AMELIA CONCOURS CELEBRATES THE ICONIC CUSTOM CARS OF “BIG DADDY” ED ROTH
A full class of the outrageous customs of “Big Daddy” Ed Roth will be featured at the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 11, 2018. Ed Roth was a legend and an iconoclast. He created some of the most outrageous, reality bending customs of an era that thrived on American individualism run delightfully amok.
Roth was born in 1932; the year FDR was elected; the year that Ford created the immortal V-8 and the “Deuce Coupe.” Ed Roth was born into a world in transition and upheaval. It was a theme that underlined his life and his career and he embraced it.
It seems natural that his first car was a 1933 Ford coupe bought at the tender age of 13. After a tour in the Air Force he married and became the father of five sons. So the “Big Daddy” nickname came naturally.
His custom cars, his T-shirts and his art defined what came to be known as “counter culture.” Ed was part engineer, part mad scientist and artist all at once, and well ahead of the power curve of his time. His Rat Fink character -- a drooling, bug-eyed rodent -- was, he claimed, his anti-Mickey Mouse. It was his T-Shirts starring Rat Fink that brought fame and enough fortune to create his custom cars.
Roth’s cars took the term “custom” beyond the edge. His signature Beatnik Bandit, Orbitron and Surfite all enjoyed successful movie cameos in addition to their star status in hot rod and custom car magazines.
“The custom car era of the 1950s and 1960s was an interesting mutation of the ‘dream car’ epoch that swept through the Big Three and the hot rod scene of that time,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance “Roth pushed things well beyond the edge of the envelope. Then he tore up the envelope. His customs were three dimensional versions of his cartoons. This is going to be fun. Weird, but fun.”
Now in its third decade, the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March, “Amelia” draws over 250 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a celebration of the automobile like no other. The 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance will be held March 9-11, 2018.