Driving a George Barris-built Car - Greater Cincinnati Automobile Dealers Association
« Blog Home

Driving a George Barris-built Car

If there’s one car-lover who knows determination, it’s John Boyle.  This 59 year-old, retired Air Force officer from Colbert, Washington told A.J. Baime of the Wall Street Journal, about how he came to own his George Barris-built car, the Bearcat.

It was in 1971, when John Boyle was a teenager that he recalls a TV series that began called “Bearcats!”  It was the story of two soldiers of fortune who drove a 1914 Stutz Bearcat.  Boyle says he loved the car and wanted one.  He’d read in TV Guide that George Barris had built two Bearcat replicas for filming.  “Barris was (and still is) a bigshot in the custom-car movement…the go-to guy when producers needed a special car, best known for building the original Batmobile and the Munsters’s Koach.”

The antique Bearcats were extremely expensive, so when the show was cancelled Boyle told himself he’d keep his eyes open for one of the Barris replicas.  After searching for over 25 years, in 1999, he found one, whose owner agreed to sell it at a price he could afford.  “I couldn’t believe it,” said Boyle.  “I was now driving the exact car I saw on TV when I was a kid, made by George Barris.”  He later met with Mr. Barris in his L.A. office, and the car was authenticated.  Boyle admits that the car is now his “weekend toy” and he feels very lucky to have it.