Thursday, November 5, 2015

"THE KING OF KUSTOMS" 11-20-1925 / 11-05-2015

A sad day in the Kustom car world today. Georg Barris the "King of Kustoms" passed away. I remember being a kid going to the slot car track on Hempsted Turnpike across from the medical center in East Meadow New York with my Dad. Pop used to build his own cars out of brass rod and stuff, this was the late 60's early 70's I loved racing slot cars. In the display case was this COX batmobile slot car, I wanted that thing in the worst way. On one of our trips to the track Dad bought me that Batmobile slot car, I think it cost him like $20.00 bucks! Dad was only making probably not much over $100 dollars a week at his job, trust me it was a big deal on many levels. I loved that car, I still have the aluminum frame from it but I play with it hard as a kid and totally trashed it. but as you are reading this now I am 51 years old and still think very fondly about the time I spent with my Dad and that freaking Awesome "Batmobile" when you were a kid of the late 60's you watched Batman on TV and just came unglued when that Car raced the 14 mile to Gothem City from Wayne Manor! About 1973 or 74 when my Dad's friend Steve Haig (*sp) came home from Vietnam the three of us went into New York City to the ISCA custom car show when they held it at Columbus Circle. there was this long elevator up to the show and right there at the top, the first car you saw entering the show was the 1966 TV Batmobile! I got to see it in real life! Thats the first time I met Ed "Big Daddy" Roth as a youngster also but thats another story. As I got older and into the Car & Chopper scene and I started to build my own crazy cars and bikes I got to meet George at shows and spend some time with him, Detroit, Chicago, Tulsa, Salina. He truly was the King of Kustom Cars! He influenced many young people and many generations of them. Many people make a living and enjoy the automotive field because of some sort of influence from The King! be it plastic Model car kits, Tv shows, car shows, slot cars. He will truly Be missed and there will never be another like him, there is just not enough space here on this blog to talk about all the things he's done! and the cars that He and his Brother Sam have built! You had a Fantastic run George, -----------Long Live the King ---------------------