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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Catching up on Barris’s 67-X

Catching up on Barris’s 67-X


As part of the Canadian centennial celebration, Expo 67 in Montreal, oil and gas producer and retailer Esso commissioned George Barris to create a futuristic vehicle. Barris used an Oldsmobile Toronado as his canvas for the 67-X.
Four such cars were produced, and after Expo 67 they were given away in a contest. The only one known to have survived is on display through March 12 at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, British Columbia, as part of a celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.
“I think the 67-X is an important part of Canadian history,” car collector and 67-X owner Trevor Welfen told the Canadian website, Welfen, founder of the Great Canadian Oil Change stores, acquired the 67-X in 2011.
Barris started with the Toronado, which was Motor Trend’s car of the year, stretched its chassis, created fiberglass bodywork for the front and rear of the car, added disc brakes, and inside installed swivel seats, a writing table, picnic cooler, a pair of tape decks, two radios and headphone jacks so children or other passengers could listen separately.
While on the subject of museums, the Branson Tri Lakes News reports that new management is in place at Branson’s Auto & Farm Museum in Branson, Missouri, following the death last year of museum owner and collector Maurice Wilder.
“We’re going to take the legacy of Maurice Wilder, and make it bigger,” sales manager Rod Glaze is quoted. “That’s our charge, to make this place work and become a part of this great community.”
Launched as the Branson Auto Museum in 2009, the museum was rebuilt after being destroyed in the “Leap Day Tornado” in 2012, the News reported. Wilder rebuilt an expanded, 90,000-square-foot museum that included not only collector cars but farm equipment. The News notes that Wilder was the country’s largest “single independent corn farmer.”
“We usually have around 3,000 museum-quality pieces. That’s usually around 140 cars and around 160 tractors and other pieces of farm equipment,” said Glaze.

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