Top Ten Ed Roth Custom CarsThis is a top ten listing for cars that were built by one of the pioneers of the Kustom Kulture himself, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, who is also well-known for his monster shirts and the Rat Fink character.
The Beatnik Bandit is Big Daddy's most famous creation. It has become a model kit and was also one of the very first Hot Wheels cars.
This true-blue show car made by Roth features an RGB headlight assembly, along with the usual bubble-top canopy, and a TV set in the cockpit. It went missing for several years until it was found in front of an adult store in Mexico, being used as a dumpster. The car has since been retrieved and restored to its former glory.
This was the first car Ed built using his special fiberglass/plaster method. The shifter featured Excalibur, a Revolutionary War sword owned by his mother-in-law's family. The car was originally going to be named Excalibur, but the name was changed to Outlaw because people had trouble pronouncing the former. Roth sold another car, Little Jewel, to pay for the chrome work on the Outlaw.
This little yellow vehicle was built to be a true surfer's car. Its unique custom surfboard carrier body boasts an Austin Mini Cooper chassis with a chrome 1269cc Mini Cooper engine. It appeared for a split second in Beach Blanket Bingo and also in the 1964 film Village of the Giants.
This lean, mean, aluminum-bodied dragster won many top eliminators at the dragstrips in its time. Ed Roth conceived this vehicle when he overheard George Schreiber, also known as The Bushmaster, talking about how streamlined dragsters were posting better times. Schreiber was the one who drove the 'Fang.
Ed's first foray into the custom car scene was a 1930 Model A Tudor with an Oldsmobile engine, painted by Wally Jordan. Ed sold it to pay for the chrome work on the Outlaw.
Built in 1963, this beauty features a strange, offset headlight, dual Ford V8 engines, and dual-welded rear ends. It was painted in candy yellow by Larry Watson and was inspired by multi-engined dragsters that Roth had seen at dragstrips.
Simply the greatest hot rod ever created.
Created in 1995 as a tribute to the original Beatnik Bandit, this car featured new design cues, especially with the bubble-top canopy. Otherwise, the similarities between the two are all too clear.
Another unique creation by Big Daddy himself, this car looks like something out of a fairy tale or the Addams Family. From the art deco pieces to Larry Watson's veiling paint technique, it's a real showstopper. The vehicle is powered by a Dodge engine and transmission, along with a blower and a carburetor for easier start-ups at shows. The gas tank is housed inside a small coffin on the back of the vehicle.
This futuristic creation by Roth features two 650cc Bell Auto Parts-built Triumph engines laid on their sides, each with a high-pressure propeller to allow the Rotar to move on land and water. The car also features plywood directional flaps and a rear fin inspired by the '59 Cadillac owned by Roth.