Lot 234 - 1969 Buick Bugaloos Buggy by George Barris
|Estimate||£12,000 - £15,000|
|Result||Sold - £13,200|
George and his brother Sam (1924-1967) were born in Chicago in the 1920's. After the deaths of their parents, they moved to live with relatives. Both were good students interested in drama, music, and design. George was fascinated with model aircraft and pursued the hobby seriously in his teenage years winning competitions for his models. The brothers worked at a restaurant owned by their family and were given a 1925 Buick for their help. Although it was not in good shape, they swiftly restored it to running condition and began to experiment with changing its appearance. This became the first Barris Brothers custom car which they then sold at a profit to buy another project vehicle. Before George had graduated from high school, demand for their work was growing and they created a club for owners of custom vehicles called the Kustoms Car Club. This was the first use of the spelling 'kustom,' which would become associated with Barris. In the 1960's, the Barris company became heavily involved in vehicle design for television production; 'The Bugaloos' was an American children's television series produced by brothers Sid and Marty Krofft, airing on NBC on Saturday mornings from 1970 to 1972. The show featured a musical group composing of four British-accented teenagers who lived in the fictional 'Tranquility Forest' wearing insect-themed outfits with antenna and wings which allowed them to fly.
George Barris had an opportunity to design and build the Bugaloos Buggy and once again, his unique talent and imagination did not disappoint. The 'car' was believed to have been originally sold at the 'Cars of the Stars' collection car auction, held at the Sheraton-Universal hotel, 25th September 1983. The auction catalogue write-up was as follows;
Another most creative TV show by SID & MARTY KROFFT, the Bugaloos, starred Caroline Ellis, Wayne Laryea, John Philpott, John McIndoe, and Martha Raye. BARRIS was given the challenge to make the group's fantasy rod with BUTTERFLY WINGS mounted on the sides of a BOOMERAND fiberglass bodied dune buggy. This buggy was powered by a VW engine. The buggy is equipped with four bucket seats and four telephones for the stars. Multi-colors were sprayed and combined with contrasting pin stripes by BOB BOND. Quad KRACO units were installed for music backup with the singing group.
The buggy surfaced in France over 20 years later with little known about its whereabouts in between. However in 2007 the Buggy was sold at auction in London and has remained with the current vendor ever since. The car has undergone restoration work and presents in splendid condition. April 2009 saw George Barris reunited with his creation at a motor show in Sweden and was clearly delighted to see it in such fine condition. The current vendor has decided, due to lack of storage space, that it is time for this timeless 'fun' car to be enjoyed by a new proud owner.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.