1970 Barris Campbell 'V8 Roadster'  Body Number 101

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Lot 863• W
1970 Barris Campbell 'V8 Roadster'
Body Number 101

Sold for US$ 48,300 inc. premium
1970 Barris Campbell 'V8 Roadster'
Body Number 101
When the Campbell Soup Company of Camden, New Jersey wanted a striking rolling marketing tool to promote their popular V-8 vegetable cocktail juice, the soup giant turned to George Barris Kustom Industries in Hollywood.

Work commenced in 1969 and continued into 1970. When the juice had settled and the all-steel roadster was complete, the cost was $20,000. In 1970, those same dollars would have bought a new Ferrari Daytona, three Porsche 911Ts or ten VW Beetles and plenty of change.

This custom V-8-powered roadster looks a lot like an Excalibur SS, only it is completely cylindrical. Crafted completely of steel, it was powered by a Ford V-8 on the premise that Campbell’s vegetable cocktail was “The only V8 that’s outsold Ford.”

Shaped like a V8 juice can cut away for a cockpit, according to Patricia O’Hare writing in the Daily News, the V8 Roadster was “Pop Art in the best Andy Warhol tradition.” This wild creation first debuted on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on September 12, 1970.

In addition to the Ford 302 V-8 engine, the Custom Roadster features an automatic transmission, dual tanks. One holds V8 juice, while the rare Moon tank holds premium fuel. The complete set of Stewart-Warner gauges includes a 160mph speedometer, though considering it has only covered 118 miles, it’s unlikely the speedo has been pegged.

The V8 Roadster is finished in white under the graphics and trimmed with white upholstery. The paint, convertible top, interior and running gear is original and the dashboard is signed by George Barris himself. There’s a photo documenting the signing, as well as other documentation supporting the Campbell and Storytown U.S.A. ownership, photos of the car on the Tonight Show. The car also comes with a series of black-and-white photos taken by George Barris when the car was first completed, as well as contemporary newspaper clippings, original Campbell promotional materials and several promotional display signs.

Between TV appearances and promotional tours, in 1970, the V8 Roadster has been reportedly seen by 58 million people in 1970 alone, touring the Country. In addition, it paced major American sports car races, was displayed at auto shows and shown in parades and at major sporting events. In 1973, Campbell Soup sold the car to Charles Wood of Storytown, U.S.A., who displayed it at his “Cavalcade of Cars” museum.

The car returned to California in 2004, where it is titled as a “1970 Barris,” and sports the blue and gold vanity plate “WOW V8,” which comes with the car. And this wild juice can needs to be titled and license because it is fully-functional and, according to the vendor, it “runs and drives great.”
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