Car Thoughts: An Abandoned Barris Kustom ’72 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Hearse

A cause for some concern, this apparently-abandoned Barris Kustom Hearse was seen parked and collecting an incredible amount of dust down on the bottom level of the Hollywood & Highland parking garage in Hollywood, California.

As nearly as I can tell, it has been down there for almost two months, possibly longer. It seems as if someone just parked it, locked it, and walked away. This raises a couple of questions that had been lingering since George Barris’ passing in 2015, like what happened to his estate? As nearly as I can tell, he had no offspring (will correct this if I find out otherwise) and his wife passed away in 2001, so I don’t doubt that someone with a creative portfolio and tangible assets like the historic body shop and personal collection of Kustom cars like Barris’ would find people fighting a raging war of rights over the assets.

But what you wouldn’t expect, is that someone would just give part of it up as seems to be the case here. Puzzling…very puzzling…

The front seats were upholstered in faux tiger skin and it had a chain link steering wheel and chrome skull gear selector. Notable additions to the exterior included a skull hood ornament and. naturally, the Barris crest on both front fenders. The rear glass was tinted to the point that I couldn’t get my camera flash to punch through it. Perhaps if it’s there when I go back, I’ll remember to bring something more powerful.

Of course it was only a matter of time before weekend revelers started drawing inappropriate images in the dust, so yeah, there are things like a “horizontal bowling pin” on the hood. I say “horizontal bowling pin” because I consider myself to be a completely unqualified art critic and that’s what it looks like.