Paintings & Photos

 Ala Kart and The Emperor

When I was a kid in The Big Valley, these two cars were bigger than Elvis ... in my family, at least.
They were both George Barris-built and "America's Most Beautiful Roadster" winners (The Stanley Cup of the custom car world).
Ala Kart, owned by my dad's cousin-in-law, Richard Peters, won twice, (1958 and 1959)
and The Emperor, owned by dad's first cousin, Chuck Krikorian, won in 1960. Between them, they had the (9-foot tall) trophy
in the family (Richard was married to Chuck's sister, Barbara) for three years.
These two cars were/are among the most famous Kustoms of all time.
Both had model car kits and Hot Wheels made after them, which you can still buy, for lots of money if original, on Ebay.

I took this photo at Blackie Gegeian's Autorama in 2009; it was the first time the two cars had been displayed together since 1960.
Was talked into driving up for the show by Mercury Charlie, a friend from Austin Texas,
pictured below with his car, "Nadine," and Richard Peters. 
8x10" Print -- $25
11x14''        -- $40
(Except, of course, that none of this is "up" and functioning, so we could be kidding.)