A feature here at the Daily Driver is the Shop Crash.  Once in a while, we have the opportunity to visit a shop so intriguing, that we realize it is our duty to share it with fellow car nuts like you.  If you’ve ever driven past a hot rod shop and wanted to know what kinds of creations are brought to life within those walls, well here’s your chance to find out.  Join us as we crash the party, this time at Barris Kustom City

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On Monday, we brought you coverage of the 88th Birthday Bash for George Barris

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… and today we start this Shop Crash off with more of the hot rods that graced the lawn at the festivities…

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This rod made the trek across Route 66 to earn this fun run sticker – we’re impressed!

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Once we poured over all the chrome goodness on the front lawn, it was time to enter the showroom…

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… and be greeted by one of George’s Batmobiles, of course!

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Can you imagine how badly we wanted to sit inside and push a few of those buttons?

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Lining the walls, literally everywhere, were photos of stars and their cars, many of which featured George, too.

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Here’s hoping that, someday, we’re able to see this crazy Barris Kustom in person!

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Not to be outdone by the Batmobile was this star of the 80s, Kit, from the TV show Knight Rider.

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The ladies of Hollywood made their own showing at Barris Kustoms, both on the walls, like Rita Hayworth, show above…

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… and on the showroom floor, as seen here in the form of Bo Derek’s famous “Barrister.”

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Honestly, you could stare for hours at their photo-filled walls.  I was thrilled to find this photo of Jerry Lewis and George Barris, and looking closely, I found that the control box they are working with in the photo is marked with “The Patsy, 1964.”

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It didn’t take me long to find what I hoped I would – photos of George’s work on the Golden Sahara for the film Cinderfella.  Above is George with Anna Maria Alberghetti, who played Princess Charming and The Grand Duchy of Morovia in the movie (look closely and you’ll see the Golden Sahara behind them).

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Further along the wall was a photo I recognized, a girl mixing drinks while sitting atop a custom creation at a car show.  It is tough to tell from the photo, but that car is none other than the Golden Sahara!

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Every inch of the Barris showroom is covered with memorabilia, from models of George’s creations…

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… to classic vintage hot rod movie posters…

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… to EVERY kind of collectible you can imagine.  There were rooms filled with these!

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As we turned the corner from the showroom into the garage (a large, two car garage space), we wondered where the hot rods had gone…

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… but before we could wonder where they went, there were more movie posters to be seen, this time on the interiors of the garage doors, which now hung over our heads as they opened onto the driveway.

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But we knew there were goodies to be found in the Barris garage, even if it had been cleared for the day’s party, and we were right!

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This is what I would describe as George’s archives.  Look closely, and you’ll find out where his thousands of photos are stored.  Think of nearly any Hollywood name you can, and you’ll find a corresponding label on one or more boxes of star car photos here: Tony Curtis, Batmobile, Elvis, Liberace… the list goes on and on.

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The collection also includes photos of George in his earliest days of working on hot rods.

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I love this classic “Hot Rod Races” couple photo – grassroots racing at its best!

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It was time to venture outside to see where all the cars had been moved to…

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We found a few cars from customers and friends of George that had stopped by for the party.

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Then we stumbled upon the classic – or shall we say Klassic? – Barris Kustom Kreations that we had been yearning for, like this far-out hearse.

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We were even able to catch a shot of this Elvis impersonator performing right in the middle of this and another Barris Kustom…

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The classic Munster Koach!  Made from three Model T bodies, this stunner is a whopping 18 feet long!

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Created at a cost of $18,000 in 1964, it is still just as jaw-dropping today as it was then.

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We couldn’t resist the urge to go back inside and peek a bit more at all of the vintage photos on display…

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… and we even caught a glimpse of a tribute to the Batmobile on a side street near the shop.

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A Barris Kustom certainly has a style all its own, making it a car that can easily stand out from hundreds of others, no matter what else is in attendance.  George Barris has a unique vision that continues to inspire hot rod builders around the world.  His creations truly are the stuff that automotive dreams are made of, and we’re delighted that we were able to take a tour of his incredible shop.

Thanks for the inspiration, George!  We hope we’ll be back at your shop again soon!

 

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