Archive for the 'George Barris' Category

30
Dec
15

StarCar phenomonon, dubbed “Carsplay” goes global!

nate

One last blog for 2015, an end of the year wrap up!  Nate Truman’s StarCarCentral.com was started around the turn of this centurty, and has been growing in leaps and bounds every year.  From a single 66 Adam West Style batmobile, the idea of building, sharing and driving iconic movie and TV vehicles has grown to include StarCarCentral members around the globe.

In the early years of the hobby, people would fall in love with a famous ride, and the lucky few would buy a piece of movie history from the studios.  A few Herbie the Love Bugs, a handful of General Lee’s from Dukes of Hazzard and a Barris replica batmobile were in private hands.  Occasionally a short lived star car museum would open up for a while, then close down a year or two later.  The cars would be put in storage, or scattered around.  George Barris was kean on keeping track of all the famous cars, both the ones he had a hand in building, and anything else that had been on the screen and caught the public’s eye.   A couple of big auctions at his Barris’ Kustoms city and at the Peterson, gathered together for a brief time star cars from all walks of media and entertainment in the 1970’s and 1990’s.

If you didn’t get to the museum in Hollywood, or go to these simi-secret auctions that only movie car guys knew about, you would never have a chance to see more than one famous car together.

A few years down the road, fans started gathering for reunions.  The biggest of these was “Dukesfest” that happened for several years, and rows of repainted Challengers gathered together.  Some other famous cars would show up as well for a group photo.  Then interest waned and the shows stopped.  Now a new “Fanfest” has been reborn.

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Knight Rider fans also banded together and with the help of this new thing “The Internet” started finding other owners of Knight Rider KITT cars.  Rob Louisell, Mark’s Customs, Jay Ohrburg, sold fiberglass parts and the fans constantly improved the interior electronics and helped each other find rare parts to get their dream ride on the road.  A few gatherings of Knight Riders happened as well.  

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With the advent of the world Wide Web, every individual star car fan found a home to swap stories and ideas with other owners and fans.  There is a Herbie page,  lots of Knight Rider pages, 1966batmobile.com, basically there is a fan page for every famous movie and TV car that you can think of!

Even though Nate Truman had been tracking and finding screen used movie and TV cars since the 70’s, it wasn’t until 2003 at Crusin for a Cure that Nate finally decided to make his idea a reality.  “Let’s put them all in a pile, and play with them!” So over the last 12 years Nate has collected, connected, and introduced all the star car fans to each other!  It wasn’t easy, as many owners thought that their special car was cool, but didn’t want to park or do events with lots of “vehicular Unicorns”.    But Nate knew that seeing one amazing rare car out in “the wild” was amazing – seeing a HERD of them was mind blowing!  So out of that little new idea, and lots of detective work, Nate Truman’s StarCarCentral.com has become the hub where all the starcars can play together for good.  Hundreds of charity events, police, fire, Autism, Make-A-Wish, Pediatric Cancer Survivors, etc. have been able to include a display of famous movie and TV cars never seen before in public. The first “Carsplay” panel at Long Beach Comic Con happened this year and Nate and his team outlined the history of the hobby, and where it’s headed.

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So as a cap to 2015, Nate organized his lineup to set a new record.  The most famous movie and TV cars in a single parade.  Over 40 cars appeared in the 2015 Hollywood Christmas parade!  It was a driving, rolling star car museum – brought together for just a few hours, and then disappeared into the night!  A big thanks to all the fans, owners, restorers, historians, and bloggers who have helped the star car hobby grow, and make new friends around the world!   Here’s the Star Car Central video of all the cars on the red carpet in the 2015 Hollywood Christmas Parade!  We have another 20 cars that could have been included, but we were just TOO big!  2015 Nate Truman’s Star Car Central.com Hollywood Christmas parade

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So come join the fun in 2016, bigger and better!  Email Nate@starcarcentral.com or info@starcarcentral.com if you have a famous on screen ride!  With chapters across the United States and around the world, get your toy out and drive it!

 

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21
Jan
12

BUGALOO BUGGY FOR SALE, ALONG WITH THE SNAKE PIT AND BUNK BED CAR!

BY NATE TRUMAN

I am always glad to see that an original star car has been kept and loved by a fan or fans over the years, no matter how obscure.  I was at the right age when the bugaloos came on to have a crush on the pretty british girl on the show, and sit through the silly antics of Sid and Marty Kroft shows, so even though you may have never heard of the bugaloos or their buggy, I thought it deserved a mention in my star car blogs!  I knew the show was awful, but hey, she was cute, and there was nothing else on. And she was cute.

