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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bugaloo Buggy The Snake Pit and Bunk Bed Car


I am always glad to see that an original star car has been kept and loved by a fan or fans over the years, no matter how obscure. I was at the right age when the bugaloos came on to have a crush on the pretty British girl on the show, and sit through the silly antics of Sid and Marty Kroft shows, so even though you may have never heard of the bugaloos or their buggy, I thought it deserved a mention in my star car blogs! I knew the show was awful, but hey, she was cute, and there was nothing else on. And she was cute.

The Bugaloos Buggy was used on The Bugaloos tv show between 1970 and 1972. 

This was from the era of the fiberglass dune buggies, and all the custom car makers were doing big business selling and customizing these drop on bodies during the late 60-s and 70’s. 

The Bugaloos Buggy was purchased by a collector from a Barris Auction in 1983. The car is said to have come directly from L.A. and spent some time in a Spanish museum. After that, the buggy was sold to another collector in 1990, and was placed in underground storage in 1993 where it remained for at least a decade.

Buggy with current owner, Gary Hillman (r), and creator, George Barris

Seen in public for the first time since being sold at auction in 1983, the Bugaloo Buggy is pictured above featured in a car show in Sweden, April 10-12. The Bugaloo Buggy has been found – AGAIN! 

The last we knew of the whereabouts of the Buggy was in France in dark, underground storage. Well, I am happy to say the Buggy is back in the light and has a new owner, Gary Hillman! 

Bugaloo BuggyBugaloo Buggy info from cars of the stars book: 

The Bugaloos Buggy featured on “The Bugaloos” television series. Since the concept of the show, starring Martha Raye and the four Bugaloos, showed the group with wings enabling them to fly, it was determined logical for the car to “fly” and to “ride” on water. The buggy was equipped with two large flapping butterfly wings, and twin screws installed under the rear body for high-powered water sporting. Oversized headlights looked like the eyes of a bug while the taillights were tunneled portholes that illuminate at night. Wide oval Firestone tires were installed on Ansen one-piece sprint wheels. The interior was individualized for each Bugaloo – each star having his/her own telephone system and Muntz stereo tape system with individual earphones. The buggy was painted in a green, yellow and orange butterfly theme with orange and purple pinstripes.

 – Cars of the Stars, ©1974

If speed is more your thing than nostalgia, the Snake Pit (above), also built by Barris, will be a better fit. Made specifically to break speed records, the huge Snake Pit has an estimated 2,000bhp from six Ford Cobra V8 engines. This inordinately complicated caricature of a car has 48 exhausts, two Ford automatic transmissions, 12 four-barrel carburetors and two Pontiac rear axles. The bright orange car will be difficult to park for two reasons: it’s 23-foot long, and it doesn’t work, so the buyer will have to employ someone with the taste and skills for the extraordinary to start having a go at land speed records again. There’s not reserve, but fully functional it’s reportedly worth around $100,000.

The Bunkbeds is another star turn that doesn’t work, though when it does it has a Ferrari-matching 600bhp from an, erm, headboard-mounted V8 engine. It promises to be the best handling bunk bed ever made, thanks to Formula One-wide Goodyear tires and disc brakes on all four wheels; it can be steered from either the top or bottom bunk. It’s worth around £15,000 – around the same price as all manner of family cars guaranteed to send their occupants to sleep.

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