Wednesday, March 9, 2016

George Barris at Monterey Car Week

I was going to post about George Barris some time ago, but you know how things go...

I shot this about three years ago during the Monterey Car Week
 at the Automotive Fine Arts Society show at Pebble Beach. 
The self-proclaimed "King of the Kustomizers" passed away at his home in Encino, California last November 5th. He was 89, and even at that age he was a regular at car events, constantly shaking hands, signing autographs, and bringing his classic smile to warm the hearts of everyone. The last time I saw him was two years ago at the Los Angeles Auto show, and as I did always, posed to get a selfie with him.

George started out like a lot of us, building model cars and modifying them as a kid. It was only natural that he should do the same thing on a larger scale. He started a customizing business with his brother in Lynwood, L.A. after the war, there chopping and sectioning countless cars, including the era-defining Matranga 1940 Mercury and the Hirohata 1951 Mercury. He built cars for television shows as well as celebrities such as Sonny and Cher, Elton John, even John Wayne. He truly was a classic, just like the cars he created and I'm sure he will always be remembered by the rod and custom community. Godspeed, George!


  1. Awesome photo and story John. He was a talent like few others and a real nice guy.