Written by John Squires
The film, television, and automobile communities collectively mourned this week when news broke that legendary car designer George Barris had passed away, the sad news coming courtesy of his son Brett over on Facebook. Barris, 89, is perhaps most known for creating the beloved 1966 Batmobile.
In the wake of the Batman TV series, which catapulted Barris to worldwide notoriety, the California car customizer was scooped up by various other film and television productions, and his major contribution to the world of horror came in the form of The Munsters‘ iconic family vehicle, the Munster Koach.
Designed by Barris and built by his team at Barris Kustoms, the Munster Koach was seen in over 20 episodes of the series, and was also featured in the 1966 movie Munster, Go Home!. Barris and company also built the equally iconic Dragula, which Grandpa famously created in the episode ‘Hot Rod Herman.’
“Sorry to have to post that my father, legendary kustom car king George Barris, has moved to the bigger garage in the sky,” son Brett posted on Facebook. “He passed on peacefully in his sleep at 2:45 am. He was surrounded by his family in the comfort of his home. He lived his life they way he wanted til the end. He would want everyone celebrate the passion he had for life and for what he created for all to enjoy. Thank you all for the posts and calls, your love is deeply appreciated. Peace.”
Sharing a picture of the Munster Koach on Instagram, longtime Munsters fan Rob Zombie paid tribute to George Barris by thanking the automobile artist for letting him borrow the Koach on several occasions. Zombie’s song ‘Dragula’ was of course inspired by the show, and in the video he’s seen riding the Koach.
Needless to say, Barris left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry, and he will be greatly missed.