Thursday, September 19, 2013

THE BARBER CAR....It was right here in our home town back in 1975....

This is one of those "do it now before you forget" posts.  The Barber Car in this very first photo was taken by yours truly here in Thunder Bay at a car show in the Coliseum building in 1975.  I was compelled to do this post after reading a most incredible book by "Hot Rod" writer Pat Ganahl called "Lost Hot Rods".  It is a must read for all you gearheads out there....thanks for the loan Dennis.
As it looked at the CLE Coliseum in 1975 here in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
While it might be hard to keep a razor steady at 150 miles-per-hour, this vehicular barber shop is fully functional and capable of such neck-nicking speeds. The bizarre Barber Car is one of many curious and wildly expensive cars in the vault below the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

The Vault, which stores around 150 vehicles that are in between exhibitions or just don't quite fit anywhere in the museum, was closed to the public since the museum opened in 1994 (although VIPs, along with someone who got in with an old Volvo key, got to see the subterranean auto treasure trove). It opened for the first time for tours in late 2012, and, due to high demand (people were lining up outside), the museum recently announced that these tours would be going on indefinitely. Along with the Barber Car is a Mercedes-Benz that belonged to Saddam Hussein, a bullet resistant car that was commissioned by the White House just a day after Pearl Harbor, President Clinton's golf cart, a 1925 Round Door Rolls-Royce recovered from a New Jersey junkyard, and a 1957 Jaguar owned by Steve McQueen.

The Barber Car was imagined in 1969 by car customizer Joe Bailon, who invented the popular Candy Apple Red paint and also designed the totally bizarre and fanciful Pink Panther Car.

This is how it looked in the Vault - I don't know what's with the one wheel in the rear!

 At the time, there was a custom car craze for wilder and wilder vehicles for car shows, and the Barber Car delivered with twin antique barber chairs positioned between two authentic barber poles that worked as turn signals, as well as a porcelain sink equipped with hot and cold water. The whole interior was upholstered in red velvet and even has a stereo, and installed up front is a 400 horsepower Corvette engine. Perhaps someone could use the Barber Car to stage a rollicking road trip version of Sweeney Todd?                                                                                                                                           
As shown in the Peterson Museum - California.
Did we build this kit?....Was one ever made?
Lovely in black and white ☺
This is how it looks in Pat Ganahl's book.
 Since I can't legally copy the whole story from Pat's sure to pick it up and read it yourself...once more....It's called "Lost Hot Rods".....and I think even though it's pretty was pretty cool to see it right in our own home town back in the 1970's.  You've gotta love it!

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