George Barris is one of the hottest names in the Kustom Kar world, and has created many of the silver screen’s hottest vehicles. On Saturday, August 3, many Barris movie and TV creations will cross the block at the highly-anticipated Mecum Harrisburg auction as part of the Prior Barris East Coast Representative’s Collection.
The collection spans decades, from campy classics like to the coffin-based dragster from “The Munsters” TV show to the highly-armed muscle cars from the action series “xXx.”
Here are the highlights.
1966 Ford Econoline Van Mystery Machine Replica
Though the “Was it a Ford or a Dodge?” debate will rage on forever in car circles, this three-speed Econoline is clearly close enough to the famous “Scooby-Doo” Mystery Machine to pass muster. While the inside is minus one giant dog and a Beatnik with a bad case of the munchies, it does have a custom shag interior, blue and orange vinyl, and a 30-inch TV.
Speed Racer Mach 5 Replica
Built on a 1977 Corvette, this Mach 5 replica was completed to promote the 2008 Speed Racer movie. It has the requisite double-tilt nose and Lambo-style doors as befits the Mach 5, and was part of the Barris Hollywood Star Car Collection on the East Coast.
1965 Aston Martin DB5
As a companion to your Lego James Bond Aston Martin, consider this DB5 complete with functional special effects. It was built from a DB4 and DB5, and comes with an engine and transmission from a DB6. It carries the signature of George Barris himself, and was purportedly used by Aston Martin as an experimental race car.
No Barris sale is complete without at least one Batmobile (there are actually two being offered over the course of the auction!). This example has excellent provenance, being one of five known promotional Batmobiles created by the Barris Group. It was driven by the original Batman, Adam West, and is the car used by the Danbury Mint to create Batmobile models.
1981 DeLorean DMC-12
The only thing cooler than a DeLorean is a “Back to the Future” DeLorean. This example was designed and created by Barris himself to be used by Universal Studios as a promotional vehicle for the Back to the Future Trilogy. For the 30th anniversary of the movie, this car was autographed by Claudia Wells, the actor who played Jennifer Parker, and was used by Fox, CBS, NBC, Verizon and Lyft.
1982 Pontiac Trans Am KITT replica
Have you ever felt like a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law? This exacting replica of KITT from “Knight Rider” might be your perfect companion. Built by one of the people who worked on the original cars, it has the special effects seen in the show and even appeared with the Hoff himself.
Keep your scanners peeled for this one!
1966 Pontiac GTO ‘Monkeemobile No. 3’
Believe your daydreams—you CAN own the Monkeemobile! [Sorry, that was terrible. — Ed.] This car was used by the Monkees themselves for promotions and was restored to its original TV configuration by Barris reps on the East Coast. It has the same dual-split windshield, third-row loveseat, and crazy pipes sticking out of the front wheel wells. This one also carries George Barris’ signature on the glove compartment; no monkeying around here.
This is the original car that was created Barris man Dick Dean for “The Munsters” TV show. Al Lewis, the actor Grandpa Munster, wanted to take one more ride before he died, so the Barris folks on the East Coast invested three months into Drag-u-la’s complete restoration. When it was done, the car was taken to Lewis’ home, but his failing health prevented him from taking a ride.
Signed by George Barris, Pat Priest (Marilyn Munster), and Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster).
1976 Ford Gran Torino ‘Starsky & Hutch’ Promotional Vehicle
The “Flying Tomato” might be more remembered than the actual Starsky & Hutch television show itself! This replica was featured at Ford’s 100th Anniversary, and has appeared in multiple shows on Fox, CBS, and NBC.
Signed by George Barris.
1974 Volkswagen Herbie replica
In the market for a new mechanical friend? This 1974 Beetle was styled to look like “Herbie the Love Bug” and was part of the Barris Hollywood Star Car Collection. Don’t kid yourself; you can make something out of this sad little bucket of bolts.
When the Flintstones weren’t shilling cigarettes or beer, they were traipsing around in the Flintmobile. This movie car was designed by George Barris for Universal Studios and built on a golf cart chassis by Dick Dean. We’ll be very interested to see what the final sale price on this one is.
[“Yabba-dabba-doo!” pun deleted. You’re welcome. — Ed.]
1967 Pontiac GTO ‘xXx’ Promotional Car
Just in case a custom 1967 Pontiac GTO doesn’t quite ring your bell, this one comes with a flamethrower and rocket tubes (apparently non-functional, damn it). It was used as a promo vehicle for the movie “xXx” (rather than XXX movies), and was part of the George Barris Hollywood Star Car Collection.
1967 Pontiac GTO ‘xXx: State of the Union’ Promotional Car
Need more hustle in your muscle? This promo car from the movie “xXx: State of the Union” has a Corvette LT1 engine shoved under the hood, complete with a high-performance intake, Hooker headers, and Summit exhaust. Oh, and a rocket launcher, of course.