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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

When the Batmobile's designer customizes a Corvette, this happens

Nostalgia is a funny thing. It can inspire meticulous restorations of historically or sentimentally important vehicles. It can also result in the, ah, rather polarizing Corvette before you. This is no amateur effort, by the way.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/auctions/when-the-batmobiles-designer-customizes-a-corvette-this-happe...
157 REPLIES 157
ed
Advanced Driver

In a word...hideous.
FFlip
Pit Crew

I think most of Barris’s work looks like Crap. There were a few that where cool. But this!!! Looks like a pile of Dog *%#+. And his work was junk also.
BWeston
Intermediate Driver

Egad!!
Geldgrube
New Driver

Dr. Frankenstein would be proud
Bertone780
Detailer

If this was my car I would apply for the personalized plate LIBERACE
TonyT
Technician

You'd have to wear your pink slippers and a feather boa when you drove it...
stevedale
Pit Crew

Yikes..... ugly doesn't begin to describe..... I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
JBaguley
Intermediate Driver

Holy hideous-terous, Batman !
ConfuciusRacing
Detailer

Wow, I am so surprised by all the negative posts.

I think most of the people here fail to appreciate the era of the customizer...it was the time of 'any thing is possible' in automotive realms, and George was a free thinker. Bravo.

Having bought a 1975 308Gt4 Dino, (Not Ferrari, the wicked red headed step child of the Ferrari community), when what I paid for it wouldn't buy you a new Chevrolet small compact car...I think design is very subjective and no one 'wanted the Gt4'. Now...?

I can't say that I would spend my money on this particular design; however, bell bottoms were cool and will be again...and this car is being looked on by most of the small minded as un-cool. Good thing I didn't listen to any one on here when I bought my Dino, nor will I expect the buyer at auction to either.
DT
Advanced Driver

That is the only intelligent comment I have seen so far. Barris was one of the KINGS of Cutomizers in his time. Things and taste change but talent doesn't. Anybody that doesn't think Barris had talent isn't worth listening to. I would like to see just one of the critics do anything even 1/10 as good as Barris.
ed
Advanced Driver

Funny thing about opinions, everybody has one, and none are required to conform with another.
DanC
Intermediate Driver

I spotted and recognized the Grenade headlights in a nanosecond. Ya lost me there.....
thesaw
Pit Crew

it's a work of art. priceless!
tadg47
Intermediate Driver

If "neoclassic" means ugly...then this car is it. Looks like George used every left over part in the garage.
DrDog
Pit Crew

No. A perfectly good Corvette gave it’s life for this monstrosity. Torch it!
JimRatti
Pit Crew

My God...

The only thing good about that hideous abomination is the craftsmanship.
I guess beauty is in the eye of the beerholder.
Stixx
Detailer

*Good design and classic styling demands less more often than more. This example "in my view" is not design it is more like folk art , meaning you don't have to like , you sure can't ignore , it but also you don't need to support it . Art is subjective always design not so much for time proves the case for classic design. There is not enough time in the world for this effort to become classic anything other than an 8 year old sketch on his old shirt cardboards using a ball point pen in at least two colors. Don't ask. Oh and BTW did no one tell Barris to try and avoid mixing square shapes with flowing ones. jusayin
Redvette2
Intermediate Driver

Certainly a well crafted and interesting work of art. However not something I would want in my garage for very long. Belongs in a museum.
cobrafia
Intermediate Driver

What do you have against museums?
Hal
Intermediate Driver

I’m afraid I’d rather drive a horse and buggy. Such an injustice to the Corvette.
stanger351
New Driver

"by George Barris" ... via JC Whitney
Tommy78
Pit Crew

I love the classic lines of a stock C3. This just makes me sad.
elmer1harkness
New Driver

NOT! There is nothing attractive about this mess!
50s60s70s
Intermediate Driver

The only saving grace going for this "creation" is the Barris name. He was one of the original art car folks of the 50s and 60s. This bit of history has its place and worth saving.
These were vanity projects, like the restomod butchery craze today, and not really intended for anyone but their owners egos and shows.
Bogartsboss
Pit Crew

Burn it! Then wash your eyes with bleach!!!
buellerdan
Instructor

What's really sad, this example is number 2 of 7 according to Mecum.
That means there are six others just like it lurking out there somewhere.
Seven Corvettes gave their lives in this endeavor.
JBBearcat
Detailer

Though based on a '69 Corvette, I'll bet the Barris treatment was done much later.
Barris did several of these cars in the '80s, he called them "Barristers".

