Rediscovered Ed "Big Daddy" Roth hot rod


17 Responses to “Rediscovered Ed "Big Daddy" Roth hot rod”

  1. spaceling says:

    Here’s a scan of Car Craft (1964) with some more pictures (black and white) of Roth and his Orbitron. (Links are from Eyeball John’s website,

  2. Anonymous says:

    to steve heggie regarding surfite.
    I saw it this year at the petersen automotive museum in los angeles and in the 90′s at mooneyes for one of the ratfink reunion’s.

  3. Bloo says:

    Oh, man….

    I saw this car at the Miami Auto Show somewhere between 1968 and 1970. I was fourteen or fifteen, that age when most teenage males lust for two things only – and you could get into the show to see the cars easier than the shows to see the live nude girls!

    It was really cool at the time.

    Here’s a link to what it looked like.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why do you think the tri-color headlight thing wouldn’t work? This principal underlies the monitor I am typing on now.

  5. David Pescovitz says:

    Thanks for posting that link, Bloo. What a cool illustration of the car!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a photo of the original

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Anonymous says:

    Hey, this is Coop.

    I realize that such a headlight setup could work in principle, I just doubt that Roth bothered to actually make it work. He put a telephone in several of his customs too, but I doubt any of ‘em dialed out.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sure the RGB lights work if done properly. Additive color mixing works like that (done some stage lighting in school).

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Surfite is in an automotive museum,and looks as it did when it was new.

  11. stretchboy says:

    I know that the tri-colored headlights would work. Our local science museum had that concept as part of a color and light display. the funky part is that it would cast interesting shadows around an object of the 3 colors plus mixes of any 2 because their points of origin would be slightly offset.

  12. Anonymous says:

    If cars could talk. It would be great to find what series of events led it do wind up abandoned in Mexico. And now it’s on it’s way to be restored to it’s former glory. What a story!!!

  13. monsterflake says:

    thank you BB for adding the comment function. two of my favorite sites are bb and the jalopy journal, and coop bridges the two…

    i’m skeptical of just exactly how this thing was ‘found’, but i’m delighted that it still exists!

  14. Anonymous says:

    the three colored lights would work. I’m a Lighting Designer, and it is one way you make white light on stage lt. blue from one angle pink/red from another.( it also lease you the ability to make a pink/red or blue stage wash.

  15. steveheggie says:

    Wow, this is so cool, what a rad find. I’ve never seen this Roth Kustom Kar before so it’s good to see a new design. BTW: Does anyone now if Roth’s ‘Surfite’ is still in existence? I own a Revell scale model of the Surfite, but other than the fact it made a brief appearance in ‘Beach Blanket Bingo” I don’t know much about it. Thanks.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a picture link of the Orbitron parked in front of an adult bookstore in Mexico:

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