body and chassis was hand-formed from 064 aluminum with a 125-inch wheelbase alloy tube frame.

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It has a glass cockpit in back, a squared steering wheel and thermostatically controlled air conditioning system.

The design included the first backseat-mounted radio speakers and hidden windshield wipers that started themselves when it rained.  Other features include retractable headlamps, and rear indicators that swivel as the car turns.  Each of the four bucket seats have their own thermostatically controlled air conditioning, individual cigarette lighters and ashtrays, as well as a radio speaker.  For some reason, the original engine, a Cadillac V8, was later replaced by a 427 high-performance engine by Ford, when it was taken on the show circuit.

Bobby Darin with his Dream Car

Darin and his wife, Sandra Dee, took the car to the 34th Academy Awards in 1961. When Darin wasn’t using it for public appearances, Di Dia toured the car around the country. After publicity and film use ended, Darin donated his “Dream Car” to the St Louis Museum of Transportation in 1970 where it remains today; A true ‘Dream Machine.’

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