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Cars That I Have Always Wanted To Drive

Updated on March 9, 2009

Ahh....the cars of my youth!

I could probably go on forever on this list: the Mach 5, from Speed Racer, the VW Thing, Those 6-wheels amphibious deals. Really there are so many cars; anything from Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's handy work to the concept cars of of the 50s and 60s to Harley Earl...

How do you make up your mind ?

Here Comes the Munster Koach

Munster's Koach

Munster Koach

Known in some circles as the "Munster Mobile," was part funeral procession carriage, death march Hearse, all drag racer with just a hint of luxury touring car designed in only twenty-one days by George Barris for the macabre television comedy "The Munsters." Owned by Herman Munster, I won't bore you with all the "under the hood" stuff, but I will throw a few of the "this and that's" at you. The Munster Mobile had a 300 H.P. 289 Ford Cobra V-8 engine (from a 1966 Mustang GT), a Mickey Thompson long ram thrust manifold supplying 10 chrome-dipped Stromberg carburetors and Bobby Barr funnel racing headers. The Munster frame was 133-inches, supporting the 6-door touring roadster with a retro-fitted rear end from 1927 Model T bucket. All of this sweet ride was covered with 40 coats of high gloss black pearl paint. The front dropped axles, with split radius bars held Mickey Thompson 11-inch wide rear racing slicks, Ansen Astro wheels trimmed with knock off hubs and walnut wood inserts, the front wheels Pirelli snow donut tires. Exterior was accented with gold radiators, ornamental coffin handles on the hood, and spider web headlights with old fashioned gas lanterns. The Munster Koach's interior was decorated with diamond shaped seats tufted and buttoned, also red velvet coffin liner and ermine rugs. One of the car's sections featured all the creature comforts like, a stereo tape recorder, Sony TV sets, an electric shoe polisher, a blender and two antique French phones; nothing but the best for the undead. 

The Munster Koach reached top speeds of 150 M.P.H. (0-45 in 7.2 seconds) and according to the Munster Family Lore, the mobile was created as a surprise birthday present for Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne) by his loving wife Lily Munster (Yvonne DeCarlo). Lily alledgely bought two cars, a roadster for $795; and a Hearse car for $943, from Diamond Jim's Used cars. Then Herman's wife, Lily, had mechanics convert the two vehicles into the suped up Munster Koach.

In a 1984 Car and Driver magazine article, I found while researching the Munster Koach, stated that, "Butch Patrick fondly remembers the time Fred Gwynne hijacked and drove it (the Munster Koach) down the freeway into the heart of Hollywood with the whole cast on board."

Hot Rod Herman Drag-u-la vs Munster Koach

The DRAGULA at the Pittsburgh World of Wheels 2009

The Drag-u-la

The Drag-u-la was a specially built racing car made for a Munster's movie "Munsters, Go Home"  in this comic motion picture the Munster family inherits an English estate.Built in the movie by Grandpa Munster (Al Lewis), an aging vampire "Count." The "Drag-u-la" was a coffin on wheels that reached the top speed of 160 mph. The basis of Drag-u-la creation developed when Grandpa's son-in-law, Herman Munster lost the family car ("The Munster Koach") in a drag race. To save the day and family honor, Grandpa builds his own dragster and won Herman's car back.

Designed by George Barris (who also built the Munster Koach and the Batmobile), the Drag-u-la was created for a cost of $10,800. It featured gold-leaf paint finish, silver spider hubcaps, a 350 hp, 289 Ford Mustang V-8 with a four-speed stick, dual quad manifold, high compression pistons, a purple block to match the purple coffin liner seat, twin four-barrel carburetors, a pair of organ pipes for exhaust headers, sprouting from both sides of the vehicle. All sitting on 11-inch Firestone drag slicks with polished Radar five-spoke alloy wheels at the rear, Speedsport wire wheels capped with Italian motorcycle tires in the front and spider webbed headlights. Crested on the front end of Drag-u-la was a miniature headstone that read "Drag-u-la Born: 1367. Died - ?"

In the film's climax, the Drag-u-la is entered into a cross-country race (with Herman as its driver). Despite attempts to kill Herman, the Drag-u-la won the race by crossing the finish line backwards, due to an oil slick that spun the car around at the last moment.

Monkeemobile

The Monkeemobile

The Monkeemobile's history is not very well known. For television's sake, there were two identical cars built, as with many TV props. The interesting story about the Monkeemoblie, is how a Pontiac was chosen as the car. The story is the classic someone knowing someone who knew someone else. The main idea for the Monkeemobile came from MPC, a model car company's CEO George Toteff, he seen money in a Monkee's toy car model. In addition to manufacturing models, Toteff also built the "GeeTO Tiger" model drag strip that toured the country.

