Thursday, March 10, 2011

eBay Find of the Day: George Barris’ 70-X Toronado from Expo ‘67

George Barris is a living legend, perhaps best known for his work on the Lincoln Futura-based Batmobile for the ‘60s Batman TV series starring Adam West. One of his lesser-known creations is this: the 70-X Toronado, aka a heavily customized 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado. It was one of four custom Olds’ commissioned by Canada’s Imperial Oil and built by Barris for Expo ’67 in Montreal. And now you have the chance to own this unique piece of customising history for the low, low price of US$99,000.

The Toronado held the distinction of being the first front wheel drive car produced in the U.S. since the Cords of the 1930s, though was otherwise ordinary for the time. A 425ci big block under the hood, a wide grin and two sharp fender protrusions to impale unsuspecting pedestrians were the standout features of the ’67 model year. In Barris’ hands, though, the Toronado became something even more exotic.

Barris built upon the ’67 Toronado’s design language, enlarging the fender protrusions at the front and extending them to the rear. He pumped up the wheel arches and added fluted chrome indicator housings and side vents. Chrome helps disguise the width of the C-pillars and subtle intakes on the hood give the 70-X a sportier appearance. The interior is adorned with a wrap around rear couch, tan leather and lots of custom wooden elements including a fold out writing desk.

The seller is Daniel Schmitt & Co of St. Louis and as usual, they aren’t afraid to pander around the usual disingenuous sales talk. The eBay listing includes such zingers as, “In many experts opinion, this great motorcar is George Barris’ most magnificent creation,” and “Opportunity to acquire one of the world’s most unique and desired motorcars!” Yeah, right.

Still, it’s an interesting piece of auto exotica and a Barris Original to boot, so it’s certain to find a comfortable home in some collector’s private collection. And the price tag is somewhat understandable given the car’s heritage and the extensive restoration work that’s been done.

As always, you can check out the gallery below and leave your piece in the comments section.

By Tristan Hankins

Link: eBay


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