Greg lent me a copy of Tales of the Rat Fink. It's a documentary about Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. If you were me, you'd know who that is, and you would have had a flirtation with the car scene as a teen and young adult. Then you would have moved on to something new. Something always falls by the wayside as you move forward into the future. It does for me. Every now and again you get to revisit some aspect of the past in a nicely packaged media presentation. Here's one of those times. This 2006 documentary by Canadian Ron Mann is very Ken Burns like, being told mostly through old photographs and film clips. In between are bits of wildly colored animation and shots of the cars as they are today. John Goodman provides the voice of "Big Daddy" and several others, like Dick and Tommy Smothers, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Tom Wolfe, Robert Williams, Matt Groening, Paul LeMat, Jay Leno, Ann-Margaret, Billy Gibbons of ZZTop, and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys all provide voices for the cars that Roth designed and built. It was those cars that I was interested in. As a model builder in the 60's I built those Ed "Big Daddy" Roth kits with the crazy cars. I read CarToons magazine. It's that outlaw design that shaped my impressionable young mind. That Rat Fink was one crazy monster. The movie credits Roth's design influence that still lingers today. He's also credited as being the first guy to put images on t-shirts. That sure lingers on today. It's debatable, in my mind, if that was a good thing, you know, when all is said and done. Roth is done, he died in 2001, but his work lives on. Here are a couple of his kits.
I built those, and then probably blew them up in the alley. Or chopped them up and made other cars out of them. At some point I stopped model kit building, but it would resurface later on when I went through my robot phase in the 80's. LEGO is model building, just no glue. Roth built the cars from fiberglass, shaped by hand and mind. No one had seen anything like it. Hit of the car shows. Money made from modeling built more cars. Then it was over, kids weren't into cars anymore, at least not in the numbers they were then. Sound familiar, tend of the decade, movin' on. It's a nice documentary about an interesting guy who added a nice touch to the color of the world. Who doesn't like Candy Apple Red.