While you can probably make a quick list of at least five picture cars that you would recognize anywhere, can you name the designers behind those cars? These talented individuals poured their energy into creating fabulous cars, but they usually get no recognition. Here are some designers that deserve honoring for the movie cars that they have created.
If you are a sci-fi movie buff, then you have probably seen the work of Syd Mead as he created the flying cars seen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, followed by, Blade Runner, TRON, 2010, Short Circuit, Aliens, Time Cop, Johnny Mnemonic, Mission Impossible-3, and Elysium. He was born in Minnesota, but he spent most of his childhood in Colorado before enlisting in the army. He had a highly successful corporate illustration career before starting to design cars for movie studios. He has successfully worked in the United States and Japan, designing picture cars for movies.
George Barris was born in Chicago in the 1920s, and as he entered adulthood, he started customizing roadsters that received a lot of raves. He initially worked with his brother Sam, but Sam went on to other ventures, and George’s wife joined him in the business. The first movie car that Barris worked on was customizing a Ford police car driven by Cary Grant in North by Northwest. After doing minor customization work, ABC Television asked him to design the original Batmobile. He had it built in under three weeks using his own Lincoln Futura. He also created the cars for The Munsters and updated the look of Knight Rider. He also designed many vehicles and golf carts for Hollywood’s elite, like Zsa Zsa Gabor, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Ann-Margret, Glen Campbell, and Elton John.
Born in Vienna, Austria, Tom Karen is responsible for the design of Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder, which he designed on the body of a Bond Bug. He is also responsible for the design of Raleigh Chopper bike. Tom’s first love, however, is toy design with many iconic toy designs, including Marble Run. This resident of Cambridge, England, was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his body of design work.
Born into one of Hollywood’s first families to offer after-market parts for automobiles, Harley Earl naturally was drawn to the family business. Some of his first design work was for silent movie stars, Tom Max and Fatty Arbuckle. In all, he would design over 1,000 cars for Hollywood’s elite who would often drive their vehicles in film productions. He used his influence with friends in Hollywood to become one of the leaders of General Motors.
Regardless of the type of picture car that you envision, contact Precision Drivers of America to find the perfect model. They can quickly transform your idea into reality.