The Internet is all-powerful. You want to find somebody (or something) you “Google.” Well, Google this.
Back in 1962-1963, before the afternoon Lloyd Thaxton Show went into syndication, I used to do one or two prime-time 90-minute Lloyd Thaxton Show specials a year on KCOP in Los Angeles. On one such special our guest stars were Trini Lopez (La Bamba), Wayne Newton (Danke Schoen), and April Stevens & Neno Tempo (Deep Purple). Does anyone remember that special?
See if this helps. One of the highlights on that show was The Lloyd Thaxton Hot Rod. Now this wasn’t just any old HOT ROD. This was a hot rod built and designed by famed custom car designer and builder George Barris. Barris designed the “Batmobile” for the Batman TV series, “The Munster’s Koach,” and hundreds of other fantastic custom cars for movies. He is “The King of Kustom.”
The George Barris designed Lloyd Thaxton Hot Rod was a 1930 Model A, using a big Buick engine with MT manifold and carbs. The Body was channeled 10” over the frame for lower effect. It was painted with a kandy apple red paint job with black leather interior. It was really “boss.”
I had the pleasure of driving this beauty to my daily show for about a week to plug the up-coming special, during which April Stevens and Nino Tempo performed their #1 hit record “Deep Purple” sitting up on the back of seats. Is this ringing any bells yet?
Here are some more hints. During the show, we awarded the Hot Rod to some lucky winner. Yes, we GAVE IT AWAY!!! I say “some” lucky winner because I don’t have a clue as to whom that someone might have been.
There was an recent article in the “Highway 1” section of the Los Angeles Times (Wednesday August 2nd 2006). It featured the most beautiful, son of a dogg motorcycle you have ever seen. It is aptly named “The Dutch Angel” because it was designed and built by Von Dutch Kustom Cycles. According to the LA Times writer, Susan Carpenter, “The behemoth 113-cubic inch V-twin was tricked out with slick candy-stick pin-striping, a high-end racing motor and enough chrome for a lady to check out her helmet hair.” Wow! The price? Well if you don’t have at least $50,000 in your pocket, forget it.
It was during the reading of the article that I yelled out, “Where is my George Barris Hot Rod?” You see when I was young and in my prime I used to do it all the time. Do what? Ride a motorcycle. And my bike was signed by Von Dutch (Long-time bikers will know why that is so cool). This thought took me back to George Barris. If I’m correct, Von Dutch pin-stripped a lot of Barris’s cars and I think pin-stripped the Lloyd Thaxton Hot Rod.
So where is IT now?
I’m asking all you Mouse Cliquers to help me out here. If you know or can find out who won the Lloyd Thaxton Hot Rod, let me know. I just want to check it out and see what happened to it. My wife, Barbara, says that it was probably sold and resold many times on eBay. I hope not. Anyway, eBay wasn’t around that long ago. I just hope the guy who won it is still driving it or, at the least, has it mounted on his bedroom wall (I wanted to do that with my bike but I didn’t have the nerve). I sold it back to Bud Ekins, the person from whom I bought it, 30 years later.
Get those mousies cliquing. If you find out what happened to my HOT Kandy Apple Red Rod, let me know.
And then …