George Barris - The King of Car Customizing
George Barris is no normal car designer . He takes cars and customizes them according to the special wishes of his customers. Since the early 1940s George Barris has been designing special cars that he has sold to the movie industry and celebrities .
George and his brother Sam started working on cars when they got a 1925 Buick from their parents. They made changes to it repainted it and then sold it.
Later on George re-designed some cars which he then used for racing. Hollywood became aware of this skilful car designer and in 1958 he created his first car used in the film High School Confidential .
Many Hollywood stars came to George Barris and wanted something special to drive in. Barris redesigned and modified cars for John Wayne, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra and many others.
Customizing cars became popular after World War II, because people wanted something personal as part of their culture. Car clubs appeared and the taste for new vehicles become stronger, especially among people with a lot of money. The big automobile companies did not compete in this business , so it was left to private businessmen like George Barris and others. Nobody, however , could do the job as well as Barris could.
In the 1960s Barris created the black and red Batmobile , the iconic car of the TV comic series . For the Munsters he took three Model T Fords and cut them together to make the family’s Koach . The inside was made to look like a coffin . In the 1980s he designed KITT , car star of the television series Knight Rider .
George Barris has been designing cars for over six decades . He is a legend in the car designing business, often called the “van Gogh” of the automobile industry. At 80, his son and daughter have taken over the business but he still designs cars in his studio.
The legendary "Batmobile" of the 1960s
- according to = in the way someone wants something to be
- aware = alert
- business = part of the economy
- celebrity = famous living person
- coffin = long box, in which a dead person is put
- compete = take part in
- create = make
- customize = to change to something special
- decade = ten years
- design = plan, make something new
- especially = above all
- however = but
- iconic = something that has become famous over the years
- modify = change
- popular = liked by many people
- re-design = plan or make something new
- repaint = paint over again
- series = set of television programs that have the same characters and are usually broadcast every week
- skilful = talented
- take over = to lead the company
- taste = the kind of things that you like
- vehicle = a machine that takes people or things from one place to another, like a car or truck