Le May family collections has a stunning Studebaker Speedster (which is not currently on display) that George chopped the top off of, and along with a lot of subtle changes made this car a real head turner in my opinion.
Whenever I see a car I really don't like & the owner is present I always say" Now that's a striking design".What I am thinking is " I would like to hit the guy who designed it!" I think that's my thought on this.
One thing I have noticed over the years is the Barris cars are rarely beautiful, but they are always interesting. This is the case of being really interesting, something different, but there are reasons why cars like this car were never put into production. With all that said I truly appreciate it for what it is.
120 years of interesting automobilia, and Hagerty thinks you're happy with dumpster retreads. Barris was in business. If some uneducated celeb or more money than brains sort requested something, he'd do it. Doesn't mean the rest of us care, or should. Try again?
George Barris made tremendous contributions to hot rodding and customs. A very talented and I m sure brilliant man. I just never was a fan of these types of customs. Special movie /theme cars like the batmobile are cool..just never my thing. But, as you said..art make you think and this is art. Just don't want to say what I am thinking.
I think George created a few real gems, and the main body of his work, the goofy, completely over-the-top theme cars for TV and film are something I respect. I think where I have to step away from Barris as a builder is the rather sizable pile of clearly hideous customs that came out of his shop when he had a clean sheet of paper and lots of money to work with. The guy had a really poor sense of negative space and you have to believe he chose styling cues not based on a drawing and hand fabrication, but based on sourcing parts he previously picked up at the Colton Auction and common household items. “Hey! I got these Granada headlights in a box of parts for $10! Let’s build around this!” Build quality? Anyone with an eye can look and see that his interior panels and pieces were horrible. He was not a master at shaping steel, but rather bonding glass. Regarding this particularly hideous monstrosity, he couldn’t stay with a singular era/theme front to rear, square headlights and grills don’t look right on a curvaceous body, split windows from boats just don’t work on anything. I have to say that the rear cowl is rather lovely, but it ends in a tail section that was a result of a fiberglass truck bed topper that knocked up a Ski-doo. If this article were entitled “Kit Cars from the ‘70’s: The Gauche, the Bad, and the Ugly”, not only would it have been believable, but with Barris’ name not attached, this thing would have won the Reader’s Choice award. Don’t buy the 70’s era custom thing. I lived through it. That car has always been fugly. Automotive beauty is timeless. Not ugly enough to stop a clock. Enough with the “let’s see you do better” comments. It is very ok to have a critical public opinion without an ounce of skill or malice. I guarantee this rather scalding post would not have ruffled Chuck’s feathers one bit.
I’ve always found George Barris’s creations to be a bit too over the top .., Garish, ostentatious…ThisVette’s makeover is a perfect example.. Ugh.. Perhaps that was his aim but other than his specifically designed cars like the BatMobile and the MunsterMobile Barris cars do nothing for me…
I like the stretched wheelbase and the interior. Like the head rest extensions. I can live with the grille and front end. The "bullet" taillights would have to go -- the two round ones would be better. Not so sure about the fake side pipes, raked windshield is okay but I could live without it. If the hood wasn't lengthened the windshield wouldn't look right. But it's not my design! Might be cool just to own a Barris creation if I had lots of storage and money...
Grace, I'm not a Corvette fan except for the two I owned, a '54 Six Cylinder which rode like a truck and leaked in the rain, loved it anyway, and a '57 327 4 Speed with Positraction, much improved, not without a creaky body............ Barris was always fun to watch as his imagination took flight. I remember several of his creations, and this one is one of the more practical (!) approaches.
Much better than an Excalibur but still Fugly. Unfortunately, that was very much the style for old farts and pimps. Unlike my platform shoes and bell bottom pants which were a timeless classic and never looked silly.
Gawd awful. Ford Fairmont headlight/turn signals? At least the automatic transmission goes with this - a manual would be pearl clutching to anyone seriously considering this car. Frankly, I would like to unsee it.
God help me, but I like it! 🤷🏻♂️ To be honest, at first glance, my first thought was "I didn't know Barris made a car for Elvis?" LOL! Sure looks like a car The King would have ordered.... Doesn't it?
George Barris is the father of Custom car builders. Yes he's a legend. I remember seeing him interviewed on TV in the 60s & 70s. Forward thinking & thinking out of the box with his stratospheric imagination where his forte. He was a damn nice guy too.
As far as the choice of transmission, I think the point being made is that 8161 Corvettes had automatics, and the remainder of the 38,762 had manual transmissions (3 spd, and 4 spd close or wide ratio). The 700-R4 4 spd overdrive transmission wasn`t available until the early `80`s.
Well, Barris did some really unusual stuff and this might have been something to behold back when he did this one but it's extremely dated. I guess just put a brown paper bag over its head and use it as you see fit.