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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
Bullypit
Pit Crew

Very disturbing...
RW68RSConv
Detailer

I love Barris work - how could you not. But, as Paul McCartney is claimed to have said "Once in awhile you make a stinkery-doo".
drjim
Advanced Driver

Uhhhhhh.....NO.
BPatLeMays
Intermediate Driver

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.
imnosaint
New Driver

In New Jersey in the 70's this car would be considered a "pimp mobile". Only missing white fur on the steering wheel. Sorry it's awful.
BillHanlon
Intermediate Driver

He should have stopped with the Hirohata Mercury.
PRScott
Instructor

It's an abortion. Like most of Barris' Kustom Krap!
Mogowner
Detailer

Hopefully it will become a museum piece, never again to see the open road (unless at night) and exhibited way back in a dark corner. Certainly not my cup of automotive tea.
1967LeMansConv
New Driver

Gaudy, Nasty, Horrific,--- I could keep going. What a waste of what WAS a beautiful car.
RROYCE46
Pit Crew

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.
okfoz
Advanced Driver

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.
SuperDeLuxe
Advanced Driver

Not all who would dance Waltz - you can keep your stock Corvette, I like it!

Inline8OD
Technician

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?
MustangJim
Technician

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.
Buzz
Detailer

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.
BB66Vett
Intermediate Driver

What was the point?
GeorgeWA
Detailer

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…
eighthtry
Advanced Driver

I can tell you exactly how ugly that is. It looks like something my wife would give me for my birthday. "But I thought you liked Corvettes."

Well, it would go perfectly with the ties.
farna
Instructor

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...
Maestro1
Technician

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.
Stevear
New Driver

Just because you can, does not mean you should. Ugly is to kind a word.
daffodildeb
Intermediate Driver

Ugliest thing I've seen all day.
DontFooseMyCar
Pit Crew

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.
acooper529
Advanced Driver

Steering wheel is o.k. Engine compartment also looks good. Otherwise... it just needs to meet the crusher. Even Barris made some mistakes.
BigDog
Intermediate Driver

Saying this car is ugly is a total understatement.............
AvSanch
Pit Crew

That’s the ugliest corvette I’ve ever seen.
AvSanch
Pit Crew

Was Barris suffering from some type of cognitive ailment when this thing was done?
KYColonel
Detailer

Turn your ear toward southern Florida.
Listen closely and you'll hear a mega "NO" from me..
br427
Intermediate Driver

Sure looks like a sore **bleep** to me.
TG
Gearhead

This comment section could be a thesaurus entry for the word 'ugly'

All I want to know is if it came with a fur coat and a cane
SLAVENDER
Intermediate Driver

This looks more like something from Chuck Barris than from George Barris.
Islandtinman59
Pit Crew

Sorry don't care for it
smtguy
Intermediate Driver

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.
Bullit
Intermediate Driver

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?
SJ
Technician

Wow, that is gorgeous, definitely an improvement over the hideously ugly original car. They should mass produce that as an EV!
janedon
Advanced Driver

Sooo many negative comments--Like it's a bad thing to be "Different--
MG54
Pit Crew

It will bring big bux because of Barris, but its not my "Cup o' Vette"
tigercat
Detailer

This car qualifies for the two bagger award one bag over it and then one bag over my head just in case this car's bag comes off.
Solara
Pit Crew

Maybe it was actually Chuck Barris..?

OTOH, I would drive it. You just have to have the "I don't give a s**t what you think." attitude.
JDull139
Intermediate Driver

Looking at that hurts my brain.Some Barris customs are ugly "pimp mobiles"
Jr1
Intermediate Driver

The opening paragraph asked if we would like to "add it to your garage."

Ha Ha, you spelled "garbage" wrong. Doesn't your computer have a spell checker?
Verneoz
Intermediate Driver

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.
Fairlane500
Pit Crew

Would have been better off starting with a Granada and making it look like a Corvette.
Corvettebaggs
Intermediate Driver

Can't have a hit every time.
CJR
Intermediate Driver

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.
Zephyr
Instructor

Didn't see any info about when the customization was actually done. The car would have looked at home in any tow yard in 1980's Oakland.
SFM5
Pit Crew

Huggy Bear would have looked good driving this thing.
plank
Detailer

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.
Rider79
Technician

No. Among cars of this ilk, I would rather have a Zimmer Quicksilver - and I don't really want one of those, either.
Alyjr66
New Driver

If you look closely at the shifter it is a 3speed trans not a 4 speed trans there is no d for drive only 3 2 1