Ed "Big Daddy" Roth

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Ed built The Little Jewel in 1955. The car was Ed's first foray into the show car world.
Ed Roth's 1956 Ford F-100 truck of Maywood, California. Ed, who was a member of the Maywood Drag Wagons, bought the truck in 1957. He wanted to use it as a promotion vehicle for his custom paint and pinstripe business, so he gave it a red flame paint job the same year.
Baron, Roth and Kelly - The Crazy Painters. 50 years experience pinstriping. A business card that dates back to circa 1958. Photo from The Kustomrama Business Card Collection.
Ed working on the nose-piece for the Outlaw. The Outlaw was Ed's first experience with fiberglass. Photo courtesy of Hot Rods by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth.
Late in 1958, Ron Dulin's 1956 Plymouth Fury was given a two-tone scallop paint job. Ed Roth sprayed the car in green before he helped Ron tape off a scallop pattern. As Roth didn't have time to finish the scallops, Ron had a fiend spray them in Gold. Photo courtesy of Ron Dulin - From The 46to64 Photo Collection.
Ron Dulin's 1956 Plymouth Fury of Long Beach, California. Dulin was a member of the Cut Outs of Long Beach car club, and his Plymouth went through seven iterations between 1956 and 1962. This photo shows the car as it appeared late in 1958, after Ed Roth had helped him lay a two-tone Green and Gold scallop paint job.
Ed started building The Outlaw in 1957. The build made it's debut two years later as the Excaliber at the 1959 Disneyland Car Club Day and Autocade.
Bob Knessel's Sports Custom of Bell, California. Featuring a Fiberglass body, Bob and his dad spent three years constructing the car. According to an appearance in Fawcett Book 413 How to Build and Race Hot Rods, Ed Roth was involved in the build, and rumors has it that he gave it a Metallic pink paint job once the bodywork was done.
A promo photo of Ed with the Revell model kit of the Outlaw. The Outlaw was the first of Ed's creations that Revell made into a model kit.
Ed bought Bob Johnston's 1923 Ford Model T Roadster from Bob Johnston in 1962, after royalties from the Outlaw kid started to roll in on Ed's account. Ed built the car into The Tweedy Pie.
Ed Roth's Mysterion of Maywood, California. The build was completed in 1963.
Doyle Gammell's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe of Sierra Madre, California. Doyle worked for Roth, and when the car was featured in Rod & Custom December 1963 it featured pinstriping by Ed.
Ed Roth scalloped Gary New's 1949 Chevrolet Coupe - The Batmobile
Ron Aguirre's 1956 Chevrolet Corvette - The X-Sonic featuring a panel paint job by Ed Roth
Don Fletcher's 1957 Chevrolet 210 - The El Capitola was pinstriped by Ed.
Ed Roth ad riddle from 1966.[1]
Roth drew this famous "BORN BAD" cartoon of Steve Scott and "The Uncertain-T" when Steve filed a complaint against George Barris, after George slapped him at the 1965 Winternationals. "I used to always wear that type of sport shirt," Steve told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2017. The rolled-up summons paper says "Big George, Notice to Appear." "BORN BAD" doesn't refer to Steve... it refers to the George.
An ad for Ed Roth's Weerdo Shirts.[2]
An ad for Ed Roth's Wierd-O-Cals.[3]
An ad for Weerdo Shirts by Roth Studios
An ad for Roths Weirdo Racing Shirts
An ad for World War III Air Raid Helmets from the 1960s.
Charles Altizer, Executive Vice President of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth of Maywood, California. Monsters that mean business. Photo from The Kustomrama Business Card Collection.
Ron Price's 1933 Ford 3-Window Coupe of San Jose, California. Built in the early 1960s, the car made its debut in 1961, at the Grand National Roadster Show. In the late 1970s Ed Roth was commissioned to redo the car for a later owner. Roth gave it an orange paint job that he dressed up with pinstriping.
In 1995 Ed Roth built the Beatnik Bandit II as a tribute to the original Beatnik Bandit. This was Roth’s last bubble top build, and it shared many styling cues with his first bubble top, the original Beatnik Bandit. Photo by Sondre Kvipt - Kustomrama.