The only reason to watch the Bugallos!

We only had a few channels way back then, and kids shows you took what you could find on Saturday mornings, then it went to golf around 11am!

I have gathered together some photos below as well as “official” write ups about the car from my star car books (the ones made with paper) for those who want to learn more!  Its disappeared and changed hands over the years, but it’s back in the light and up for sale next month in Europe!  It could definitely roll with StarcarCentral.com members, but not sure without the fairies in the car, it would be recognized any more, as the show was on for such a short time.  Now as for the cute british girl, she lives in Spain and has a daughter.  I Think it was just that cute accent….  After sitting through a few videos,,  I still think she’s a cutie pie, but the show is even worse than I remembered! Yikes! What was Sid and Marty smoking back then? 🙂

Mercedes-Benz World will soon host the sale of some of the wackiest cars ever made, including the Bugaloos Buggy from the  children’s TV show of the ’70s.

The Bugaloos Buggy was used on The Bugaloos tv show between 1970 and 1972.

This was from the era of the fiberglass dune buggies, and all the custom car makers were doing big business selling and customizing these drop on bodies during the late 60-s and 70’s.

the Bugaloos Buggy was purchased by a collector from a Barris Auction in 1983. The car is said to have come directly from L.A., and spent some time in a Spanish museum. After that, the buggy was sold to another collector in 1990, and was placed in underground storage in 1993 where it remained for at least a decade.

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Buggy with current owner, Gary Hillman (r), and creator, George Barris

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Barris at the Buggy
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Seen in public for the first time since being sold at auction in 1983, the Bugaloo Buggy is pictured above featured in a car show in Sweden, April 10-12.

NewBuggy

The Bugaloo Buggy has been found – AGAIN! The last we knew of the whereabouts of the Buggy was in France in dark, underground storage. Well, I am happy to say the Buggy is back in the light and has a new owner, Gary Hillman!

Bugaloo BuggyBugaloo Buggy info from cars of the stars book:

the Bugaloos Buggy, featured on “The Bugaloos” television series.  Since the concept of the show, starring Martha Raye and the four Bugaloos, showed the group with wings enabling them to fly, it was determined logical for the car to “fly” and to “ride” on water.  The buggy was equipped with two large flapping butterfly wings, and twin screws installed under the rear body for high-powered water sporting.  Oversized headlights looked like the eyes of a bug, while the  taillights were tunneled portholes that illuminate at night.  Wide oval Firestone tires were installed on Ansen one-piece sprint wheels.  The interior was individualized for each Bugaloo – each star having his/her own telephone system and Muntz stereo tape system with individual earphones.  The buggy was painted in a green, yellow and orange butterfly theme with orange and purple pinstripes. – Cars of the Stars, ©1974

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 The Bugaloos buggy was another television show car constructed especially at the Barris Kustom shop for Krofft Productions.  The producers desired a small, wild-looking, fun buggy to incorporate into their new NBC-TV series.  To supply an automotive interest for the series, Barris built the buggy in late 1969 to be used in the 1970-71 TV season.  His motivation: the vehicle was to possess all of the fun characteristics that made the Meyers Manx dune buggy famous – yet push the concept beyond the envelope with attention-getting color and design elements.  The goal was a completely different and vibrant look.  Using a four-passenger body mounted on a Volkswagen floorpan, the buggy actually looked just like a  bug – mixing well with the show characters who could fly and walk on water like little flying insects.  The design featured a T-shaped rollbar set over the rear wheels with a pair of “wings” that gave the effect of an airborne bug yet allowed plenty of space for television camera maneuvers.  The chassis rolled on Ansen Spring alloy wheels, highlighted with orange spoked centers.  The fully fendered four-wheeler featured oversized headlights that looked just like bug eyes.  On the outside, the paint scheme was a wild combination of green, yellow and orange applied to copy the markings found on a butterfly’s wing.  There was much more.  The interior was fitted with four custom bucket seats with leaf-like design elements that continued the buggy’s nature theme.  Four Capitol Communications telephones and four Muntz stereo tape cartridge players were also installed.  A four-tone horn was on board as well, offering a distinct tone for each one of the characters.  Fully street legal, The Bugaloos buggy was used extensively in the show.  When the series was introduced to the airwaves, Barris contracted with model kit manufacturer MPC to design a plastic model kit based on the program vehicle (which never saw production. See MCP catalog in Collectibles). 
Barris TV & Movie Cars, 1996.
The Bugaloo Buggy was sold at the Cars of the Stars collector car auction at the Sheraton-Universal Hotel on Sept. 25, 1983.   The auction catalog featured this write up:

