George Barris, “a veteran of the body shops of Sacramento and Los Angeles, [who] was a towering figure in the Southern California subculture of customizers and hot-rodders, known both for the sophistication of his design work and his flair for self-promotion,” has died at the age of 89, reports The New York Times.
The story says he died in Encino, Calif., but did not state a cause of death.
The Times notes that in “his baroque phase, Mr. Barris designed a slew of special-order cars for television, most famously transforming a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, in three weeks, into the finned Batmobile for the 1960s television series ‘Batman.’
“In an entirely different vein he spliced a 1921 Oldsmobile and a flatbed pickup for the sitcom ‘The Beverly Hillbillies,’ and he incorporated a coffin in creating the family car on ‘The Munsters,’ calling it a Drag-u-La.”
To read a lot more details about Barris, please click here, which will take you to the original Times story.
Here’s a short video we found on YouTube of George Barris talking about creating the Batmobile. The interview is part of the Archive of American Television: