To have been living in 1950s America must have felt like living in a modern day utopia. The United States emerged from World War II with the most powerful fighting force and an unparalleled (and unscathed) manufacturing base that could be mostly dedicated to peacetime endeavors. It took a few years to go from building tanks and warplanes to brand new cars, but by the mid-50s the golden age of the American automobile was in full-bloom. The future was here, and it included a lot of big fins and bubbletops.
Of all the cars to represent the once-limitless optimism of 1950s America, the Beatnik Bubbletop is one of the best dignitaries of that era we’ve ever seen…even if it is 50 years late to the party. Born of Gary “Chopit” Fioto’s childhood obsession with all things bubbletop, the Beatnik Bubbletop went on to win numerous awards including the desireable Grand Prize at Darryl Starbird’s National Rod and Custom Car Show, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Fioto had been influenced by Starbird’s magazine features from the 50s, inspiring the Long Island native to chop his first car at the tender age of 11.
Fioto’s love of automobiles would inspire a long and storied hot rodding career that culminated in his Orange County shop, Chopit Kustoms. The Beatnik Bubbletop began life as just another 1955 Ford, though there isn’t much of the original car left. Fioto merged elements from Cadillac, Chrysler, and Lincoln onto the Beatnik Bubbletop, including a ‘59 Cadillac front bumper the finned taillights from a 1960 Chrysler, and the chassis of an ‘88 Lincoln Town Car. Powering all of this is a Chevy 350 V8. Seriously.
The Beatnik Bubbletop is expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000 when it rolls onto the auction block this weekend at Auction America’s Santa Monica event.
Article courtesy of Street Legal TV, written by Chris Demorro.