Toteff had on contract a well-known customizer by the name of Dean Jeffries. Jeffries was also contracted to Universal Studios, which produced the show. Dean was chosen to build a customized car to use on the Monkees TV show; which at that time hadn't begun production, and a car had not  been yet chosen. Jeffries had mentioned this toToteff, who in turn told his friend Jim Wangers about the opportunity. As you might have guessed, Wangers was working for Pontiac's advertising agency, McManus, John & Adams, managing promotion and advertising for Pontiac. Wangers instantly saw the show as a huge promotional opportunity for Pontiac and set up the deal with the show's producers. Wangers jumped at the opportunity for two 1966 GTO convertibles that would be converted into Monkeemobiles. Toteff was granted exclusive rights to market a model kit of the car, for his part of having his hand in the deal.

More than 7 million MPC Monkeemobiles were sold, a number beaten out, only by The Dukes of Hazzard's "General Lee" 1969 Dodge Charger in overall model kit sales.

While the front end of the Monkeemobile was easily recognizable as a GTO, the rest of the car was heavily customized. Among the modifications, Jeffries added a very tall split windshield, a third row of seats where the rear deck was, a T-bucket-type convertible top, large fender flares, exaggerated taillamps, and even a parachute. The show's producers wanted a flamboyant car, and that is exactly what was delivered.

The first Monkeemobile built was actually the one used on the TV show, and the second one was displayed used at car shows and for promotions. The first car had a 6-71 supercharger on the engine and weights were put in the rear so it would wheelstands. The car had too much power for the suspension and was difficult to drive, so the real blower was removed and a dummy blower was installed.

Monkee Mike Nesmith, once mentioned that there was even plans to build a Monkeemobile funnycar, which unfortunately never happened. The Monkeemobile has had a remarkable life, but here's what we do know: The first mobile was sent to Australia to accompany the Monkees on a concert tour. For some reason, which no one seems to know,  the first Monkeemobile was left there, and ended up in a private owner's hands. It is unlikely that it was ever registered there, because it was never converted to right-hand drive, as required by Australian law.  It passed through a series of owners, next showing up in Puerto Rico, where it was used as a hotel courtesy car for several years.

It was next seen in May of 1992 in a government foreclosure auction in Puerto Rico. The minimum bid for that car was $5,000, and the car was sold at that price. The first Monkeemobile was finally back on American soil, and now lives in the metro New York City area. Fortunately, the Monkeemobile was in great shape  and only needed minor refurbishing work to bring it back to its original glory. The owner even has had  "The Monkees" door decals replicated, and a new replacement top.

The Monkeemobile still remains one of the most radically customized Pontiacs ever built and a true icons of the 1960s era. While Pontiac was not at all satisfied with the look of the car, they loved the promotioanl value of the TV show.

At The Peterson Museum.. Ed Roth's Creations

Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's Mysterion

Ed "Big Daddy" Roth is to me a master (I have written a hub about him and his genius) an absolute creative genius, that made vehicles with visionary prowless, out of parts, pieces and what ever else he could get his hands on; Dr. Frankenstein would be proud of this mad genius. I couldn't really deside on which of his incredible cars I would really want to drive. So I puled the Mysterion's name out of a hat. Sadly, the original Mysterion was really a failure and is long gone.

Ed built the Mysterion in his "Studio." Roth success was based on him topping his previous creation, the Beatnik Bandit. The Mysterion's blow-molded canopy was appealing to kids who were raised on B-grade sci-fi films. Ed found even more inspiration in dragsters. The NHRA banned "exotic" fuels (nitro and alky) between 1957 and 1963. Leaving racers to resort to doing things like stuffing multiple engines in their diggers to produce more speed.

That more-is-better philosophy fit in perfectly with Ed Roth, so he sourced two Ford FE-series engines and crammed them into the Mysteriion. He mated each engine to its own Ford-O-Matic slushbox (More Power Scotty! Warp Speed 6) Then Ed did something absolutely insane... to anybody who's ever driven a banjo-axled Ford. He transmitted all that theoretical power to a glass-axled rearend made from two banjo centersections.

The body and nose got a very out-there greenish-yellow paint. The Mysterion's interior didn't fail to impress, either; it featured yards of what looks like Sasquatch hair in lieu of carpet. Contrasting the rather drab hair was a single contoured seat sheathed in metal-flecked vinyl. The Cragar steering wheel spotlighted the spangled cockpit.

