There are all kinds of ways to be a car person. The psychopath who claims to be my father loved paint-by-number hotrods and those terrible expo center shows full of lame trailer queens, so I'm quite familiar with that kind of stuff. I grew up thinking I hated custom cars largely because of the ubiquity of Barris' cartoon creations (and the cars he didn't build, but took credit for) and those he inspired that I thought made up the whole of it. Then I saw one of Marcello Gandini's more famous works in a cheesy movie and a whole new world opened up for me (also didn't hurt that "dad" had no idea what it was) and I even went on to pursue automotive design before a whole lot of life came crashing down. Reality Show Boyd's stuff is much cleaner, but variation-on-a-theme isn't for me. There are all kinds of ways to be into cars.
Looks like the bikes are just a standard bike with a paint scheme and their licensed names—good work if you (or your estate) can get it!
Yeah, that was the idea. It's poking fun at the idea that "girls" bikes have to be converted to "boys" bikes to have any value or so that a certain type of guy would be willing to ride them, so I picked the most phallic representation I could think of without using an actual phallus to add a top tube to a step-through frame.
But you made think that maybe I've considered it too seriously as if it were intended as purposeful industrial art and completely missed that Barris' creations were intended to be humorous (the ones he actually made, not the ones he claims to have built that were made by someone else). I just thought they were largely contrived aggregations of elements that fit a theme on a car that was barely more than a prop to be parked behind velvet at those sweaty indoor car shows. Being barely usable, that put them in the realm of sculpture for me, but I thought they looked like the kitschy junk that would be found in a tourist gift shop rather than an art gallery. The only thing of his that I liked growing up was the Batmobile because it seemed more inspired, coherent, and purposeful, but I later found out that what I liked about it was the Lincoln Futura it was based upon. If his work was intended to be a joke, it would make a lot more sense and I can appreciate it from that angle, even if it's not my sense of humor.
I'm a huge fan of DragULa, but for the most part...there is definitely a pre- and post- hollywood split for Barris. TV, movie, and stars cars kind of took over as the emphasis...the cool customs of the earlier years were left behind. The departure of Sam Barris was probably the 'beginning of the end' of Barris Customs as a car guy shop.
The Hirohata Merc is still a gold standard for old school customs.
I don't think anybody took cars like the bathtub buggy seriously