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  1. #1
    mousse de chocolat Moose's Avatar
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    Eddie Munster's bike

    My wife was watching an old episode of The Munsters the other day and said Eddie was riding a custom bike with a welded chain link frame. I can find no good pics of it on the web, just a thumbnail on google image search which links to a completely different image.

    Anyone seen this or have a decent pic?

  2. #2
    holyrollin' FlatTop's Avatar
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    Moose, this is the best starting point: http://mywilson.homestead.com/barrisint.html George Barris' shop built the cars for the show (Herman's hearse, Grandpa's coffin dragster) so it really isn't a surprise to discover that they built Eddie's bike.

    There's no image, but it mentions the bike and maybe provides a couple of leads for further searching. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Radfahrer Rincewind8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose
    My wife was watching an old episode of The Munsters the other day and said Eddie was riding a custom bike with a welded chain link frame. I can find no good pics of it on the web, just a thumbnail on google image search which links to a completely different image.

    Anyone seen this or have a decent pic?
    http://www.dragsterbikes.com/uploads/history_pic_34.jpg
    or
    http://www.butch-patrick.com/albums/...164/432036.htm

    Maybe he (Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster)) still owns the bike...
    Last edited by Rincewind8; 10-26-06 at 09:57 AM.
    TH 1.81 (133kg*62)

  4. #4
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Yes, its a little known fact that George Barris is not only the King of the Kustomizers with cars, but that he has been customizing bicycles for almost as long. He is the king of Bike Alt Culture as far as I'm concerned. The sources I read credit Eddie Munster's bike as being the world's first lowrider bike.

    George Barris Interview
    Low Rider History
    More Low Rider History

  5. #5
    Electrical Hazard
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    Barris made some amazing machines.
    Heres a Bike Rod n Kustom page with links to more of his creations:
    http://bikerodnkustom3.homestead.com/barris.html

    edit: oops, didn't see the above link to BRnK

  6. #6
    mousse de chocolat Moose's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! That's a really cool bike, I'd like to get a better look though. I wonder how much attention to detail was given or if it was more or less a studio prop. I am surprised I never noticed it myself on the show, I watched regularly as a kid, but must've been oblivious. It could be, however, that my overwhelming desire for a high sissy bar on my Schwinn Sting Ray was spawned subliminally from this very bike...now I am laughing at myself for typing "sissy bar"...

  7. #7
    Mixitup
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    It is a cool bike
    I E-Mailed his site, he filters through aPR person
    I asked about its ownership and if other pics may be available.
    Let ya know
    Blending Bikes

  8. #8
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    Eddie Munster's bike

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for posting the link over to the Official Butch Patrick website.

    The bike was never owned by Butch Patrick. It is currently owned by a major collector of Munsters Collectibles in Pennsylvania. The pictures on the website were taken in his basement which is full of Munsters goodies.

    Thanks again for the link,
    Bonnie Vent
    Genesis Creations Entertainment
    www.genesiscreations.biz
    and the Official Butch Patrick website

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Indian Larry built a motorcycle frame from welded chain, I wonder if this was his inspiration.

  10. #10
    Junior Member brainchopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose
    My wife was watching an old episode of The Munsters the other day and said Eddie was riding a custom bike with a welded chain link frame. I can find no good pics of it on the web, just a thumbnail on google image search which links to a completely different image.

    Anyone seen this or have a decent pic?
    According to an afficiando at the at the Eddie Munster site, the chain bike was never used in the TV series (I asked them a long time ago). I've seen every Munsters episode a million times and never saw the bike, nor have I met anyone who has. http://www.butch-patrick.com/board/b...989/105687.htm

    From what I have been able to find out the bike was made to be used in publicity photos. The publicity photo's were taken but were virtually unheard of till "Lowrider Bicycle magazine" found them and printed a few of them. The magazine stated that it was the first "lowrider" but this is laughable! The bike was made in the macabre style of the show and was based around the Schwinn Stingrays of the time. The magazine was obviously looking to create the mythical "first" lowrider, around a Barris "Kustom" bicycle. Barris himself calls it a kustom bicycle.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A possible explanation for the "Chain bike" tv sighting could be from a Discovery Channel "Biography" segment related to the show, either the "Munsters" or "Fred Gwynne" were covered once. In this "Biography" segment is a photo of Eddie with the chain bike, with the narrator describing the bike, and mentioning a bike deal that fell through to make a bike with the Eddie connection. They usually show this Biography episode around Halloween.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I will put it out there though, and ask if anybody has seen the chain bike on the Munsters TV show, let us know, and be sure to tell us what episode they saw it in.

    The Barris bike was not the first custom bicycle created, I have photo's from an old "Car Craft" magazine dating to mid 1962, showing a custom bicycle being exhibited at a California car show. I'm sure bicycles had been customized and shown in the late 50's. Custom bicycles at California car shows were not unheard of in the very early 60's, they seemed to be related to the look of custom motorcycles of the time, chrome, apehanger handlebars, and Phantom spring forks.


