View Full Version : The Grecian By George Barris

10-06-2009, 11:44 AM
I am sure there are members of this forum that are aware that one of the early customs built by George Barris was "THE GRECIAN". The car started life as a 1947 4 Door Studebaker. About two years ago while visiting a restoration shop for high end cars near my home. I found the car stuck in a long row of cars along the wall in the shop. It had been there for sometime and as of today is still there in the same spot. However, in a very short time the car will be on display at the America On Wheels Museum, Allentown, PA. as part of its up coming Concepts and Customs display. This car has not been seen in public for at least ten to fifteen years. Here is a picture as I found it.


and here's how it looked at a show many years ago


It's going to be great to see this car in public again along side another Virgil Exner designed car, a 1954 Plymouth Belmont concept car for Chrysler, the one below.


Enjoy the pictures and if you like come later in the year December and see them in person.

See you in the future as I write about our past

10-06-2009, 12:02 PM
I've seen that in one of my books about Barris.
I love to see the old customs, shows you what "Cool" was back in the day.
(Or in the case of a Barris car it would have been "Kool"...since he was the "King of the Kustomizers":D)

It's great that they're being appreciated again, I would imagine more that a few met their demise in the 70s when their drivetrains were more valuable than the car itself.
A couple of years ago, there was a mighly modified tri-five Chevy at outr local speed show. It was a big-time show winner back when and had recently been restored to its former glory. It had a huge "portable" TV and other archaic features and was a lot of fun it see.

63 Avanti R1 2788
1914 Stutz Bearcat
(George Barris replica)

Washington State

dean pearson
10-06-2009, 12:10 PM
That Ply mouth is one slick car!
Dean Pearson.

10-06-2009, 12:35 PM
The car exists strictly because when Chrysler asked Exner to design it he insisted on maintaining ownership of the car and having it returned to him at the end of the auto show season. After it was returned, he ocassionally drove it and then sold it to a person in Oregon where it remained for a number of years. It is currently owned by a friend of mine in Toms River NJ and will be displayed at Hershey this weekend. On Saturday, I will be escorting it back to the Lehigh Valley and the America On Wheels Museum where it will be presented to the public in early November Te car has an all fiber glass body and many other unique features. There is no top or side windows in the car.

See you in the future as I write about our past

10-06-2009, 08:53 PM
It looks like someone else really wanted those cool spotlights!


10-06-2009, 09:56 PM
That Barris car is NAASTY! I didn't know they had crack back then...

10-07-2009, 12:44 AM
I'd say that the Barris Studebaker looks more like a stylized or prototype or show car for the '53 Packard. I dunno when that particular Packard body style came about, but I believe my eyes that Barris already had it "down". ;):D


10-07-2009, 07:37 AM
Here's a picture of the rear of the car


Sonny what do you think now about the packard idea. There are some similar features here too.

10-07-2009, 12:02 PM
I've seen photos of this car many times and never would have recognized it as a Stude! Amazing!


Clark in San Diego
'63 F2/Lark Standard

10-07-2009, 02:51 PM
Hey, that shot from the back slightly resembles the front of an Avanti if you close one eye partially and stare at the dead center :)

Yes, I'm actually serious about the slight resemblance... just not about the one eye staring part :D


Dwain G.
10-07-2009, 02:55 PM
When Barris 'freshened up' the Grecian, he called it the Modern Grecian. This photo was taken at the 1960 Oakland Roadster Show. I returned on the last night to see all the vehicles start and drive out of the building after the awards ceremony.
The hood on this car was slightly raised. I think it had a battery charger hooked up.
I was just shocked to find out that nothing had ever been touched in the engine compartment! Fender wells still original green color, dirty engine, not detailed.


HEY, you're not Wilbur!

Chris Pile
10-07-2009, 04:39 PM
Yeah, the sandblasted plexi fins were a bit much.

I wonder how many times its been painted.
I've seen it in pink, green, yellow - any other colors?

Chris Pile
Editor: The Studebaker Special

10-07-2009, 05:02 PM
I feel the need for a giant flyswatter...

10-08-2009, 06:55 AM
George Barris is still around. He will sometimes show up at the Friday night cruise-in at Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake, since his shop is just down the street.

10-08-2009, 08:43 AM
quote:Originally posted by autocrat

George Barris is still around. He will sometimes show up at the Friday night cruise-in at Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake, since his shop is just down the street.

And he still is the headline guest a several car shows a year, plus he shows uo at auctions where his cars are sold. places like Mecum, BJ, etc.
Probably earns good money doing that....
I met him a few years back at his shop to discuss my Bearcat.
We'd neen in contact when I bought it and had exchanged photos and documents.
Nice guy, let me sit in the original Batmobile. If you have one of his cars,, he has a pretty much open door policy.

63 Avanti R1 2788
1914 Stutz Bearcat
(George Barris replica)

Washington State

10-08-2009, 02:00 PM
Gene Winfield, another famed customizer, still works at his shop on Sierra Hwy. north of Lancaster, Ca. His specialty is 49-51 Mercs. When I stopped there, they were really pleasant and didn't mind rubbernecking gawkers like myself. Still has some of the old showcars, and a old car yard with some interesting stuff out back, but I didn't see any Studes.

10-09-2009, 08:17 AM
As the first picture in this post shows, the fins are not on the car. When I saw it two years ago they were not there and you could not even tell they were there. I look forward to seeing the car again in a few weeks when it is delivered to the AOW Museum. In all probability I will clean it up for the display along with a few others. I talked to the current owner yesterday in Hershey and he is excited that we asked for the car and actually was surprised I knew he had it. being a Stude guy it is hard not remember where things are when they are cars like this one.