Mat Irvine: So it’s the right time for a biography of George Barris to be published. And the 500 colour pages of King of the Kustomizers: The Art of George Barris certainly do him justice. The book jacket (header) shows George Barris with his most famous creation, the TV Batmobile.
Barris created some of the wildest custom cars, and although there have been other books about him, this one is probably going to be the definitive title. The book is authored by George’s son Brett, together with Douglas Nason, an anthropologist with a keen interest in American culture of the period. The two have produced a book that covers just about everything you might want to know about George Barris and his kustom creations.
The back cover (below) illustrates some of the chapters inside the book.
There’s a section on one of George’s most famous early creations, the Ala Kart (below), chapters on cars for TV and the movies, cars made for Hollywood stars themselves, plus areas that Barris is less well known for, such as photography.
George Barris (below) with (inset) one of the AMT 1961 Annual Car range.
Two more Barris creations were the Surf Woody (below top) made as a kit by AMT, and the Beverley Hillbillies Television Truck was kitted by MPC.
King of the Kustomizers: The Art of George Barris is about as complete a book as you could wish. About the only thing lacking is an index, so if you want to find a particular car, you have to leaf through the whole book - but perhaps that’s no bad thing!
Title: King of the Kustomizers: The Art of George Barris
Authors: Brett Barris and Douglas Nason
Publisher: Last Gasp of San Francisco, 2015
Extent: 500 pages, hardback, colour throughout
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