Barris Kustom Industries has been a mainstay in the Hollywood automotive scene for years, responsible for crafting some of the most iconic vehicles in film history, like the Munsters Koach and the Batmobile. Now, its 18,000-square-foot corner lot with a 10,000-square-foot warehouse, shop, and showroom is going up for sale — and that means it might possibly be closing.
Basically, the real estate market is chaotic, and there’s a good chance that this property could be nabbed up by a condo developer or someone putting in a retail center — in essence, something with a lot less appeal than an iconic shop that’s done a hell of a lot for the custom car industry.
Here’s a little more on the history of the shop, from The L.A. Times:
In the early 1960s, the Barris brothers had already blown the car world’s mind with a customized mass of Detroit steel that came to be known as the Hirohata Merc — a 1951 Club Coupe that, in the parlance of the day, they nosed, decked, shaved, chopped and frenched until it was unlike any car ever built.
But times were changing. The hot rod craze was fading. Sam, said by many to be the design genius of the pair, left the business. When the Barris workshop in Lynwood burned to the ground, George’s new wife, Shirley, found a property on Riverside Drive in North Hollywood, halfway between Universal Studios and Warner Bros., and proclaimed it Barris Kustom City.
From that base Barris would become the self-proclaimed “King of the Kustomizers,” employing the best of the best of California automotive artisans to turn Detroit dross into Hollywood gold. Many of his most important projects would be for movies and TV shows.
George Barris, who passed away in 2015, was a creative genius when it came to all things on wheels.
All the memorabilia in the shop — and there’s a lot — is currently being stored away by Joji Barris-Paster, Barris’ daughter. She plans on turning it into a collection and displaying it to the public in some capacity. Ideally, that collection will be displayed in the Barris Kustom shop itself, preserved as a historical monument. Unfortunately, the hopes are slim.