1955 Chevrolet Aztec by George Barris Is the Ultimate Custom Mashup
14 January 2020 - autoevolution
In the world of custom cars there are few names as revered as that of George Barris.
The builder has been responsible over the years for some of the most astonishing cars, from the original Batmobile to the Munster Koach from The Munsters, from KITT from Knightrider to the Voxmobile amplifier - the scope of Barris's builds is so large that is nearly impossible to encompass them all.
In a time when most of the cars designed by the legendary tuner should be consigned to museums, seeing one on the open market is reason enough for a monumental stir. Or so you would think.
On Friday, January 10, on the floor of the Mecum auction in Kissimmee, Florida, a stunning looking custom Chevrolet was on sale. Estimated to fetch up to $450,000, the car failed to sell and is presently still available on the auctioneer's website.
The car, as pictured in the gallery above, made its first appearance at the 1959 Detroit Autorama. It was built by Barris for Bill Carr, his roommate at the time. Based on a 1955 Chevy Convertible, the car was modified with a lot of talent and imagination and renamed Aztec.
Looking significantly different from the base car, the Aztec uses the tail fins from a Studebaker Hawk, the bumpers and mesh grille from a 1957 DeSoto, pans from another Studebaker from 1953, and the headlights from a 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser.
Originally, the car was fitted with a 265 Chevrolet engine, but during its restoration in the early 1990s, the Aztec was gifted with a 350 Chevrolet crate engine and 700R4 transmission.
The man who restored the car has been its owner since the early 1990s. He rescued it from a New Jersey body shop where it was left to rot after being tied over the years to bank robberies and seized by the government.
The Mecum website still lists the car as Bid Goes On, meaning interested customers can now negotiate for it with the owner. So if you're in the market for a piece of George Barris history, now's the time.