George Barris has been anointed - by none other than George Barris - the “King of Kustomizers.” Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Titan is one of his rare road-going cars, and may have once been owned by Rat Pack member Sammy Davis Jr. You’ll have to decide if it’s rat packing too heavy a price.
Supercharged but not super-priced, yesterday’s 1999 Jeep Cherokee might be able to leap tall boulders with a single bound, and it did a super job of squeaking out a Nice Price win, 51% - 49%.
Sammy Davis Jr. Lost an eye in a 1958 car accident on Route 66 in San Bernardino California, just south of the Cajon Pass. He was on his way home from a performance in Vegas when the accident occurred, and while it took one of his eyes, it also gave him a new outlook on his faith, as it was during his recovery from this accident that Davis converted to Judaism.
Today’s 1972 Barris Titan is marked with the famous singer’s name on both its doors and grille, however while it is true that Davis once owned a Titan, there is no empirical evidence that he owned this particular Titan.
This particular what?
Ah yes, just what in god’s name is this thing? Well, the history is sketchy but supposedly the Titan was a car designed by George Barris- he of the Batmobile, and
Hey, Hey We’re The Monkees car Munster Koach fame, among many others.
Supposedly 18 of these behemoths were built, and they were sold through Underwriters Auto Leasing Co. out of Beverly Hills before people came to their senses. They were based on the massive 6th-generation Thunderbird, and took that car’s extravagant styling to a whole new if it ain’t baroque, don’t fix it level.
Some say these were built off of the Lincoln MK IV, but this one clearly has a T-bird dash and interior, although some of the woodgrain has been replaced with a mirrored material. Aside from that, and the Titan badge, the rest of the interior is pure ‘70s T-bird which means tufted seats and red accessories just like out of the back room at Miss Kitty’s saloon.
On the outside the changes are vastly more prominent, including exaggerated pontoon fenders each ending in a point sharp enough to slice bread. Between those is an equally stretched nose fronted by a chromed and T (for Titan) grille.
Out back the car is also uniquely distinctive with a faux wire tire hump (sadly not a lovely lady hump) mid boot, and what look like ’68 Country Squire tail lights, laid on their sides. Beneath those are flipped over ‘Vette bumperettes and again there’s the pointy pontoons that’ll make parallel parking lots of fun. A padded landau and sunroof top things off, and the whole thing gives off kind of a green hornet sort of vibe. That is, if the Green Hornet were a pimp and not a crime fighter.
Mechanically, the ad says the car has a 428, but nu-uh. In ’72 the T-bird was available with a choice of three V8s, a 400 CID, a 429, and the torquemada 460. This one looks like the 212-net horsepower 429. That’s of course backed up by the tried and true C6 3-speed and the whole thing rolls on a suspension design intended to mimic the driving feel of the Queen Mary.
It’s a rare opportunity to have a Titan come up for sale, and there is an outside chance that this was the one once owned by the Candy Man. Still, its present unconfirmed status as such means that such provenance shouldn’t be taken into account when calculating its value.
It’s now time to do just that, and take in this amazing Barris creation’s asking price, which is $29,700. That price is asked by a Michigan-based dealer named Haggle Me, and ignoring that confrontational title, what do you think of this Titan’s price? Is $29,700 a deal for a kustom kruzer? Or, for that price can this Titan take off?
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