The Mysterion appeared on the cover and on the inside of the September '63 Rod & Custom cover. As well as a number of other magazines, and even in some how-to books. Eventually Revell made Mysterion model kits.

The Mysterion was concidered "a total piece of shit." The weight from the engines alone constantly cracked the frame. Someone eventually parted out the car and it ended up in the Midwest. Bill Roach purchased the empty shell and nose in the '70s from a bank that lost big on a shyster. The body was eventually horse-traded back to Ed.

We don't have Ed Roth walking around anymore. All we have are Ed's stories and artifacts to remember him by. The prospect that someone would make the effort to give us something that was lost to time and the idea that it still strikes awe in showgoers is proof of Roth's significance.

T-Rex

The T-Rex is the most insane, coolest damn thing built on three-wheels today. It will out corner and out accellerate most any exotic car built today,

Created by Campagna Motors a young, upstart Canadian company that designs, manufactures and distributes 3-wheel vehicles. What they have made here is a vehicle that is fun, stylish and pure perfomance. The T-REX is all about the sports car fan with its sex appeal body style. The T-Rex, is not just another pretty face, it will often out performs the fine supercars that cost way more than a T-Rex. This little head turner's power-plant is an inline four cylinder 1400cc engine designed by Kawasaki, that produces over 200 hp. These three-wheel machines that are exciting to ride and easy to handle.

T-Rex's performance specs read like a highspeed enthusiast's dream: 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Which are up to par with a Posche 911 Turbo S, and will pull 1.98Gs in turns. After seeing the many T-Rex video...I have to confess, that I am salivating a little.

T-Rex

I think this pretty much sums it up

 All I can say is "holy shit what a ride."

Comments

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  • profile image

    jjrubio 8 years ago

    loving it!!! but what about the Batmobile !!! LOL

  • St.James profile image
    Author

    St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    The TV Batmobile only went like 50 mph in real life... a little snoozy for me.

    Maybe the rocket TransAm from the movie "Hooper" or Preston Tucker's armored tank the went 100 mph... that would be cool.

  • AEvans profile image

    Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

    Those are cool cars, I would like to drive them all or at least take a ride.:)

  • BrianS profile image

    Brian Stephens 8 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

    Love the Munster Koach, great photos as well.

  • funride profile image

    Ricardo Nunes 8 years ago from Portugal

    WOW, I want one of those T-Rex just for me... What a FUNRIDE it would be :D

  • St.James profile image
    Author

    St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    AEvans...Thank you! Really who wants to drive a car that everybody else can drive.

    BrianS... 150mph, 6 door, limo/ touring car/ dragster with ermine lining. That is driving in style.

    Funride... The T-Rex has got to be one fun driving experience... easy to handle, and small enough to be an is the city car... bonus is that 0-60 in 3.9 seconds

  • profile image

    FeniqueS 8 years ago

    St. James, you did it again, I loved it!!! I've always wanted to drive the Greenhornit's Both of his and any of 007's cars, and the Partridge bus then that could hold all my kids and grands, :)

  • Florida Keys profile image

    Florida Keys 8 years ago from Jewfish Key Florida

    The Delorean from Back to the Future?

  • St.James profile image
    Author

    St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    The Greenhornet's car and the bond mobiles are solid choices. The Partridge Family bus would be pretty fun...FeniqueS another cool bus was owned by the Merry Pranksters...the 60s activists.

    Florida Keys... the Delorean from "Back to the Future" is another cool ride... Did you know John DeLorean was against the Monkeemobile? He thought the design was insulting to the GTO brand.

    How about Maxwell Smart's MG from "Get Smart?"

  • Dink96 profile image

    Dink96 8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Ah, a certain someone from my past used to restore cars and he drove a solid black GTO that just oozed a certain je ne sais quoi. I just LOVED the sound of the engine alone. GREAT MEMORIES here, James. Merci beaucoup, mon ami!

  • St.James profile image
    Author

    St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    A 1966 GTO was my Dad's idea of a family car when I was a child. We moved to San Diego when I was 2 years old. My Dad drove my Mom and I cross country in that car.

    Another car I would have love to drive was Janis Joplin's Porche. So colorful and so cool.

  • quicksand profile image

    quicksand 8 years ago

    Great pictures - very interesting hub too. :)

  • St.James profile image
    Author

    St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    Thank you QuickSand... All I can do is dream of a cool car... Since all I have is a 1973 Gremlin X with two different color doors, and an 8-track, AM radio.

