From the sublime to the Gor blime!

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DiDia 150.
DiDia 150.

If you are old enough to sing “Splish, Splash, I was taking a bath …” you are old enough to remember it was sung by pop singer Bobby Darin.

Born in the Bronx 1936 – he survived several bouts of rheumatic fever leaving him with a damaged heart. Later found out his “mother” was actually his grand-mother and his sister was really his true mother.

Darin was a fairly lost soul, who married Sandra Dee in 1960 and divorced her in 1967 saying he “didn’t want to be married anymore.” (There’s commitment for you.)

He had heart valve surgery in 1971 and died 1973 following open heart surgery. Married Andrea Joy Yeager for 5 months June-Oct that year.

Darin met a clothing designer Andrew Di Dia in 1957. The clothing designer penned a car he called the Di Dia 150, and Darin staked a claim to the car if he ever made it big on the music circuit.

For seven years, from 1953 to 1960 the Di Dia 150 was hand-built by four workers, at a cost of $93,647.29 but was sold to Darin in 1961 at a cost of over $150,000 (1.5 million today).

At the time the car was listed as most expensive ‘custom-made’ car in the world by the Guinness Book of Records.

Built in Detroit, Michigan, clothing designer Andrew ‘Andy’ Di Dia designed this “unrestrained and unconventional” automobile. Its metallic red paint was made with 30 coats of ground diamonds for sparkle. Only one example was ever built.

It has a front engine, rear-wheel drive, the body and chassis is hand-formed from 064 aluminum with a 125-inch wheelbase alloy tube frame.

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 automatically when it rained. Each of the four bucket seats have their own thermostatically controlled air conditioning. (Remember this was 1960.)

Darin drove his wife, Sandra Dee, in the car to the 34th Academy Awards in 1961. The car had two fans and a switch that you had to turn on for cooling. Bobby didn’t realize, so it overheated. All the magazines said the car caught fire but it didn’t.

Di Dia toured the car around the country, when Darin wasn’t using it for public appearances. After publicity and film use, Darin donated his “Dream Car” to the St Louis Museum of Transportation in 1970 where it remains.