Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pop Focus: The Many Cars of George Barris

From the mid 1960s to the mid 1960s it seemed like every American TV series required its own trademark car: Batman's Batmobile; the Munster's Munster Koach; the Beverly Hillbillies touring car; Mannix' roadster; Starsky and Hutch's Gran Torino and the Dukes of Hazard's General Lee.

The common thread for all these vehicles is George Barris, King of the Kustomizers, who passed away Nov. 5 at age 89.

Born George Salapatas, Barris was an instrumental figure in California's early hot rod culture during in the 1940s and 50s. He opened the Barris Custom Shop, which licensed several of its hot rod designs for model kits sold by Aurora, Revell and the like, and found work designing and customizing cars for Hollywood movies and TV series.

Here's a look at Barris and some of his best-known work.


























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