Monday, March 19, 2007

Custom Car: Mannix's Roadster

Mannix was one of the most violent shows of the sixties and it featured a special George Barris custom Oldsmobile Toronado. "

"For the series, Barris was asked to create an adventurous, sophisticated automobile that would suit a man of action. After looking over a series of scripts, he decided that a convertible Oldsmobile Toronado would do the job. He presented his Mannix Roadster concept to producer Bruce Geller and series star Mike Connors, who both gave it their approval."

"Barris transformed an Oldsmobile coupe into a roadster with a leather-covered tonneau cover installed over the rear seat area. This tonneau wrapped around the seats and formed a type of storage container for crime fighting and survival equipment. The interior also contained other amenities, including hidden gun compartments, radio-telephone, short-wave transceiver, and a tape recorder."

"To create this Toronado Roadster, Barris fabricated a sub-framed X-member and installed it in the floor for strength. A sectional roll bar was also built which sat under the new tonneau cover. This new design followed much of what Oldsmobile had done with the Toronado’s production bodywork. However, Barris created a clean, new look for the front and rear end of the vehicle by using many custom touches."

"The nose was redone with new fenders, grille and lights. The fenders were extended and remolded with chrome caps on the tip. A new grille opening was fabricated and extended to blend in with the fenders. The grille was installed with a mesh backing topped with a fine tube grille and custom oval Cibie head-lights. A special fiberglass hood was built with a pair of wind-splitter ridges that flowed back into the cowl."

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