Everything You Need To Know About George Barris’s Cars

By Simon Boseman

Published January 5, 2024

Everything You Need To Know About George Barris’s Cars
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Born on 20 November 1925, George Barris was an iconic figure in the automotive industry and was particularly known for his work in customizing and designing cars. His work of creativity and distinctive car modification was so widely appreciated that he gained fame, and was also known as the “King of the Kustomizers” of his time! George passed away on November 5, 2015, leaving behind a legacy of great modified cars in the automotive world. His work was not only limited to TV and movie cars, but he also worked on various custom projects for car enthusiasts and individuals. His cars were also known to have distinctive features like different paint jobs, hidden headlights, and bubble tops included in the overall exterior design. Read on as we discuss some of his most famous cars of their time and what was so special about them in particular along with various other parameters! 


10. Munster Koach

10. Munster Koach

The Munster Koach was initially based on a Ford Model T chassis but an elongated one. And it is also considered to be one of the most notable works of George Barris. Used in the TV show, “The Munsters”. The Munster Koach was designed by George Harris and Tom Daniel together. The ten carburetor, ten air horns, and lantern lights which you see on the car are Barris’ ideas and they indeed help the car stand out!

Munster KoachSpecs
Price$18,000
Powertrain2.9L Inline-4
Horsepower20 Horsepower
Torque83 lb-ft
TransmissionPlanetary gear transmission
0-60 mphNA
Top Speed120 MPH

The Munster Koach is capable of achieving a top speed of 120 MPH and was powered by a 2.9L engine back then. Paired with a planetary gear transmission with 2 forward and one reverse gear, the Munster Koach could produce 20 horsepower (Stock Ford Model T) and a torque output of 83 lb-ft. The cost to build the Munster Koach was approximately $18,000 back then.

9. The Barrister

9. The Barrister

The Barrister is not just a single vehicle that Barris had modified like the other vehicles, rather it consisted of a lot of drop-top cars that Barris had modified in order to fulfill the needs of his customer base tastefully. He knew exactly what his customers needed; a properly modified, flashy vehicle that catches attention, and with the barristers, Barris achieved just that. Barris usually modified Corvettes at those times.

BarristerSpecs
PriceNA
Powertrain5.7L V8
Horsepower200 Horsepower
Torque300 lb-ft
Transmission4-speed Manual
0-60 mph6 seconds
Top Speed140 MPH

The Barrister were different cars with the same design language designed by George Barris, their specifications varied from each other. But mostly commonly a Corvette 1979 engine would be found under these modified cars as Corvettes were the preferred choice for these modifications. The engine was a 350 cubic-inch 5.7L V8 which pushed out 200 Horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, again these figures could vary depending on the Corvette modified. The car was capable of doing a top speed of 140 MPH and did a 0-60 MPH in just 6 seconds.

8. Batmobile

8. Batmobile

The Batmobile which was sold in an auction for $4.6M, was actually a lincoln futura concept car underneath. The car was in Barris’s collection until 2013, before he sold it off at the auction. The Futura was converted into the batmobile in just 15 days when the producers of the movie were looking for a vehicle for the main character. The car earned him massive respect and was indeed very iconic. Interestingly, Barris bought the car, the lincoln futura concept for just 1$ before modifying it.

BatmobileSpecs
Price$4,200,000 (auction)
Powertrain6.4L V8
Horsepower300 horsepower
Torque390 lb-ft
Transmission3-speed Turbo Drive Automatic
0-60 mph7 seconds
Top Speed120 mph

The Lincoln Futura concept or better known as the Batmobile was the one-of-one car that was designed by George Barris and it gained him a lot of popularity. It was powered by a Ford 390-cubic-inch 6.4L V8 engine which produced close to 300 horsepower and was paired with a 3-speed Turbo drive automatic gearbox. The engine was capable of pushing the car to a top speed of 120 MPH and it did a 0-60 MPH time in just 7 seconds.

