Saturday, November 7, 2015

George Barris Moves To That "Big Garage In The Sky"

Early Thursday morning the amiable King of Kustomizers George Barris passed away. I was attending the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas and thought of George this week. I saw one of his old-time hot rod buddies shoot by on a scooter wearing the emblematic yellow and red shirt that George was wearing last time I saw him. The Specialty Automotive Manufacturers Assn. show has more than ten miles of show floor, so those scooters come in handy when you're in your eighties. I saw quite a few of them this year, because those early car-builders love their reunions here with all this hot rod history. They were there in the beginning and helped shape what the hot rod scene was to become.

Yesterday I got the word by means of an eNewsletter for collector car enthusiasts from Hemmings Motor News. The tribute cited a Facebook post from his son Brett Barris that stated, "Sorry to have to post that my father, legendary kustom car king George Barris, has moved to the bigger garage in the sky."

George lived his dream, and loved sharing his passions with the world. Here's the announcement that appeared in the Hollywood Reporter.

This past week we were watching episodes from the original Beverly Hillbillies. George Barris made that vehicle the show imprinted upon our memories. So, too, the Munsters' Koach. And so many more. In my 2009 interview with Mr. Barris he talked about his unique approach to building all those famous cars we saw on TV when we were growing up.

He will be missed. 

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