George Barris' 1956 Continental
1956 Continental Mark II owned and restyled by George Barris of Barris Kustoms. George bought the Continental brand new as he really wanted something easy to drive. After George had bought the Continental, it would not stay stock for long. The car was lowered an inch and repainted with 25 coats of Pearlscent Rust. A padded white vinyl top with Landau irons was installed as well. The hood ornament was removed and dual spotlights and custom hubcap bullets from Eastern Auto were added. The interior was upholstered in tan leather. George was shooting tons of photos for car magazines and he had a press photographer "P.P" license plate attached to the car. He used the car for about a year before he sold it to an eager buyer.
In January of 2014 the Continental was advertised for sale on eBay. The car was located in Seminole, Florida, and it had a buy it now price of US $9,500.00. At the time the car was running, and it was in an unrestored condition. The auction ended January 20, 2014, without receiving any bids. According to the seller, the, car was indicated as a Barris custom in the Mark II registry, but there were no written documentation from George Barris at the time. The car showed evidence of having been customized in the same manner as George customized his in 1956, and Mark II historians believed that it was the same car. The advertised car had the landau irons, but the spotlights and hubcaps that George installed were missing. The VIN code of the advertised car was C5601419, and according to the ownership history it was first sold to Broward & Morrison at 201 East Main Street in Anderson, Indiana. The invoice date was 10/7/55. George Barris owned it from 1956 to around 1957. Around 1958 it was owned by an unidentified owner in Palm Springs, California. From 2000 to 2006 it was owned by Robert Jones of Michigan. From 2006 to 2011 it was owned by an unknown owner from Alaska, who stored the car in Waterford, Michigan. Piotr Chibowski of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida owned it from March 2011 to July of 2011. Brad Clement of Seminole, Florida bought it in July of 2011, and it was Brad who advertised the car for sale on eBay in 2014. After the auction ended, Brad contacted Brett Barris, the son of George Barris, to ask if he could help him authenticate the car. It looked like the same car from the photos, but Brett had no documentation or numbers on the car. Brad had the landau bars, and the holes matched. Brett asked if he could sand away the area were the holes for the spotlights would have been, but he refused to do that. Still, Brett knew it was the car. He wanted it bad, but didn't have the cash for it. He told Brad that he was interested. Brad had another potential buyer who was coming in the next day to check it out. Brett called the day after, but then the car was sold. Brad told Brett that if George Barris would agree that it was his old car, he would sell it to Brett instead, as he felt it should go back to the Barris family He would deal with the other buyer. Brett showed George the photos, and he was sure that it was his old car, so Brett called Brad again, and assured him that it was George's old Continental. Brad then agreed to sell it to Brett instead. Then Brett needed to come up with some cash quick. He had some expensive jewelry laying around that he advertised for sale on Craigslist. He didn't expect it to sell, but an old lady came by in the morning and bought it all. Brett plans to have the car restored back to how it looked in 1956.
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