(first posted 11/20/2014) It’s a rhetorical question, for sure. Undoubtedly those folks with a highly refined taste for the finer things in life that bought a Bugazzi undoubtedly never gave a Pinto a second thought, much less fifteen of them. Having plunked down the equivalent of $170k of today’s dollars for a tarted-up Mark IV ($30k in 1972, three and a half times as much as the Mark), or 50% more than a Rolls, they undoubtedly got their money’s worth in adulation and prestige. Yes, these George Barris Kustomized Bugazzis proclaimed that its owner had transcended mere cars like the Rolls, Mercedes, Lincoln and (gasp) a Pinto, and were now living and driving on a more exalted plane.
That is, until they opened the door. Or let someone else look inside. Because the Pinto’s genes would suddenly be all-too apparent. This was a car that really needed heavy tinted windows.
There it is, the same steering wheel as used in the Pinto and every other Ford car of the era. Doesn’t that just exude discriminating taste and $170k?
Well, just maybe there was a Bugazzi badge there, screwed to the Pinto wheel. And I see the rim has been woodified, or petrified. It’s nice to know that Mr. Barris was willing to spend some of that huge mark-up on thoughtful details like that.
It’s also nice to know that an AM/FM stereo radio was included. But where’s the Sony Trinitron tv?
Oh there it is. I knew it was supposed to be there somewhere down there. One does need to keep up with daily doses of “Let’s Make A Deal”, you know, no matter where the Bugazzi might take you.
The money was spent on more important things, like the fine tufted velour of the Mark’s seats. That must have cost $30k right there. Check out the delicate upholstery work on that armrest; old world craftsmanship at its finest.
On the driver’s side is proof of this Bugazzi’s provenance. This is the real thing, not a cheap imitation.
Further proof of the Bugazzi’s authenticity.
And even more! Wow; George Barris’ signature right there on the glove box, to impress your passenger.
This is the same artist who bestowed a whole raft of memorable cars on young Americans in the sixties, like the Batmobile, the
Monkeymobile, and this exquisite Bathtub Buggy, undoubtedly the spiritual antecedent of the Bugazzi.
The headliner has also been bestowed with the finest materials to be found in Barris Kustom’s warehouse. Never mind the exposed screw heads in the black vinyl just below it. Or the opera window that has been covered over by the vinyl roof. Oops!
Time to get out of this interior and back into fresh air. I feel like I’ve done something dirty and need to go to confession now.
Ah yes; that’s better. The Mark IV’s genes are pretty apparent from this angle, if they weren’t on the inside.
But the finest end of the Bugazzi is of course its front.
This is what one paid the big bucks for, to let the world you had finally arrived…in a Bugazzi.