1975 George Barris Snakepit

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Lot 207
1975 George Barris Snakepit

Sold for € 27,255 (US$ 30,735) inc. premium
1975 George Barris Snakepit
Six Cobra-Ford V8-Engined Custom car


  • George Barris has become universally renowned as being perhaps the outstanding designer, builder and personality within the Californian custom car world. Here we are delighted to be able to offer for sale – at no reserve – one of the most stupendous of this remarkable man’s ‘Kustom’ creations – the six-engined ‘Snakepit’.

    This extreme example of the Californian customisers’ craft and ingenuity was created in the early 1970s, and took four years to complete. The gospel according to its promoters is that it was built to attack international speed records “at speeds that stagger the imagination”.

    It was hand-built by a team led by George Barris and assisted by Harry Bradley, Joe Bailon and Jay Ohrberg. They were employed in this project by California Show Cars.

    Serious aerodynamic considerations were applied to the vehicle’s all-steel streamlined body while its external skin panels were completely hand-crafted to a painstaking design. After the finishing touches were applied, the experts at Barris were given the task of applying 30 coats of hand rubbed lacquer, an orange finish over an initial pearl-white base coat.

    The 300mph target speed of this 23-feet-long streamliner was to have been achieved through Barris’s use of six Cobra-Ford V8 engines, each displacing 351 cubic inches to deliver a total of 2,000 horsepower. Consequently, ‘Snakepit’s capacious engine room provides a successful no-reserve bidder with what has been described as “…96 valves to be synchronized, 48 spark plugs firing in unison, 12 Holley four-barrel carburetors, six Cragar transistorized distributors and 48 chromed exhaust pipes”, plus “...two Ford C-6 automatic transmissions and a pair of Pontiac rear ends”.

    Furthermore, its promoters went on to describe how ‘Snakepit’ was to be “…controlled by the pilot using two Moon gas pedals, feeding fuel carried aboard in MOON aluminum tanks; a custom steering wheel and a Hurst dual pattern shifter. The driver is comfortably surrounded in an orange velvet interior. The engines, which have been super tuned to perfection, include among their specialty equipment, MOON racing camshafts, dual quad manifolds and valve covers by Edelbrock, and a variety of Ford and Autolite high performance gear”.

    When ‘Snakepit’ was launched to an incredulous public in the 1970s it was valued at a claimed $100,000. This extraordinary feet of engineering has formed part of a private collection for the last ten years. It has not run in this time and is sold as viewed. Here in Monte Carlo we are delighted to be able to offer this quite extraordinary assembly of quality American automotive muscle for absolutely no reserve.

    Cet exemple extrême du savoir-faire et de la créativité des customiseurs californiens a vu le jour au début des années 1970 après quatre années de travaux. La parole d'évangile pour ses promoteurs fut que l'engin devait être construit pour s'attaquer à des records de vitesse internationaux « à des vitesses défiant toute imagination ».

    La barre des 300 miles (480 km/h) de ce projectile de 7 m de long était visée grâce au montage par Barris de six moteur V8 Ford Cobra d'une cylindrée chacun de 5, 7 litres délivrant une puissance totale de 2 000 ch. En conséquence, la copieuse « salle des machines » de Snakepit met à la disposition de l'heureux enchérisseur (sans réserve) la bagatelle de « 96 soupapes à régler, 48 bougies à synchroniser, 12 carburateurs Holley quadruple corps, six allumeurs Cragar transistorisés et 48 pipes d'échappement chromées » plus « deux boîtes automatiques Ford C-6 et une paire de …Pontiac ».

    Lorsque Snakepit fut lancé devant un public incrédule dans les années 1970, sa valeur déclarée était de 100 000 dollars. Cet extraordinaire exploit technique a fait partie d'une collection privée pendant des années. Il n'a pas fonctionné pendant cette période et il est vendu tel qu'il se présente. Ici, à Monte Carlo, nous sommes particulièrement heureux de proposer cet assemblage assez fabuleux de muscles mécaniques américains de haute qualité absolument sans aucun prix de réserve.
1975 George Barris Snakepit
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