Beatnik Bandit
Photo Courtesy of the National Automobile Museum, Reno, NV

     A full class of the outrageous customs of "Big Daddy" Ed Roth will be featured at the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance on March 11, 2018.
    Ed Roth was a legend and an iconoclast. He created some of the most outrageous, reality bending customs of an era that thrived on American individualism run delightfully amok.
    Roth was born in 1932; the year FDR was elected; the year that Ford created the immortal V-8 and the "Deuce Coupe."  Ed Roth was born into a world in transition and upheaval. It was a theme that underlined his life and his career and he embraced it.

    It seems natural that his first car was a 1933 Ford coupe bought at the tender age of 13. After a tour in the Air Force he married and became the father of five sons. So the "Big Daddy" nickname came naturally .
   His custom cars, his T-shirts and his art defined what came to be known as "counter culture." Ed was part engineer, part mad scientist and artist all at once, and well ahead of the power curve of his time. His Rat Fink character -- a drooling, bug-eyed rodent -- was, he claimed, his anti-Mickey Mouse. It was his T-Shirts starring Rat Fink that brought fame and enough fortune to create his custom cars.
   Roth's cars took the term "custom" beyond the edge. His signature Beatnik Bandit, Orbitron and Surfite all enjoyed successful movie cameos in addition to their star status in hot rod and custom car magazines.

Photo courtesy of Beau Boeckmann, Galpin Ford, North Hills, CA

   "The custom car era of the 1950s and 1960s was an interesting mutation of the 'dream car' epoch that swept through the Big Three and the hot rod scene of that time," said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance "Roth pushed things well beyond the edge of the envelope. Then he tore up the envelope. His customs were three dimensional versions of his cartoons.  This is going to be fun. Weird, but fun."

Photo courtesy of Beau Boeckmann, Galpin Ford, North Hills, CA.

   The Amelia would like to thank the collection of Beau Boeckmann, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, CA and the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada for providing the vehicles for display.

About The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

Now in its third decade, the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March, "The Amelia" draws over 250 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a celebration of the automobile like no other. Since 1996, the show's Foundation has donated over $3.0 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, The Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, Shop with Cops, and other deserving charities. In 2013 and 2016 the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance won Octane Magazine's EFG International Historic Motoring Event of the Year award.The 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is scheduled for March 9-11, 2018. For more information, visit


Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance
3016 Mercury Road
Jacksonville, Florida 32207
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