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1964 Ed Roth Orbitron

Created almost 35 years ago by an American outrageous artist, the Orbitron show car seemed to have disappeared without a trace, and its appearance remained only in photographs of the 60s. Recently, however, an unusual car was discovered by professional trackers of the old automotor in Mexico.


The strange-looking car came from the pen of the artist and customizer Ed Roth, nicknamed Big Daddy, in 1964. This is the fourth car in a series of crazy creations of the maestro, who became interested in the design of show cars in the 60s of the last century. The design of his creations was heavily involved in the hot-rodder tradition that flourished then in America but brought into the canons of style that bit of madness and fantasy, which sometimes other inventors lacked so much. These artifacts of the automotive world had a great influence not only on the then customizers but even on the designers of the Big Three. That is why the brainchild of the Big Daddy deserved the title of the legends of the genre. However, this was facilitated by the efforts of the master himself, who advertised cars with the help of "related products" - all kinds of T-shirts, key chains, and prefabricated models. Ed Roth passed away in 2001, but his art objects on wheels have become iconic and expensive collectibles, and almost all of them have been restored. are in excellent condition and are often participants in various rallies and exhibitions. Unfortunately, traces of the Orbitron, a coupe with a plexiglass dome instead of a roof, reminiscent of an apparatus from comics about aliens, were lost a few years after its creation.


Now, 35 years later, professional tracker Michael Lightbourne, nicknamed the West Texas Scout, accidentally discovers a spaceship-like Orbitron in northern Mexico. The famous show car served as a makeshift dumpster outside the local adult store! The car lost a transparent roof and front axle, but otherwise, it was almost complete. Related magazines call the Orbitron "the greatest find of all time", as it was believed that the machine replenished the stocks of ferrous metal and plastic waste.


What is the Orbitron, which is admired by connoisseurs of automotive curiosities? The concept of the car is a dragster with the body of the "future" as it was imagined in the 60s. Two types of headlights are located in front of the asymmetrical body of the car, and on the passenger side, there are red, blue, and green headlights in the block. As conceived by Ed Roth, the three colors symbolized the latest invention of those years - color television (like a ray tube), and all the headlights, turned on at the same time, were supposed to give a strong beam of white. In continuation of the theme, the author placed a real color TV in the salon! In addition, the car is distinguished by caramel coloring, a glass dome instead of a roof, and a natural fur carpet under the feet of riders. In technical terms, everything is much more prosaic: the Chevrolet V8 engine, located in the base behind the front axle, a power system of three carburetors, a two-stage Powerglide “automatic,” and a Ford rear axle. And - as a legacy from the dragster - slicks on the drive axle.


After its birth, the car was exhibited very little, and Ed Roth himself once joked that The Beatles themselves prevented its success: “When the Liverpool Four appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, all the guys rushed to buy guitars instead of cars!” Now the Orbitron is getting ready for a complete restoration at Galpin Autosports, known for its projects for the Ride-On Car program, and the Orbitron will soon have an active exhibition life.


Source: Magazine "Cars and prices" from 06/01/2009

Images: www.theorbitron.com; www.hotrod.com; www.rodandcustommagazine.com