THROUGH THE YEARS, GEORGE BARRIS & I HAVE COVERED STORIES ABOUT many of the legendary cars that he and his brother, SAM, built. But one that I've always remembered was one we hadn't talked about: "The Bugarin Merc", created for Dave Bugarin of San Pedro, California.
So, on a Sunday morning in Salina, Kansas, at the KKOA Leadsled, George, John D'Agostino, and, myself, got inside out of the sweltering Kansas heat and I posed the question about Dave's car to George.
IN ADDITION, I wanted to know how much input the client had in setting-up the concept for the build, and in no uncertain terms George said that in working with the client a certain amount of psychology had to be considered and in turn, they became like "family". He tried to please them in every way so that they would really be satisfied with the finished product.
ULTIMATELY, George proceeded to not only give me the story on the Bugarin Merc, but added some previously uncovered info about the iconic singing duo of SONNY & CHER to prove his point about the client having the final decision on the build. JK
[NOTE: Photos on this page courtesy of their original owners/copyright holders.]
WHAT MANY MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN is that at one time George's shop, due to it's move from the Lynwood location to North Hollywood, California, became the destination for many, many Stars of Stage, Screen, and, TV to have their personal rides kustomized.
THE LATE-FARRAH FAWCETT, John Wayne, The Beach Boys, The "Rat Pack" (Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr.), Clint Eastwood...and, "The King" himself: ELVIS, plus many others, had George's Shop personalize their cars.
IN FACT, the book, shown here "BARRIS CARS OF THE STARS" gives the complete scoop and shows plenty of pix on these special machines. Read my full Review of the book here on the "Hot Off The Press" Section, after all you may want to pick up a copy for yourself and see the finished products !
Just click-on here and scroll down till you see the cover pictured above. JK
Be sure to visit George's Website: www.barris.com for a look superb look at his career & cars !
(Photo at the top of the Page courtesy of Barris Kustom City; Sonny & Cher photo courtesy of the Motor Trend Archives.)