Last month, a celebration was held for George Barris, the octogenarian car customizer who created the original Batmobile. At his shop in North Hollywood, in addition to the Batmobile, was a DeLorean from Back to the Future, a General Lee, K.I.T.T., and a Monkeemobile from "The Monkees" sitcom. Problem is, he didn't create those last three cars. Universal Studios, who did the Back to the Future films, and the creators of the other cars want the world to know that.
Barris says he has never claimed credit for those other cars. He did, however, have something to do with various versions of some of those cars. Show cars come in four flavors: hero cars are for photographs, stunt cars are for chases and crashes, promotional cars only do the publicity circuit and replica cars are built by private owners. Barris didn't have anything to do with creating or building the Back to the Future DeLorean, but he did create a replica car and he did "clean up" a stunt car for Universal. He is also credited for "modifications" to the General Lee. And he built the Ecto-1 promotional car for Ghostbusters. Universal says that displaying cars like that in front of his shop and on his web site is tantamount to mispresentation. Whether displaying means taking credit for is up to interpretation, but when asked, Barris stated plainly, "I didn't work on the show and I've never said I did."
Thanks for the tip, Jim!
[Source: LA Times]