"If you said you were bringing a Batmobile for a car show, the show would just absolutely be mobbed with people who wanted to see the car. It was a major contribution to the popularity of a film that you had the people taking a picture next to the car. That was a thrill. We made that car be a star on film as well as in real life."
About This Interview
In his three-hour Archive interview, Custom car designer George Barris (1925-2015) talks about his early years customizing his own cars as a teenager and describes his participation in the street racing youth culture of the late 1940s in Los Angeles. He discusses the craze in low budget Hollywood films to depict this culture thus leading to his work in film and television. Barris describes in great detail, the custom cars from various television series for which he is best known, including the "Batmobile" from Batman, the "Munster Koach" and "Drag-u-la" from The Munsters, the family car from The Beverly Hillbillies, the red with white-stripe Ford Torino from Starsky and Hutch, the "General Lee" from The Dukes of Hazzard, and K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider. He also talks about his contributions to such feature films as Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, and The Flintstones. Additionally, Barris discusses his role as a pioneer of custom designing cars and talks about his extensive celebrity clientele that included Elvis Presley, Bob Hope, Redd Foxx, and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Karen Herman conducted the interview on April 21, 2004.