I’ve seen some strange and wonderful concept vehicles and one-off custom cars in my time, but this custom Ford ‘Beatnik Bubble Top’ is by far the strangest to actually exist – yet also strangely familiar…

Later this month, Gary Fioto’s weird and wonderful creation is up for auction in California (where else). Gary runs Chopit Kustom based in Orange County, where they specialise in hot rods and ‘kustoms’ and even motorcycles.



The cars are beautiful, harking back to the America in the fifties and sixties and films like American Graffiti, but the Beatnik stands out from the rest its sheer look-at-me design.

The donor car started out as a 1955 Ford and after 3 years of Gary ‘Chopit’ Fiota making it up as he went along, the final result is a breath-taking car that probably has very few blind spots.

“It’s got to have attitude” says Fioto of the creation that won the Grand Prize at the National Rod and Custom Car Show in 2006.

The Ford Beatnik has gone on to win many more accolades, including Best Custom on its debut at the Blackie’s Fresno Autorama in 2005 plus awards at the Annual Grand National Roadster Show and the National Rod and Custom Car Hall of Fame Show.

The body is hand-made and all metal – no carbon fibre here – and features custom hydraulics to allow the car to rest on the ground when not cruising, rather like the Citroen DS. Stealing this car’s wheels will take more than a jack and 4-way wheel brace.

Just like the bodywork, the dashboard is also hand-made as you can see from the pictures below. It compliments the exterior curves perfectly.

I’ve been wracking my brains trying to think of what this car reminds me of exactly – and I think it must be FAB1 from Thunderbirds; Lady Penelope’s awesome pink ride.

The Beatnik Bubble Top goes up for auction 17-18 July in Santa Monica at Auction America and is expected to fetch around $200,000 (£128,000) and gain plenty more fans.

Images: chopitkustom.com, topgear.com

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