Bugaloo
Another most creative TV show by SID & MARTY KROFFT, the Bugaloos, starred Caroline Ellis, Wayne Laryea, John Philpott, John McIndoe, and Martha Raye.  BARRIS was given the challenge to make the group’s fantasy rod with BUTTERFLY WINGS mounted on the sides of a BOOMERAND fiberglass bodied dune buggy.  This buggy was powered by a VW engine.  The buggy is equipped with four bucket seats and four telephones for the stars.  Multi-colors were sprayed and combined with contrasting pin stripes by BOB BOND.  Quad KRACO units were installed for music backup with the singing group.  This feature toured the HOT ROD SHOW WORLD and ROD & CUSTOM EXHIBITS.
Below are two other cars for sale that are not starcars, but sure could roll with us as well! Snake Pit and Bunk bed car!

 But if speed is more your thing than nostalgia, the Snake Pit (above), also built by Barris, will be a better fit. Made specifically to break speed records, the huge Snake Pit has an estimated 2,000bhp from six Ford Cobra V8 engines.
This inordinately complicated caricature of a car has 48 exhausts, two Ford automatic transmissions, 12 four-barrel carburetors and two Pontiac rear axles.
The bright orange car will be difficult to park for two reasons: it’s 23-foot long, and it doesn’t work, so the buyer will have to employ someone with the taste and skills for the extraordinary to start having a go at land speed records again.
There’s not reserve, but fully functional it’s reportedly worth around $100,000 (£65,000).  The Bunkbeds is another star turn that doesn’t work, though when it does it has a Ferrari-matching 600bhp from an, erm, headboard-mounted V8 engine. It promises to be the best handling bunk bed ever made, thanks to Formula One-wide Goodyear tyres and disc brakes on all four wheels; it can be steered from either the top or bottom bunk.
It’s worth around £15,000 – around the same price as all manner of family cars guaranteed to send their occupants to sleep.

All the cars will be sold at the Historics at Brooklands sale at Mercedes-Benz World, Surrey, on Saturday February 18.

17
Jul
11

STAR CAR NEWS FROM AROUND THE USA AND THE WORLD! GO TEAM SCC! (THAT’S STAR CAR CENTRAL!)

Starcar fans are all around the world, and starcarcentral.com is trying to keep up with all of our members and chapters so you can find the famous movie and TV car events near you!

One of the most active groups outside of Nate Truman’s  Hollywood division is run by Dee up in the upper left corner of the USA!  He has even started a “starcar Concourse”.  After searching for star cars all over the U.S. Dee and Nate found several owners and they all started hanging out together up north!  So heres the info on their upcoming event!

Its time for the big 5th Annual ‘Star Car Concourse Classic” show at the Americas Car Museum.

The show is always the last Saturday in August, this year the 27th, and is held at the LeMay Museum’s Marymount location in the Tacoma/Spanaway area. This will be a ‘sanctioned’ AMCA event, hosted by the International Movie & TV Vehicle Owners Association and madmaxcars.com. The larger event, the LeMay/Americas Car Museum’s “Openhouse” that we are featured at, is a VERY COOL annual event even if it were not for the moviecars contribution, so it is well worth the trip. You can find the basic details on our events page here: http://www.madmaxcars.com/events.shtml

Then out in the middle of the USA Michael Knight has a great group that is now doing Comic cons and features one of the two original Monkeemobiles!  Here’s a few shots of them sharing the star cars with fans of all shapes and sizes at a recent con!

"Robin, you seem.... Different?"

Original Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson showed up to see and sign the Ghostbuster tribute car (Hey, before you point out it’s not the right body style, not everyone can find a 1959 Mercury Meteor Ambulance, ok? )

Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson and SCC chapter leader Mike Knight!

Everyone had a great time chatting up Ernie about his time as a ghostbuster, and he even signed their car!

"To StarCarCentral.com, thanks for the cool car... what? I don't get to keep it?"

Like I mentioned before, They also have one of the two Monkeemobiles from the old TV series, and it showed up at a live Monkee show!

Well what did you expect them to be rolling in?

Meanwhile, over in Europe, France specifically, Claude has been hosting a great star car get together each year, and it keeps getting bigger each time!

And an article in the french mag “La Vie de l’Auto” The N°1 for the collectors in France! 🙂

Thanks to guys like Michael, Dee, and Claude – fan boys and girls around the US and the world have opportunities to see and get up close to their favorite movie and TV cars!

