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Remembering George Barris Week: The Munster Koach and the Drag-u-la

(Originally posted by That Car Guy on June 15, 2009.)

KoachTwo hilarious monster-themed TV shows, The Addams Family and The Munsters, premiered and expired the same two weeks of the same two years in 1964-1966. Both were in black and white. Each had their audience, and you were either a Munsters fan or an Addams Family fan, or both. I liked them both, but I guess I was more of a Munsters fan, primarily because they had The Munster Koach.

George Barris is a genius. He created custom cars like the Batmobile, Monkeemobile, and The Beverly Hillbillies' truck; if a studio wanted a cool custom vehicle for a TV show or movie, Barris Kustom Cars was the place to call. Barris was also wise enough to retain ownership rights to some of his vehicles and just rented them to the studios, guaranteeing him rights for displays, models, and other rewards.

To see the original post in its entirety and leave comments, please click here.

Carspotters’ Challenge #158: The Pop Culture Is Strong With This One

Thanks to Back To The Future Day, I was able to use on of Scott Park’s BTTF-themed works in one of our Carspotters’ Challenges. Inspired by the rest of his portfolio, I decided to showcase more of his automotive-pop culture-themed artwork.

Tumblr_mnn7uwVNGN1std30ho1_1280Click here for bigger version.

Tumblr_n19xt3Ru841std30ho1_1280Click here for bigger version.

The featured works are Star Cars and Star Cars Vol. 2, respectively, a series which showcases a vast array of pop-culture vehicles from movies and TV, as well as comic books and videogames throughout the years. Ya like? Get ‘em here and here, respectively. My only quip is that the artist used the 2008 movie version of the Speed Racer Mach 5 instead of the original, but that's about it.

So… how strong is the pop-culture with you?




References: Tumblr

Carspotters’ Challenge #157: So Many Cars, So Little Time…

Because I’m still pumped over Back To The Future Day, I decided to continue celebrating just a little while longer…

Cii7t57wcldt9vo3kffbClick here to get a closer look.

During the world-wide countdown to October 21st, Jalopnik featured the image above. It was done by Scott Park of Scott Park Illustration, a talented artist who’s not unfamiliar to the vehicles of pop-culture. This piece is titled 88 MILES PER HOUR (referencing the time machine’s speed it needs to be traveling in order to time travel), featuring 88 cars from the trilogy (I’m sure there are more that don’t repeat themselves, but the artist did outdid himself. Besides, the BTTF 88mph reference works here).

The script at the bottom is the answer sheet. How many can you make out without cheating—er, double-checking your answers? Can you point out any that appear in the trilogy that’s not included here?

If you really like this poster enough to buy it, you can get it here, among other wonderful artwork from not only the same artist, but others as well.




References: Jalopnik

Carspotters’ Challenge #156: Detroit, Michigan Traffic

  Detroit, Michigan tumblr_m95xekDI8O1r9qhhio1_1280Click here for full-size version.

Has Detroit, Michigan changed… traffic-wise?





Carspotters’ Challenge #155: Waiting Time

Tumblr_m5ppm0vl6p1qc2alio1_1280 I’m curious to know what’s the average waiting time a racer has to endure to make a pass down the track on a good (full) day/night.




References: Tumblr.

Carspotters’ Challenge #153: UNO Criss Library, April 1979

Since this week's theme is about Our First Cars, this picture came to mind. It's the Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library at the University of Nebraska Omaha. 

Flickr uno criss library Color. Parking South of ASH. April 1979 5425784303_62b1eb35f2_b
Click here for bigger version.

Flickr uno criss library Color. Parking South of ASH. April 1979  5425784261_8d65333262_b
Click here for bigger version.

The reason? Many of us used our first cars to go to high-school and/or college. The time period we've attended these places may or may not be the same, but those of us that were blessed with not only a decent education but also a set wheels to get there can find reasons to relate to it.




References: and University Archives, University of Nebraska Omaha Criss Library.


Carspotters’ Challenge #152: Is That Molly Ringwald?

Tumblr_m5xylmBaeo1rs0g9jo1_1280 I’ll admit that while I’m a pretty big fan of the ‘80s, I’ve seen very few of the Brat Pack (Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, etc.) movies. So I drew a blank when I found this pic on Tumblr. I just thought it’d make a great Carspotters’ Challenge, so I saved it. Given that this week had a bit of an ‘80s-flare to it -what with discussing what the archetypal ‘80s car is, to a new series taking place in Germany, circa 1983- I’m glad I did and it’d be a shame not to use it now. Besides, I want to know where it’s from. So please, fellow readers, would you’d be so kind to tell this pupil of the 1980s what movie is this from? You could just tell me the cars instead if you wish.




References: Tumblr

The Cars of Deutschland 83 deutschland83-staffel1-trailer_deAny series that uses Major Tom (Coming Home) by Peter Schilling for the opening can’t be bad at all!


Taking place during the 1980s chapter of the Cold War, Deutschland 83 (‘Deutschland’ is German for ‘Germany’, ‘83’ for 1983) is about a young East Germany soldier that went from confiscating illegal literature to becoming a spy in the offices of high-ranking West German military personnel so he can gather information on what was going on with the nuclear weaponry. Naturally, anything involving nuclear warfare quickly gets complicated, on both sides of the Berlin Wall, on a military level as well as on a personal level.

The series was wonderfully crafted. There was no glaring stand outs of anything that didn’t belong there, everything from the wardrobe, to the furnishings, to the music (oh, that sweet, sweet music!) was spot-on. There are well-funded movies that mess this up (*coughs* Dallas Buyers Club *coughs*). But let’s be realistic here, there will be anachronisms. As the series gets airtime in Germany (it aired first in the U.S. market), they’ll begin to pop and be pointed out. A greater learning experience, in my eyes.

Yes, there will be the inevitable comparison to The Americans, but this series has another thing going for it: It’s German. This must certainly help the period portrayal of both sides of The Berlin Wall as well as a fresh perspective to the Cold War that isn’t North American, not to mention a fresh portrayal of life in Germany in the 1980s; things that I was curious about when the series was first announced on Sundance TV. Oh, and it’s in German, the first series to be aired that way on North-American television. Get used to reading subtitles.

While I found that the ending had a bitter-sweet (more on the bitter side, IMO) open-ish ending, I still want more of it. Let’s hope that the rumors of two more seasons (said to be called Deutschland 86 and Deutschland 89) become real.

Continue reading "The Cars of Deutschland 83" »

Carspotters’ Challenge #151: What Did You Do On Labor Day?

 What did you do on Labor Day?

Tumblr_msi6kuzgCp1r9qhhio1_1280 Circa 1959. Click here to find a bigger version.

Did you go to a get-together with family and friends, hopefully in fair weather?

Continue reading "Carspotters’ Challenge #151: What Did You Do On Labor Day?" »

Carspotters’ Challenge #150: Los Angeles, circa 1979

Just another day in Los Angeles... Los Angeles (ca. 1979) tumblr_mig1j5ffL81s1f10do1_1280If one looks closely, the print from the other side of the page can be made out, so I’m convinced that this was staged. I could be wrong. The website that I got it from doesn’t say which magazine it comes from, only that it’s ‘Los Angeles, circa 1979’. Regardless, I’d totally give a listen to KMET 94.7 rock radio station, which was from Los Angeles.




References: Tumblr

Pictured above: This is a forlorn Chevy Vega photographed by reader Gary Sinar. (Share yours)

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