  • profile image

    jjrubio 8 years ago

    Knightrider too! that was kinda cool for way back then..... I didn't know about the Batmobile being so slow.... =)

  • St.James profile image
    Author

    St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    Maybe the cars from the film "Grease"  also Harley Earl made some killer concept cars back in his day...mmmm...tailfins.

  • rongould profile image

    rongould 8 years ago

    Takes me back to the 60's and the height of muscle cars. I always wanted to be able to drive just about every car made, for a week or so, and then trade it in for something else. Great hub!

  • profile image

    Sis Howell 8 years ago

    Thanks! Great hub and writing St James... Good read

    Sis

  • St.James profile image
    Author

    St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    Thank you both Sis and RonGould... I pretty much wanted to drive anything that had wheels. I even had my forklift license, once. I work in shipping at a warehouse. I frieghted industrial parts. Fun times.

  • blondepoet profile image

    blondepoet 8 years ago from australia

    How are you going today St.James. Haha I am laughing at Funride's pun in his comment above. I am on the mark today indeed. I think I would get a little claustrophobic in the 'Mysterion', I like to have room to stretch out a little. Not a very good 'making out' car but it's really cute. I love the Dragula maybe because I always thought that was a kool car in the Tv Show 'The Munsters'.

    I really don't know a lot about cars St.James, face creams and brassieres yes. However I really enjoyed this hub and the pictures really intrigued me. You have put together a great story to be expected from you once again.

  • Tom Cornett profile image

    Tom Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

    Great hub! It would be cool to drive any of these! :)

  • St.James profile image
    Author

    St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    If your wanting something with more leg room, BlondePoet, a friend of mine used to drive the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile. Nothing like traveling the open road across the country in a RV that looks like a giant hotdog in a bun.

    Tom you are right... all these cars will always hold a special place in my heart.

  • blondepoet profile image

    blondepoet 8 years ago from australia

    Haha an Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, now that sounds interesting. I would love to see a pic of that. Can you imagine having a collection of some of these in your garage,boy,wouldn't that be tops,they really are the cream of the crop.

  • St.James profile image
    Author

    St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    Wienermobile... and photos

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wienermobile Well BlondePoet, you wantes a "make out" car... How about a moble phallic symbol? Side note ... when the wienermobile would drive through a town they would pass-out hotdog shaped whistles. What were they really teaching the kids?

    To keep with the thought... I've always wanted to drive a "Woody"... nice segway eh?

  • blondepoet profile image

    blondepoet 8 years ago from australia

    Hahahaa ROFLLMAO St.James I just went to the link.Now that's my kind of car I can see myself in that one.It is divine,love the sausage on top.Oooooooooooo that one has made my day, never seen anything like that in my wee life.Haha yes I desire to ride a Woody too,oh boy I need to go have a drink before I fall off my chair here.......

  • St.James profile image
    Author

    St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    Photos of the Old Woody...the car http://www.oldwoodies.com/

    Maybe the Covini Six Wheeler? ... http://www.neatorama.com/2008/12/12/6-wheeled-car-...

    Or a 1932 Deuce Coup would be a very cool ride! ... http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Features/arti...

  • blondepoet profile image

    blondepoet 8 years ago from australia

    The Old Woody that is hugeeeeeee, it almost could be a small bus.

    Omg that's it.Yep the Covini Six Wheeler,yep that is me all over.I want that.That one makes me drool.I can see myself riding that one down the highway.Bring it on I say.

  • sukkran profile image

    Mohideen Basha 8 years ago from TRICHY, TAMIL NADU, INDIA.

    wonderful presentation. those vintage car photos is really superb. i love it

  • St.James profile image
    Author

    St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    I thought this would be more your style ... http://www.gremlinx.com/gremlin-photo.htm

    Here's a photo of my car looks like (really, no joke) not my car photoed but, I own one just like it. http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/2005-ca...

  • St.James profile image
    Author

    St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    Sukkran, Thank You! I really love these cars too.

  • blondepoet profile image

    blondepoet 8 years ago from australia

    Omg is that last one really like your car.It is beautiful.When are you picking me up for a drive. Do you guys get the show "Top Gear" over there by any chance.

  • St.James profile image
    Author

    St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    I think on the Speed channel there is a show called Top Gear.

  • perfectweight profile image

    perfectweight 8 years ago

    This is no ordinary VW you're talking about. Loved the photos!

  • St.James profile image
    Author

    St.James 8 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    I've always wanted a classic Dune Buggy and a Pipe Buggy....

