The late George Barris saw countless cars roll through his North Hollywood shop. His builds ranged from the original Batmobile to chopped lead sleds like the Hirohata Merc, with freakish show rods and sports cars thrown into the mix as well. One of Barris Kustoms’ wild creations is headed to RM Sotheby’s Auburn Fall sale on September 3–5, and we promise that this custom Cougar woody is every bit as bizarre as it sounds.
This two-door woody wagon was built using a mid-’90s Mercury Cougar donor car. New sheetmetal grafted onto the car’s nose gives it styling reminiscent of a shoebox Ford, with the Barris Kustoms crest serving as the grille. From the B-pillar back, it’s even more highly customized; Barris and his team reworked the coupe into a two-door wagon with a forward-canted rear hatch and split rear window. Its side pipes were swiped from a Corvette, and we suspect that the rear seat’s new vista roof may have been pilfered from a Buick Roadmaster wagon.
The new sheetmetal was painted in two-tone gold with wood trim framing the tailgate, a majority of the quarter panel, and a bit of the door, which is highlighted further with parallel strips of trim. There’s even wood trim on each of the spokes on the billet wheels.
Inside, the car’s Cougar lineage is far more apparent thanks to the twin-cockpit dash. It’s the same story under the hood—the 4.6-liter V-8 is stock down to its intake ductwork. (Our own Sajeev Mehta recognized the engine instantly as a 1994–95 model.) It’s also clear that the mill isn’t supercharged, despite what the listing might say.
This strange wagon’s late-model underpinnings make it more drivable than most crazily modified cars for which Barris and his shop are known. An estimated price of $25,000–$35,000 should also make the woody more affordable than his earlier, all-out builds—and it’s still flamboyant in a way that only a Barris Kustom can be.