RM Auctions Monterey Kustoms Night - Aug. 18 RM Auctions will host the first-ever Kustoms Night as part of their Monterey sale on Friday, August 18th that will offer more than a dozen custom cars from the foremost designers in the country.
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - ‘BEATNIK’ BUBBLETOP TO HEADLINE RM AUCTIONS’ FIRST-EVER FRIDAY ‘KUSTOM NIGHT’ IN MONTEREY
More than a Dozen Wild and Innovative Custom Vehicles from Foremost Designers will Transform Portola Plaza Hotel into Kustom Car Showcase – August 18, 2006
BLENHEIM, Ontario, Canada (June 16, 2006) – RM Auctions, North America’s premier collector car auction house, will offer the bubble-topped 1955 Ford Custom "Beatnik" from famed designer Gary “Chopit” Fioto at its annual Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction, scheduled for August 18-19 at the Portola Plaza Hotel in Monterey, California. The “Beatnik,” a lavender-hued 1955 Ford that’s been skill-fully reworked into a bubbletop, will headline RM’s first-ever Kustoms Night on Friday, August 18th, showcasing a dozen important hot rods and kustoms from the foremost designers and fabricators in the nation including Gary Fioto, Rick Dore, Ken ‘Posies’ Fenical, Zane Cullen and Milt Brown. The prime time feature presentation will be part of RM’s prestigious Monterey auction event that coincides with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Weekend.
“The ‘Beatnik’ embodies the essence of a custom car,” says Rob Myers of RM Auctions. “It stays true to the spirit of the original ’55 Ford but mixes new parts and styles to transform that image into something that is completely unique and unmistakable. The value of these custom cars is increasingly high because they are one-of-a-kind creations. Serious bidders will compete for cars that no one else has in their collection.”
“Beatnik” was an extensive, four-year project from Gary Chopit Kustom Cars, Inc. and started by completely removing the roof from a '55 Ford. Fioto used a mix of Cadillac and Lincoln components, including canted quad headlights for the front fenders, then grafted on a Cadillac rear end. The powerplant, which can be seen through a large hood opening, is a highly polished Chevrolet small-block V8 with six carburetors. The “Beatnik” won the coveted $20,000 grand prize at the Darryl Starbird’s National Rod and Custom Car Show this year in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The win was a poetic one for Fioto, who read Starbird’s feature articles as a kid growing up and chopped his first top when he was 11. The “Beatnik” is estimated in value at $350,000 - $450,000.
RM will also offer Chopit’s equally radical 1950 Mercury hardtop, better known as “Tuf Enuff,” at the Monterey sale. Many would insist there was nothing left that could be done to a 1949-51 Mercury. Chopit politely begged to differ. His head-turning '51 Merc, known as Tuf Enuff, gave a new look to the custom car icon (Est. $175,000 - $250,000).
A unique facet of the automotive landscape, hot rods and kustoms are generally considered to be a post-World War II American styling trend. Now internationally revered, rods and kustoms have large collector and club followings in the UK, Europe and even Japan. For many years such cars were an “underground” passion for discerning automobile enthusiasts, not achieving full recognition for their significance until the 1990s and invited to attend the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.