During the 1950s and 1960s, many great men (and a few women) came and went in the automotive scene. Some stuck around for decades, others lasted just a few years, and some people enjoyed no more than their 15 minutes of fame. But a handful of names have been around forever and ever and ever. One of those names is George Barris.
SEMA has announced that Barris, quite possibly the most famous car customizer of all time, will be entered into its Hall of Fame alongside three other famous names in automotive history.
Barris is responsible for the designing some of the most famous cars in the automotive world, perhaps most famously of all, the original Adam West-driven Batmobile. That car recently sold for $4.62 million at auction this year, propelling Barris into the limelight once more. We think his induction into the SEMA Hall of Fame is long overdue.
Getting his start with brother Sam, George Barris introduced the world to “custom” cars and designed such amazing examples as the Asteroid Corvette, KITT from Knight Rider, and the Dukes of Hazzard’s General Lee. That is a pretty impressive resume alone, and doesn’t even touch on the countless private custom cars Barris created.
Barris will be inducted alongside several other names in the automotive pantheon of awesome. Joining him will be Eric Grant, who helped SEMA navigate the strict emissions laws that came out of the tumultuous California Air Resource Board during the 1960s and 70s. Wade Kawasaki, a longtime volunteer and ally of SEMA, and “Gentleman Joe” Schubeck, a famous racer who began his Top Fuel career in the 1960s and founded Lakewood Industries, will also be inducted this year. Their induction ceremony will take place on July 26th, 2013, in Pomona, California.