Where ever there are two or more starcars gathered in the SCC name, you are sure to have a party with some fun loving people!  So to all those who are lovers of cool creations for the screen,

thanks for being part of the star car movement in your neck of the woods!  TO THE BATMOBILE! Transformers, ROLL OUT!   If you see a star car, or better yet, a bunch of them together,

Make sure you say “HI” and tell them you saw them here first!

01
Mar
11

Banacek AMX 400 aka Phoenix ESV Experimental Safety Vehicle -George Peppard’s Custom Ride!

Banacek (one of the rotating NBC Mystery Movie series)was a short-lived, light-hearted detective TV series starring George Peppard (of A-Team fame) on NBC from 1972 to 1974. It alternated in its timeslot with several other shows but was the only one to last beyond its first season. It was later rebroadcast on A&E Network.

The show had a mixture of humor combined with rather intricate plots. The show was well received by critics and was picked up for a third season. However, before the third season could start production, Peppard quit the show in order to prevent his ex-wife Elizabeth Ashley from receiving a larger percentage of his earnings as part of their divorce settlement! I am sure Banachek would have an old polish proverb for that situation!

There’s an old Polish Proverb that says:

The regularly featured cars in the series were a 1941 Packard 180 with a Victoria body designed by Howard “Dutch” Darrin (license plate number 178344) and a 1973 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine.

But for the subject of star cars, there was a customized 1969 American Motors AMX that was built by George Barris. The car first became known  as the AMX-400 but on Banachek it was the “Phoenix – ESV!”

“The Phoenix, a crash-proof ESV (Experimental Safety Vehicle) worth $5million manufactured by RW company. Totally driver-proof safety vehicle. One of the sensational innovations found in this car is a compensator. It is mounted to a small on-board computer system and it automatically corrects skidding and fishtailing caused by oversteer.”  In ONE episode this special prototype car of the future is stolen off of a moving train, and Banacek is called in to solve the mystery!  Below is how the car appeared on the show, with large cardboard bumpers added and a new temporary paint job!

How the car looked when it was the ESV safety car!

Before it was the Phoenix, it had been around awhile.

Front view of the AMX-400

In the late 1960s, Barris teamed up with the American Motors Corporation to produce a bolt-on customizing kit for the AMX that was marketed through AMC dealers. Through this connection, George got his hands on a factory-fresh 1969 AMX and gave it the full Barris treatment.


WHERE IS IT NOW?

When Barris got the AMX 400 back from the show  the paint was removed, and it was restored to its former look. The car went on the road with the International Show Car Association (ISCA) and appeared at every major show around the country. That’s when it got its reputation as the most photographed AMX in the world.

After the car-show tour, the AMX disappeared for a while before turning up in a museum in Nags Head, North Carolina. It was then sold into Tom Monaghan’s Domino’s Pizza collection. When Monaghan only had a few stores, he had red, white, and blue AMC Javelins for delivery cars. When his pizza franchises took off, he built a 244-car collection. Eventually, he decided to sell everything.

Mike and Lin Geary acquired the car in 2003 in relatively sound condition, with a mere 3300 miles on the odometer, and set about refurbishing it. The car was repainted by Tabz Toys in Lan­caster, New York, and Ron Lasker re-created the original pinstriping.

The biggest modification was the chopped top, which came down 4-1/2 inches. In the process, the windshield posts were raked back two inches, and the rear window was inset between the ­”flying buttress” rear ­pillars.

The nose of the custom car was extended 15 inches and given a wild new look with a radical peaked louver grille. Rectangular headlights were hidden behind three bladelike grille bars, while the hood was revamped with twin scoops and a peaked tip that matched the grille bars’ shape.

All four wheel openings were radiused, and custom front bodyside flares were added to match the enhanced rear body character lines.

The rear of the custom car was extended eight inches and reconfigured with a row of 15 louvers that started at the top of the rear window and continued all the way down the trunklid and rear fascia.

A novel taillight system featured a full-width light that glowed green during acceleration, amber during deceleration, and red during braking.

Body details included a wild set of three-inch-diameter side pipes and a pair of competition-style fuel-filler caps. Both filler caps are just for looks; the actual fuel filler door is at the rear of the car.

A two-tone paint scheme in cream-toned Murano Pearl and Rustic Orange cleverly utilized the car’s body lines as color breaks.

