Georg Barris may be in his 80’s, but that doesn’t stop him from touring the country attending various museums, car shows, and exhibitions that feature fancy hot rods, usually including items from his own design. Barris gained fame in the 1940’s when he and the shop he formed with his brother – Barris Kustoms Industries – were discovered by Hollywood producers needing new and innovative cars for the sets of their movies and TV shows. In the past 60 years Barris has built nearly every cool TV and film car you can imagine including Drag-U-La, the Batmobile, many of 007’s vehicles, and a lot more. Now, he makes a living designing one-off custom cars for major manufacturers like Toyota and Pontiac. On Barris Bilt TV, created in the summer of 2006 and boasting over 100 videos, he uses a road show format to transport viewers to various locations for events and exhibits. The site is run by Avalon MM, which also produces Culinary Clips.
Individual events and roadshows are listed on the site; clicking on them opens a series of videos from that particular event, which can be browsed and played on the site’s Brightcove player. Visits to museums and car shows often result in a tour guided by Barris himself, who’s competence and charm in front of the camera is completely likable. He has done some incredible work and you can see he’s proud of it as he tells behind-the-scenes stories about the various car designs, detailing where they first appeared, and revealing interesting car details that only the builder would know. But the videos don’t focus entirely on Barris’ own works – he often explores other booths and exhibits, interviewing the designers and commenting on their products. There’s also a blog, containing updates on where Barris is off to next.
The inaugural video of the site was Barris’ July 4th visit to the Stars Cars Museum in Gatlinburg, TN. There, he visited his sole man-powered creation, the Flintstones’ Flintmobile, telling a cute story about John Goodman operating the car during the first day of filming. For car enthusiasts, an entire 25-video segment about the Monkee Mobile Restoration covers everything from the benefits of water-proof paint to the lowdown on chrome plates, as Barris reminisces about “the good ole days.”