Rolling History: Barris ‘Lil Stinker’ 1922 Ford

Most everyone knows that George Barris created many of our most memorable TV and movie scene-stealing cars: Batman, The Munsters, Mannix, Knight Rider, and so many more. But it’s his over the top, wild and outrageous creations – like the 1922 Ford Manure Spreader wagon found here on eBay – that best represent his auto custom work.

Barris created customs from the 1950’s until his death in 2015, both through his Barris Kustom studio in Hollywood, CA, and through collaborations with Hollywood car legends like Gene Winfield (Star Trek, Blade Runner), Dean Jeffries (The Monkees, Green Hornet), and like this “Lil Stinker” with the Taggart’s that Barris signed and badged as his own. Originally built as a Novelty show car (and not to run), it’s been lovingly rebuilt to be a parade and show traveler.

In that capacity, it’s traveled with good company. The seller claims it was shown with Ray Farhner’s famous “Boothill Express” – the 1850 era horse-drawn coach that he put on a 1948 ford Hot Rod rear with an exposed Chrysler 428-HP V8 that became perhaps the most famous tricked-out comical Hot Rod of this genre. Currently, it’s housed with none other than Love American Style Machine that started as a ’37 Ford Panel Truck, and a custom van used in Batman.

There’s a scarce amount of history that I can find on this icon of the times, but with credit given to the Taggart clan – it’s probably from the mind of George and William Taggart, who’s most famous creation might be the Munn’s Root Beer Cutlass drag racer. I truly wish that these “car-toons” struck my interest more because they are a surprisingly cheap way to have a one-of-a-kind collection.

 

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Comments

  1. marlon smith

    The seller is friend of mine. I’ve actually bought a couple of cars from him

    Like 1
  2. Classic Steels

    Hmm. Using a nickname on a vehicle like lil bastard worked well for James Dean by George in the past 🙄

    Like 1
  3. JW

    Did George Barris build the Red Baron T bucket ? I had a big scale model of that when I was 10 with working headlights and taillights, my future brother inlaw helped me build it.

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      No, JW, that was Chuck Miller. The last I saw it, the car was in Jay Ohrberg’s collection, which would have been around 25 years ago (see photo).

      • DrinkinGasoline

        I have 6 Hot Wheels versions in the package as well as two out of the package.

      • JW

        Thanks Beatnik, that was a cool model to put together and at that time the only one with working head/taillights.

      • Dusty Stalz

        The Red Baron is at Volo now.

  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    There’s no limit to one’s imagination. I think of Dragula when the Munsters were front and center. This spreader is definitely unique but in the trucking industry I’ve encountered some long haulers that actually DID the spreading thing by cutting a hole in the floor of the sleeper and doing their business through that. No, they came here from another part of the world.

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      That’s disgusting! Sadly, I have heard of that too. I had a friend that worked in a truck stop garage, and same kind of person, team operation ( not from this country) complaining of a driveline vibration, when they brought it in,naturally, it smelled, and the driveshaft and front pumpkin were covered. Disgusting.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Yuk!!!! Can you imagine being on a motorcycle or a convertible, or just having a window rolled down, and passing a truck like that when a blob of doodoo hits the driveshaft? There would be reprisals…. I was chatting with a guy on the ATHS page on FB and he told me of one of those trucks going onto the scales in CA. A blob fell off and hit the deck of the scales. They immediately shut down the scales and called HAZMAT. $30K environmental cleanup, plus a massive fine to the driver(s). I guess having a spreader with a load of ‘farm fresh’ isn’t as bad….

  5. Dean

    Up here we call them “Politicians”…

  6. Troy s

    Not overly interested in this rod, but the Munn’s root bear Cutlass mentioned above has got me thinking about a kinda dumb movie called”Hot Rod”, tv movie I think, that I had practically forgotten all about.

  7. Miguel

    Does anybody know where the radiator is?

    • Rick

      Im the owner of it, its under neath it, and has electric water pump with electric fans. Rick

    • Alan (Michigan) Member

      Auction photos kind of indicate that it is underneath. Looks like an electric fan, and also an electric pump to circulate coolant. Might be tough to get the air out of the system….

  8. Jerry Brentnell

    the coolant ran on the inside of the frame rails through copper pipe with 2 small rads with electric fans to cool them! this this was never built to run ,it was a show horse to sell tickets at custom car shows, just like zingers! chuck miller I think built 6 of these for the international show car association, ed roth did some too such as the beatnik bandit, tweety pie hot rod, and the mysterion ! gawd I’m getting old!

  9. Rob

    LOL……………you know what…….I like it!!!! Very well done!!!!

  10. Rick Rothermel

    C’mon, kids…rd lets give credit ONLY where it is due. George only BOUGHT the Monkees GTO and the Green Hornet Imperial after the respective series were cancelled. He then stuck his name on them and sent them around the world to car shows. The feature cars for both (two of each) were built by Dean Jeffries’ shop alone, NO shared credit with Barris. Same with Winfield and any number of other builders. I knew all of them over a 30 year period, and they all had the same issue with GB.
    I’d never heard of this thing, but it looks to have pre-dated George’s ‘particle board era’ street rods of the 70s. I do like the paint effects.

    Like 1
  11. Rick McKee

    Looks like the perfect politician campaign car.

    Like 1
    • Rube Goldberg Member

      Best response yet, Rick. That should garner 100 thumbs up! Be good for Burning Man or “The Zoo” at BIR.

  12. Jim Benjaminson

    Come up to farming country in North Dakota and we’ll show you some real manure spreaders turned into cars…..

    Like 1
    • Lance

      Or some cars turned into manure spreaders Jim . LOL

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