The car was then reunited with its creator in Detroit at the ’05 Autorama.  Interest in the car spread quickly, and Geary received an offer to display the AMX 400 at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum’s Hot Rods and Cool Mods exhibit, where it stayed until late 2006.

Geary’s plans for the future include displaying the AMX 400, his ’69 midengine hybrid AMX, and his stock ’68 AMX in a restored car dealership. With that kind of exposure, I think it’s only a matter of time till we see the AMX 400 on TV again; it might be on Barrett-Jackson.

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14
Feb
11

STARCARCENTRAL.COM BACK AT MONSTER JAM FOR TWO WEEKENDS!

Thanks to Monster Jam Fan Charger Steve, it’s now been three years that Nate Truman’s  star car central gang and Steve’s San Diego star car owners  have appeared with the monster truck drivers at Monster Jam events!   Both in San Diego and Anaheim, and this year for the first time at Dodger Stadium!

Monster Jam 2011 Charger Steve leads the way around Anaheim Stadium with Nate Truman's StarCarCentral movie cars.

Charger Steve's Mystery Machine!

On Feb 12 10 famous movie and tv cars took a lap around Anaheim stadium and enjoyed the show, and this weekend on the 19th, EIGHTEEN star cars are in the line up to appear!  (Let’s hope for no rain!)

STEPHEN BOGGS  JURASSIC PARK MONSTER TRUCK!
ARI AND HIS JURASSIC PARK JEEP

NATE TRUMAN AND THE BATMOBILE
Paul  WITH THE BTTF DELOREAN
JASON BUCKARRO WITH TRANSFORMER RATCHET

JON WITH HIS TRANSFORMER CAMARO BUMBLEBEE

OSCAR   WITH THE MAGNUM P.I. FERRARI
LOU  WITH THE  STARSKY AND HUTCH TORINO
CLIFF AND   JUSTICE WITH THEIR  NASCAR HERBIE THE LOVE BUG
brian  WITH HIS JAMES BOND BMW WITH NEW ROCKETS
Sue KESSLER AND HER GET SMART MACHINE GUN WIELDING SUNBEAM
ALEX  AND SON  WITH KITT FROM KNIGHT RIDER

PAUL MILLER AND HIS MAD MAX INTERCEPTOR

PLUS FROM CHARGER STEVE’S SAN DIEGO CHAPTER JOINING IN THE FUN WILL BE THE BLUES BROTHERS 2000

MIKE TOWMATER TRIBUTE TOWTRUCK

STEVES GENERAL LEE FROM DUKES OF HAZZARD

TONY’S SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT TRANS AM

AND OBI SHAWN AND YODA WILL BE THERE IN HIS  STAR WARS CAR “H-WING”

Your ticket to Monster Jam includes entry into the drivers area where the star cars will be on display!

Come say you are a fan of the blog and meet the owners – and get a photo with your favorite movie or TV car!    Pray for no rain on Saturday and we will see you at DODGER STADIUM at 2:00 pm! Then stay for the show, we will take a lap inside the stadium as part of the pre-show around 5-6 pm! Cheer on your favorite car!  NITRO BURNING FLAME THROWING CRASHES!!!  And that’s just you trying to get into the parking lot!  Come say “HI” and we will see you there!

For fans of FACEBOOK, Starcarcentral.com International now has it’s own page to see all the photos from members at the event!

09
Feb
11

Can you design the next batmobile urban assault vehicle?

Here’s a challenge for all the builders that want a chance to design something along the lines of a functional batmobile, or futuristic version of today’s HUMMER.

If you ever wanted to design a super car loaded with as many weapons and tools as you could imagine (think your own personal Batmobile), now is finally your chance. Not only do you get an opportunity to design the craziest vehicle you can dream up and see it built in real life, but you can also win up to $7,500 in prize money from the Pentagon’s research branch, DARPA.

There are a few simple rules that you do have to keep in mind though:

  • The vehicle has to use “tubular steel chassis with existing GM LS3 V8 powertrain,” which is the steel frame pictured below.
  • Has to carry up to five passengers, including up to three people lying down.
  • It’s got to carry up to 1,200 lbs and tow up to 4,000 lbs

As long as you follow the three rules above, you can get as creative as you want with your design. Thinking of stealing some ideas from the Transformers movie? How about jet propulsion and speedboat ability? Go for it. DARPA is open to all suggestions. Submissions are to be in before March 3, 2011.

body 300x75 Ever Wanted to Design a Military Supercar?

To find out more information and submit your designs, click here.

I have a chassy ready to go, but I don’t think it will seat 5 people even if they are lying down!




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