Ed “Big Daddy” Roth was a founder of what later became known as the Kustom Kulture movement, starting off his career as a painter and hot rod builder in the 1950s and eventually creating world-famous characters like Rat Fink and wild show cars such as The Outlaw, The Beatnik Bandit, Mysterion, and Rotar. Working the show car circuit in the 1960s, Roth promoted his bubble-topped customs, sold airbrushed monster t-shirts and promoted Revell model car kits based on his own designs and creations.

Ed's parents moved to Bell, California from Germany in 1928. He remembers going to kindergarten in 1937 not being able to understand what the teacher was talking about. During WWII Ed was harassed at school for being a Nazi. He didn't have any friends to help him out, so his pants often ended up in the top of a flagpole. He spent a lot of time escaping reality by drawing wicked things in his notebook. The notebook became a battleground, filled with drawings Japanese, German and American soldiers, guns and wrecked airplanes. After school Ed would spend his time making machine guns and bombs out of plywood and coffee cans. In 1945 the war and Ed's artistry ended. It wasn't because of the peace, but Ed had turned 13 and he was getting primed for his driving license.[4]

14 was driving age back then, and Ed was bugging his dad about buying a 1934 Ford. As it turned out the car had no pink slip, Ed's dad told him not to buy the car. Ed really wanted the car, and used to dream about it at nights. Ed saved all his money for another car, a real cherry 1933 Ford 3-Window Coupe. He paid $350 for the car, and became king of the hill. Everytime Ed tried to street race his coupe, he'd usually break the engine, so he became a cruiser at early age due to the economic aspect of it.

Over the years he worked with a variety of Kustom Kulture icons, including Robert Williams, Ed “Newt” Newton and Von Dutch when the two artists worked for the Brucker family’s Movie World theme park in the 1970s.

Roth passed away on April 4, 2001, but his use of bright hues, wild bodywork, outrageous monikers and over-the-top promotion has turned his original show cars into rolling art, and most have been snapped up and restored as icons of a highpoint in automotive design and expression.

Roth’s cars and choppers are so famous in custom culture circles, they rarely changed hands over the four decades since the heyday of traveling custom car cavalcades and road shows.

Maywood Drag Wagons

Ed Roth was a member of the Maywood Drag Wagons car club of California.

Honored at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

March 9-11, 2018, several of Roth's creations will be showcased at the 23rd Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance at Amelia Island, Florida.[5]

Ed Roth's Cars

Ed Roth's Mysterion
Ed Roth's Outlaw
The Beatnik Bandit
Ed Roth's Beatnik Bandit II
The Orbitron
Ed Roth's Road Agent
Ed Roth's 1929 Ford Model A Pick Up
Ed Roth's 1930 Ford Model A Sedan - The Little Jewel
Ed Roth's 1933 Ford 3-Window Coupe
Ed Roth's 1939 Chevrolet Coupe
Ed Roth's 1932 Ford Three-Window
Ed Roth's 1940 Chevrolet Coupe
Ed Roth's 1946 Ford
Ed Roth's 1951 Henry J
Ed Roth's 1948 Ford
Ed Roth's 1956 Ford F-100
Ed Roth's Tweedy Pie
Ed Roth's Mega Cycle

Cars Painted or Pinstriped by Ed Roth

Bob Johnston's 1923 Ford Model T Roadster - The Tweedy Pie
Doyle Gammell's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe
Ron Price's 1933 Ford 3-Window Coupe
Ron Aguirre's 1956 Chevrolet Corvette - The X-Sonic
James Stanfield's 1956 Ford Fairlane
Ron Dulin's 1956 Plymouth Fury
Don Fletcher's 1957 Chevrolet 210 - The El Capitola
Gary New's 1949 Chevrolet Coupe - The Batmobile



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