7. The Beverly Hillbillies’ truck

7. The Beverly Hillbillies’ truck

Talking of the Beverly Hillbillies truck, it was a customized 1921 Oldsmobile 43 which was basically a roadster powered by a 43 horsepower four-cylinder engine and was converted to the Beverly Hillbillies by George Barris. Currently, the truck is at the Ralph Foster Museum in Branson, Missouri, and was donated there by Paul Henning, the creator of “The Beverly Hills”. According to the sources, for a couple of bucks, the visitors of the museum can even sit in the legendary truck by George Barris which sits just past the main entrance.

Beverly Hillbillies’ truckSpecs
PriceNA
Powertrain3.6L Inline-6
Horsepower43 Horsepower
TorqueNA
Transmission3-Speed Manual
0-60 mphNA
Top Speed50 MPH

The Beverly hillbillies truck has been destroyed as of now, but it used to have a 3.7L Inline-6 engine at the time of production that produced 43 horsepower. The main purpose of the Oldsmobile Model 43-A engine used in the Hillbillies truck was to provide reliable transportation rather than high performance. Apart from that, it came with a three-speed manual transmission at that time and was capable of reaching a top speed of 50 MPH.

6. The Drag-U-La

6. The Drag-U-La

The Drag-U-La was another car from the “The Munsters” series and looked like a dragster-styled coffin car. It had an exposed engine, the air scoop looked similar to a skull and the body looked like a sleek-black coffin. If you had seen the show “The Munster series” the Drag-u-la featured in the “Hot Rod Herman” episode. The engine was a 350 HP 289ci V8 engine sourced from a Mustang with a 4-speed stick shift. Also, it consisted of two-four-barrel carburetors.

Drag-u-laSpecs
Price$80,000 to $120,000 (Pre-auction rates)
Powertrain4.7L Ford Mustang V8
Horsepower225 HP
Torque305 lb-ft
Transmission4-speed manual
0-60 mph7.5 seconds
Top Speed125 MPH

The Drag-U-La was powered by a 289 cubic inch 4.7L V8 Ford Mustang engine which pushed 225 HP and was mated to a four-speed stick shift. The exact cost of building the car is not known but it used to cost between $80,000 to $120,000 when it went for sale. The top speed was an impressive 125 MPH and it did a 0-60 MPH time in just 7.5 seconds.

5. Voxmobile

5. Voxmobile

VOX approached George Barris with a unique idea as they wanted to build a customized two-placed roadster that would not only be completely functional as a car but also as a VOX amplifier. This vehicle was completely meant for marketing purposes and had to retain the identity of VOX. The car would create its own audio through the use of self-contained VOX sound equipment. The whole cost of this project was around $30,000 at that time and its primary purpose was to project the new concept of the VOX guitar. The Voxmobile was similar to a moving amplifier and could facilitate around 32 compatible VOX guitars with input jacks located at the top of the side body panel. It received power through a 12-volt auto-lite automotive battery.

VoxmobileSpecs
Price$30,000
Powertrain6.6L V8
Horsepower335 Horsepower
Torque441 lb-ft
Transmission3-speed Manual
0-60 mph7 Seconds
Top Speed120 MPH

The Voxmobile was based on the 1967 Pontiac GTO convertible and so was its engine which was a 6.6L V8 engine from the GTO convertible itself, which was capable of pushing 335 horsepower and 441 lb-ft of torque. This engine was mated to a 3-speed manual transmission and was capable of doing a top speed of 120 MPH and 0-60 MPH in just 7 seconds.

4. T Buggy Prototype

4. T Buggy Prototype

The T Buggy prototype was a test car that Barris had created to try out his luck with kit cars in 1965. The prototype project was powered by a Volkswagen Beetle engine powerplant although the final production-ready variant had the option to choose either from an air-cooled Chevy or a Volkswagen engine. The car was based on a Volkswagen Beetle chassis and was known for its distinctive looks like open-top design, off-road-inspired appearance, and unique features such as fender flares, exposed engine, and oversized rear wheels.