    Good Times.

  • miracles02 profile image

    miracles02 8 years ago from Canton, IL

    1968 Z-28 Camaro!!

  • profile image

    gostspkr 6 years ago

    I always favor the 90's batmobile.

  • Momma Mia profile image

    Momma Mia 6 years ago from North Carolina

    Fantastic hub here !! I enjoyed reading .....almost as much as i would enjoy driving these strange and bizarre powerhouses.....or in this case,,,power machines... loved this article!!

    wishingUwell

    mia

  • profile image

    Ethan Tudor W. 5 years ago

    Hello, My name is Ethan. I'm an Actor on the hit ABC/Warner Series "The Middle" as well as "Leverage" on TNT. Actor Butch Patrick is getting ready for a MONTH LONG train tour! "Butch Patrick's Halloween Whistle Stop Tour". I would LIKE to get you involved as you have a pretty cool Munsters web site. Please feel free to give me a ring at 310-406-5835. I have attached a copy of the press release as well as a LIST of city's Butch will be visiting. We think you could be a big help. Please give us a call or shoot me an E-Mail at ethantudorw@gmail.com if you would like to get involved. We're ALSO looking for Munsters Fans/Friends that live IN those city's, so if you are IN one of the city's listed, be sure to give us a call. Thanks in advance and I hope we might get the chance to meet you during this tour!

    -Ethan Tudor W.

    Actor/Host of "The Neverhood Show" www.blogtalkradio.com/ethantudorw

    310-406-5835

    ethantudorw@gmail.com

    Also catch me on the ABC/Warner Series "The Middle" Wed. Night's at 8pm (PST) on ABC

    It’s OFFICIAL! “Butch Patrick’s Whistle Stop Halloween Tour” Departs from the West Coast Oct. 2nd !

    Actor Butch Patrick, perhaps best known for his role as “Eddie” Munster on the classic TV series, “The Munsters” is undertaking a month long nationwide tour. Not only will Butch be attending events along the way, but he will be doing a LIVE in person “Meet & Greets” at every station talking about the Munsters, his 9 months PLUS sobriety as well as Cancer and Diabetes awareness. Be sure to JOIN Butch on this interactive adventure ON-LINE. Butch will be Tweeting, Blogging,,Web-Casting LIVE from the train, and sharing the experience with the ON-LINE Community. Hop aboard, “Butch Patrick’s Whistle Stop Halloween Tour” is ready to depart!

    “Butch Patrick’s Whistle Stop Halloween Tour!”

    City List

    1st Leg of the trip from Los Angeles to Chicago

    1. Los Angeles CA.

    2. Pamona CA.

    3. Claremont CA.

    4. Ontario CA.

    5. San Bernardino Ca.

    6. Victorville CA.

    7. Barstow CA.

    8. Needles CA.

    9. Kingman AZ.

    10. Williams AZ.

    11. Flagstaff AZ.

    12. Winslow AZ.

    13. Gallup NM.

    14. Albuquerque NM.

    15. Lamy NM.

    16. Las Vegas NM.

    17. Raton NM.

    18. Trinidad CO.

    19. La Junta CO.

    20. Lamar CO.

    21. Garden City KS.

    22. Dodge City KS.

    23. Hutchinson KS.

    24. Newton KS.

    25. Topeka KS.

    26. Lawrence KS.

    27. Kansas City MO.

    28. La Plata MO.

    29. Galesburg IL.

    30. Kewanee IL.

    31. Naperville IL.

    32. Chicago IL.

    “Butch Patrick’s Whistle Stop Halloween Tour”

    City List

    2nd Leg, Chicago to Orlando Via. Wash DC.

    1. Chicago IL.

    2. South Bend IN.

    3. Toledo OH.

    4. Sandisky OH.

    5. Cleveland OH.

    6. Alliance OH.

    7. Pittsburgh PA.

    8. Connellsville PA.

    9. Cumberland MD.

    10. Harpers Ferry WV.

    11. Washington DC.

    12. Richmond VA.

    13. Petersburg VA.

    14. Rocky Mount NC.

    15. Fayetteville NC.

    16. Dillon SC.

    17. Florence SC.

    18. Kingstree SC.

    19. North Charleston SC.

    20. Yemassee SC

    21. Savannah GA.

    22. Jesup GA.

    23. Jacksonville FL.

    24. Palatka FL.

    25. Deland FL.

    26. Sanford FL.

    27. Winter Park FL.

    28. Orlando FL.

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