HE'S BEEN AT IT FOR ALMOST 70 YEARS, he's known as "The King Of The Kustomizers", and throughout his career GEORGE BARRIS has created many award-winning Rods & Customs, er, make that "Kustoms". But one of the most famous of all his creations was a car that was miraculously saved from the tragic fire that destroyed his shop in 1957.
The Ala Kart, was the brainchild of George Barris, originally owned by Richard Peters, and helped along by the one-and-only Blackie Gejeian. AND, since this is the first time I had questioned George about the car, I wanted his story on the original build & showing of the Kart, as well as his impression of the restoration that Roy Brizio and his crew had done on the car for its current owner, John Mumford.
SO, on a Sunday morning before we all left the KKOA Salina get-together in July of 2009, George, John D'Agostino, and myself, shared some important "mike time" and George gave me the full story.
If you've only "seen" The Ala Kart, read about The Ala Kart, and heard about it for years, and years...for the first time on the Hall Of Fame Legends Series you can now hear the man who built it, in his own words, explain how it all came together:
GEORGE BARRIS with "THE ALA KART STORY"...
This radical-for-its-time unit, based-on a '29 Ford Pickup, cost around $15, 000.00 to build, and won the prestigeous "America's Most Beautiful Roadster" Award at the Oakland Roadster Show two years in a row: 1958 & 1959.
It was also the first car to launch George Barris into the world of model kits. The AMT kit is shown above left, and the recent Danbury Mint version above right, proved to be consistent best sellers from the time they hit the market.
To hear Blackie Gejeian's story of The Ala Kart, and that famous "bathroom mirror" tale, just click-on here .
For a look at many of George Barris' great cars - both past & present - just go to George's Website: www.barris.com