    This bike (Barris' Munster "Chain bike") was not built in the ornate style of Latino lowrider car culture. Lowrider bicycles (as we know them) came later. This is simply a spooky kustom bicycle, built at the George Barris kustom shop for a spooky tv show. The bike was mostly fabricated by Barris employee "Skip Barret"



    LOL! If this is the first lowrider bicycle then my fathers the Pope!




    Keep cool

    John Brain
    Last edited by brainchopper; 01-07-07 at 02:48 AM.

  11. #11
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    You are right. It wasn't "the first". Lowrider history has some interesting stuff to say about that time.

    But that doesn't negate it's importance, because it was the first that many kids saw. It got planet-wide exposure. It inspired millions. Barris made it!

  12. #12
    Junior Member brainchopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas
    You are right. It wasn't "the first". Lowrider history has some interesting stuff to say about that time.

    But that doesn't negate it's importance, because it was the first that many kids saw. It got planet-wide exposure. It inspired millions. Barris made it!
    Lowrider bicycle magazine proclaimed it as possibly the first lowrider bicycle, and that it was used in the "Munsters" TV show. The magazine said that "every kid in America wanted a bike like Eddies". The trouble was that the magazine never bothered to do it's research, had they done so they would have found out that the chain bike was never used on the TV show! The chain bike was only used for a few obscure publicity photo's, and was virtually unknown to kids growing up in the 1960's.

    "Lowrider Bicycle Magazine" came across the forgotten chain bike photo's and printed them in their magazine in the mid 1990's. The bike had reportedly been seen for a short time at the "Cars of the stars" museum, but then it quickly went back into obscurity, until (that is) Lowrider Bicycle Magazine came across copies of the old chain bike photo's and printed them.


    The bike was built at the Barris shop for some obscure "Munsters" publicity photo's. Looked at today it is an interesting mid 60's "kustom" bicycle that has the "Barris" name attached to it. It had no impact when it was first made because it was never actually used in the Munsters tv series! The bike is interesting mostly because of the "George Barris" name connection, and certainly not for being an early example of a "lowrider" bike, which it surely was not (it is simply a kustom bicycle made in 1965). It was a spooky looking "kustom", made for publicity photos for a spooky TV show. In the big picture of things it is simply an interesting piece of kustom bicycle history, with a "George Barris" association!

    It is cool that the Barris shop would make a kustom bike though!

    John Brain
    Last edited by brainchopper; 02-05-07 at 02:48 AM.

  13. #13
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    Correction/update...

    This is way after the fact, but since the Barris Bros. got the lion's share of TV/movie car time, I want the props to go where they belong on this one.

    It wasn't Barris that made this particular bike, it was built in the shop of kustom kulture ikon, Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth, the Barris Bros'. main competition from down the road in Maywood.

    I know because Ed's 2nd oldest son, my old bud Dennis, came to school (Heliotrope Elem., just down Slauson Ave. from the shop and two blocks over from their house) on it one morning prior to it going to the TV studio, of course blowing eveyone's mind.

    Those were fun times.

    Interesting to read here that it never made it onto an episode, even tho I'd heard it was in two eps., as I've never seen it on TV and always have watched for it. I'd love to see the promo it was in.

    One of the younger Roth kids offered to help me buy it a few years back. It might be in the Peterson Museum now. Deffinitely an eye popper.

    Ride on!

  14. #14
    Senior Member GrayJay's Avatar
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    Bringing this zombie thread back from the dead, the bike is up for sale;
    http://cgi.ebay.com/EDDIE-MUNSTERS-C...-/130545200202

  15. #15
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    Bringing this zombie thread back from the dead, the bike is up for sale;
    http://cgi.ebay.com/EDDIE-MUNSTERS-C...-/130545200202
    Yeah, I noticed the auction yesterday. It's worth it to check out the auction just to see the pics of the bike. They are the best pics of it I've ever seen.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    It's cool, but not $25,000 cool. Needs restoration, some of the bits are missing, and no-one I know has any memory of ever seeing it on the show. Let's keep an eye on the auction. I'd say a more realistic starting price might be closer to $5,000.

  17. #17
    Junior Member brainchopper's Avatar
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    Article on the bike

    Article on the Eddie Munster Chain Bike

    http://bikerodnkustom5.homestead.com...chainbike.html

    The bike was never on the Munsters show, although they had hoped this would happen. Von Dutch did a lot of work on the bike and he did show it around to close friends like Ed Roth. The bike is a collaboration of some of the top names in 60's kustom culture, it is essentially intact ( although missing a few parts). To us it seems expensive, but to those comfortable collectors who seek rare examples of kustom craft from the masters, this bike would seem like a bargain. This is the first time its been for sale in 25 years. The article on the link is a few years old, and needs some minor updating.

    John Brain

  18. #18
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I wonder how much someone might try to get for it on craigslist.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    No bids. Wonder if he'll try again.

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