Witness George Barris’ Bathtub Buggy restored to full Hemi-powered glory

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Photo by Kahn Media

The Bathtub Buggy is one of George Barris’ most audacious cars—and that’s saying something. The late car customizer and show promoter built and owned some of the zaniest vehicles the car show circuit had ever seen. From chopped and massaged Tri-Five Chevys and restyled Corvettes to the most iconic Batmobile ever, Barris had quite a résumé. Now you can see the Bathtub Buggy’s restoration on the latest episode of the Discovery show Car Kings, which premiers 10 p.m. ET on April 20th.

Featuring a twin-supercharged Chrysler Hemi, a toilet throne for the driver, and twin bathtub side pods for the passengers, the Bathtub Buggy amused car show attendees when it was originally built by Rob Reisner in 1968. Barris promoted the car and ended up buying it. After the trend of zany show cars faded, there wasn’t much demand for the buggy, and it gathered dust and fell into disrepair.

Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) president Beau Boeckmann purchased the Bathtub Buggy after Barris passed away in 2015. It was fairly complete but in desperate need of TLC. The restoration of the car by Dave Shuten and the rest of the GAS team was documented for Car Kings and the premier of the Bathtub Buggy is finally here.

Bathtub Buggy steering wheel
Kahn Media

Dave Shuten has plenty of hot rod restorations under his belt, having led the GAS team in bringing several Ed Roth creations back to life.

Car Kings seems to be focusing more and more of its builds on strange cars and the history of hot rodding and customizing. If you’d like to see what they’ve been up to so far, the first episodes are available to stream here.

 

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