World of Wheels Scares up Some Pretty Cool Hot Rods
Ever wonder why the dead have to walk when they could ride in style? American Modern Insurance Group’s Rick Drewry meets one builder/collector who could definitely improve a zombie’s mode of transportation. He talks with Allen Dempsey, whose 1909 Hearse hot rod and coffin dragster are a hit with the “live” fans at this year’s World of Wheels in Indianapolis.
Inspired by “The Munsters”
The inspiration for Allen’s hot rod vision is the ‘60’s TV show, The Munsters. He falls in love with the cars created by legendary Hollywood car builder George Barris and decides to create a few hot rods of his own. Built from an actual 1909 Hearse, Allen does all the engine, painting and wood work. These cars aren’t just for show. They are street legal with small block 400 engines.
Keeping Barris’s Tradition Alive
Creating crazy cars is Allen’s way of keeping the Barris tradition alive. His cars attend many local shows and he goes all out decorating them for fans to enjoy. Decked out with a skeleton coachman and a gruesome Angel of Death, these cars are always fun to look at. The intricate details on both the hearse and the coffin car are testaments to the amount of hard work Allen puts into building them.
Have Coffin, Will Travel
Yes, that’s an actual coffin in the back of Allen’s hearse car. He builds those, too. Don’t worry, he doesn’t keep a body in there - just his cleaning supplies. You have to keep a ghostly glow on your car if you plan to show it off at the World of Wheels.
Coffin Dragster Keeps on Rollin’
Modeled after an old Triple A dragster, the coffin car is 15 years old and shines like a new penny. The elaborate details on the coffin and front end are proof of Allen’s artistry. Any ghoul would be proud to take to the streets in this fabulous ride.
(Photo courtesy of www.easternsierraforum.com)
“Munster Koach” One of Barris’s best
Allen’s cars are a tribute to George Barris, who created many of the iconic cars we remember from movies and TV shows. Barris created the “Munster Koach” for The Munsters TV show in just three weeks. It is 18 feet long and cost around $18,000 to build.
(Photo courtesy of www.wikipedia.org)
Volo Auto Museum Acquires Both Munster Cars
Barris used three Model T’s and a hearse for the “Munster Koach” body, which sits on top of a hand built frame. It has a 4-speed transmission linked to a Ford Cobra 289ci V8 engine. He put the same engine into the “Drag-u-la” hot rod car built for Grandpa Munster. Barris had to convince a funeral home to sell him the casket for the body of the dragster. In 2011 the Volo Auto Museum acquired both of these wonderful cars.
(Photo courtesy of Twitter)
A Car with its Own Facebook Page
Allen isn’t the only person who loves the Munster cars. The “Munster Koach” has its own webpage and Facebook page. Rocker Rob Zombie wrote his hit song “Dragula” based on Grandpa Munster’s car from the show. Who doesn’t loves a good looking hot rod!
(Photo courtesy of www.strangekidsclub.com)
Set Your Imagination Free
For Allen Dempsey, Halloween is to be celebrated all year long. His incredible cars bring joy to all those who get the chance to see them. They are proof that we don’t have to give up on the things we enjoyed in our youth. If you are considering building a radical hot rod in the future, take a tip from Allen. Set your imagination free and see where it leads you. What could be more fun than building a “monster” hot rod in your garage?
World of Wheels-Indianapolis 2016
Considered by many to be the Super Bowl of car shows, the 57th Annual World of Wheels-Indianapolis takes place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds February 12-14, 2016.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
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