I own a Barris custon, and I'm amazed at some of the workmanship and attention to detail.
To the non-fans out there, he built them to sell...if people bought them, there was a market.
And remember, it's not like the C3 Corvette was rare or irreplaceable, if a few got modified, no harm done.for
At any rate, it's still better than the "Corvette Summer" car.
RickB
Intermediate Driver

I suppose beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, however this car is butt-ugly. Cross-eyed headlights do nothing for the front, and clearly cheap wood for the shifter (looks like a t-handle cork screw) along with all the other modifications resulted in a lot of body work with little to like. I wouldn't be seen driving this reject; perhaps it would win a trophy at the annual Ugly Car Show. Customizing allows the builder to modify the stock look into a thing of beauty. Sadly, this went the opposite direction.
Tim
Technician

I can say that this is probably the worst Corvette I have ever seen. If it didn't have Barris' name on it, it wouldn't even be in Mecum's conversation. Frankly, this does more to tarnish his reputation.
JimE
Pit Crew

There are times when the original should be left alone. This is one of those instances.
Bodycount63
New Driver

I know I’m definitely in the minority on this one but, I absolutely love it.
Ps
New Driver

perfect **bleep** car!!
Dillon36
Pit Crew

No… ruined a perfectly good Corvette…. I think it’s hideous
drhino
Technician

Grace;
Kudos for the well written article. But great respect for the non-judgmental way it is put together. Your restraint is admirable. I would not have been as successful.
It really does have to be viewed in the context of the times. I’m old enough to vividly remember it’s debut; and there were plenty of folks at the time that liked this sort of thing (they wore pastel leisure suits with white shoes and belts and long gold chains around their neck). However, there was a large contingent (including me) that thought them an abomination.
Kerf
New Driver

There's a lot going on there.
cobra305
New Driver

Should have stopped at the Batmobile.. This is Butt ugly
340Blueprint
Pit Crew

Embarrassing.
JCWhitney DIY "customizing contest" loser.
miata93
Advanced Driver

Maybe I need new reading glasses, but when I saw the emblem behind the fake exhaust that says "Barrister" I thought it said "Pornstar".
merlebalke
Advanced Driver

When I was a teenager I thought that George Barris was truly the King of the Kustomizers. I also thought that wild changes for change sake was cool, so teenage dumbass me probably would have loved this. Now slightly more mature me thinks it's garbage. The only two Barris builds I actually like are the Hirohata Mercury and the Ala-Kart. I think the Mercury was a steal at only 2 million.
46HudsonPU
Intermediate Driver

Looking at this car, a well known phrase / quote comes to mind - "Just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD..".
And, to 'top it off' - He made a series of these!  Take a look - Google 'Barrister Corvette'..

MATTMERICA
Technician

Just because you can doesn't mean that you should....
FigueroB
Pit Crew

I’m sure it looks better in person, stepping back to get a good look. About a mile and a half seems about right.
IROC-MIKE
New Driver

I believe this was the "Antarctic Blue Super Sports Wagon with CB and optional Rally Fun Pack" Clark Griswold ordered but took the Family Truckster instead.  You can clearly see the Corporate Branding design styling cues...

Road Queen Family TrucksterRoad Queen Family Truckster

MGVman
Pit Crew

Hmmm... I think George missed the opportunity to put a few more scoops, spooks, spoilers, wings, vents, portholes, chrome trim, mud-flaps, wider wheel-arches, side-mounted spares with a 3rd "continental-kit" on the back along with curb-feelers, spinners, twin swooped whip-aerials with fox-tales and landau-irons on an open-fronted fastback roof covered in green vinyl. Yeah...that's what's missing. Oh, and maybe it could be a few feet longer.
jcharles
New Driver

The only thing this monstrosity has in common with a Vette is 2 seats !
MrKnowItAll
Advanced Driver

Not my taste but not bad. I met George Barris several times; he was a constant promoter and approachable. Most people don't know that his main business was a production body shop in North Hollywood; now closed but still there- for now. Several of his cars are still in the showroom.
There's plenty of stock Corvettes out there- and this was done back in the day. Author probably doesn't know what a '61 Plymouth is (which sure look like the taillights source) but knew the headlights were "stolen" off a Granada.
All those show custom cars used parts off other cars- or mundane things like drawer pulls to make custom grilles. Go look at Car Craft from the late '50's on at the wild creations done- some great, some weird, some bizarre, some iconically timeless. It's from another era. This is a time capsule example.
Uncle_Doug
Pit Crew

I'm sorry, but I've never been a fan of George Barris's "creations", and this monstrosity explains why. He has taken an exceptionally well-designed car and ruined every square inch of its exterior.....and interior. The "Excaliber" side pipes, the grotesque body "styling", the wood console and shift knob, etc. are truly hideous. He has violated the basic premise of car customization: "Improve where you can and leave the rest alone". Instead, his ego took over and, like a kid spraying graffiti on the Mona Lisa, his lack of restraint and artistic merit have thoroughly devalued an icon.
JGeske
Instructor

Ok, I don't like the grill, but I gotta say I like the side and rear profiles. Take the grill out (or make it protrude less and look a little more like a modern Rolls Royce) and I would drive it.
JFP58
Pit Crew

Woff!!
jaydee325
Pit Crew

It's not for me, but I can't disparage it.

This is car art. Go through any of the worlds foremost art museums and you won't like everything you see. But you have to respect the vision behind it.