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Influences : “Mantraga” Merc by Sam Barris

Now, just because the title says “Barris” in it, does not give anyone the right to mention the “Monkey Mobile”, “The Munster Mobile” “Knight Rider” or the “General Lee”. All of those vehicles were built in the Hollywood heyday of George Barris, who built his reputation from the customizing his older brother Sam Barris pulled off in the 50’s and 60’s. This vehicle was built in 1949 through 1950 by Sam Barris, original customizer in So-Cal, and as far as I know it is the fourth or fifth car ever chopped. These guys were on the cutting edge of customization, they were pulling off amazing things with rudimentary tools, torches and lead.
I’m not going to get into the history of this vehicle, as it’s well documented See Kustomrama. I’m talking about this care because its cool, has a great chop and its a vehicle that not only inspires my work but that of others (compare the side windows to the Cadzilla; built 40 years later). The profile, the lowered stance and the “hard-top” style chop without pillars, speak for themselves. This car doesn’t need any gaudy paint to make it stand out. Unfortunately, it met an early demise when it was wrecked just a couple of years after it was created. Thank goodness that there are a couple of good photos left, so it can live-on to inspire the rest of us.

Barris Mantraga Merc

If you have questions, ideas or would like a quote for building or chopping your own car please feel free to contact me any time with the contact form on the sidebar.

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If you have questions, ideas or would like a quote for building our own car please feel free to email me any time with the contact form on the sidebar. I will gladly quote full builds or complex one-off parts to assist you in your build. I’m here to help so lets go!
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