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Customizing...sweet memories

Responding to another post got me thinking about the greats of customizing, fellas like Don Garletts and George Barris. Am I just getting out of touch or is nobody creating cars like the Beatnick Bandit and the Outlaw anymore?

I know of CHip Foose and that bearded fella…what’s his name…but they’re just basically shaving the doorhandles off cars, having someone reupholster the interior, and doing a fancy paint job. The cars I’m think of were truely original creations.


I was reminiscing about this myself as I watched a biography on Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, and his alter ego, Rat Fink. Very few people today are doing anything like those guys. And they are simply not that good.

Oh, man, I would have loved to see that show.

That bearded fellow you mention is probably the late Boyd Coddington.

Another great customizer is Darryl Starbird. I was on one of the main streets in Wichita, KS one night sitting at the light and one of his creations pulled up beside me. No idea who was driving (tinted small windows) or even what type of car or chassis this thing was built on but it was stunningly beautiful and had Starbird’s name in beautifully done pinstriping.

Starbird has an automotive museum in Afton, OK. For those who travel through it’s right off the turnpike on Grand Lake and is well worth the price of admission.

I used to love it when Boyd Coddington appeared on the show and contributed absolutely nothing to the project. Donald Trump would have done a better job. Can you imagine anybody else saying “you’re fired” and make it seem like something original? The best I did involved three quarts of Bondo, covering the hole where the rear side light rusted right off the Caprice “Classic”. Rust never sleeps, but ambition seems to nap now and then.

Someone built the newer Batmobiles, though I’m not sure who. The Barrett-Jackson Scottsville auction was last weekend. There were several beautiful custom cars sold, and most of them were new or recent custom jobs.

There are also a lot of low riders that would qualify as custom cars in the same sense I think your mean. And many of them are gorgeous.

I went to a local car show (really a no name show)in Bakersfield CA.No one famous was there but there was a amazing amount of vehicles entered, most excellent quality,I conclude the customizing business is alive and well,well represented by the “little guy”,works for me.