T-BuggySpecs
PriceNA
Powertrain1.6L air-cooled 4-cylinder engine
Horsepower50 Horsepower
Torque80 lb-ft
Transmission4-speed Manual
0-60 mph13 seconds
Top Speed100 MPH

The T-Buggy was a concept car built by George Harris which used Volkswagen Beetle’s engine and transmission option. Although there were a variety of engines on offer on the Beetle back then, the T-Buggy used a 1.6L air-cooled 4-cylinder engine that could produce 50 Horsepower and 80 lb-ft of torque paired with a four-speed manual transmission. The car could do a top speed of 100 MPH with the engine and had a 0-60 MPH time of 13 seconds.

3. 1975 Snakepit

3. 1975 Snakepit

We can now clearly understand by the cars mentioned above what a genius Mr. George Barris was. But what if I told you that it does not end here? With the snakepit, which looked nothing less than a drag monster, it had six V8 engines powering it! Yes, you heard that right. Six v8 engines powering a single car. The only aim while building the Snakepit was to destroy the existing speed records set by previous drag monsters and set new ones. And if calculated, the six V-8 engines put out a grand total of 2000 horsepower! The engines were paired through two C-6 automatic transmissions to the rear wheels and the car’s top speed was supposedly 300 MPH! On the exterior, it had six wheels with orange paint done on the body.

SnakepitSpecs
PriceNA
Powertrain3.2L Inline-six
Horsepower80 Horsepower
TorqueNA
Transmission3-Speed Manual
0-60 mph13 Seconds
Top Speed80 MPH

The Snakepit was a modified 1972 Dodge Challenger that offered unique and distinctive styling and performance enhancements. Although the engine could vary depending on the user’s preference, it usually used the engine from a 1972 Dodge Challenger. The engine used here was a 3.2L inline 6-cylinder engine which was capable of pushing out close to 100 horsepower and a top speed of 80 MPH. 0-60MPH would come up in 13 seconds for this engine.

2. Mercury Cougar Woodie 2050

2. Mercury Cougar Woodie 2050

The Mercury Cougar Woodie is limited to only one of one creation by George Barris. Originally a 1998 Mercury Cougar, it was called the “Woodie” after all the modifications done to it. Post the modifications done by Barris, the original engine was thrown out, and in came the supercharged V8! Apart from that, the woodie had at least 40 coats of Gold Pearl of Essence paint on it to make it look different. The front was inspired by a 1950s Ford while the rear end, wagon look was custom fabricated.

Mercury Cougar “Woodie”Specs
Price$37,093
Powertrain428 Cubic-inch Supercharged V8
Horsepower335 hp
TorqueNA
Transmission3-speed Merc-O-Matic automatic
0-60 mph10 seconds
Top Speed120 mph

The Mercury Cougar in its stock form was one of the cars that was offered in a slew of engine options like the 289cid, 302cid, and 428cid V8s, with a variety of transmissions. The engines produced anywhere between 210-335 HP of power depending on the engine the buyer chose and was capable to hit the top speed of 120 MPH and did a 0-60 MPH mark in between 7.3-10 seconds!

1. Ferrari 308 GTS

1. Ferrari 308 GTS

Barris’s Ferrari 308 GTS was preserved in great condition and had a massive V8 engine under its hood which was paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox. And the interesting thing about the car was that it had done just 8000 miles, according to the consignor. On the exterior, the car had a metallic gold custom color and which looked absolutely ravishing. And coming to the side it had three stripes ornamented along its waistline. Further complimenting the looks were the extra wide wheels. Talking of the interiors, it had a Sony TV and Kenwood audio systems, a customizable digital instrument pod, and a center console with futuristic digital displays and LED lights inserted in custom-made burl wood panels.

Ferrari 308 GTSSpecs
Price$65,949
Powertrain3.0L V8
Horsepower243 HP
Torque195 lb-ft
Transmission5-speed Manual
0-60 mph5.9 seconds
Top Speed152 MPH

The Ferrari 308 GTS was powered by a 2.9L V8 engine which used to produce 243 BHP and 195 lb-ft of torque. The engine was capable of producing a top speed of 152 MPH and did a 0-60 MPH time of 5.9 seconds. The Ferrari 308 GTS was sold at an average of $65,949.


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