Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s Orbitron  Found !!

 Ck Deluxe December 2007

By Moldy Marvin



After many years of obscurity, the iconic Orbitron built by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, creator of Rat FinkTM was recently found in Mexico by a custom car restoration specialist with a keen eye.  Having passed through numerous owners, the vehicle ultimately met its fate as a carnival car south of the US Border.  Although the bubble top, tri color headlamp and unusual nose are currently missing, many original parts are still intact, such as the shell, remnants of the carpet, original steering wheel, Moon gas pedal, engine, valve covers, carbs, wheels and more.  The futuristic elongated snout grille had been cut off by the circus owner to show the engine and chrome work that was hidden beneath.


Hand built in 1964, the spaceship-shaped dragster was purported by Roth himself to be a failure at car shows.  He blamed the Orbitron’s lack of appeal on its hidden chrome and novel headlamp, created from three primary-colored lenses aimed at a single beam, as apparently too odd for the era.  The vehicle was subsequently sold and passed around until record of its whereabouts was lost.  Ironically the misunderstood styling and loss of the car would make it one of Roth’s most desired collectibles.


Current plans for the vehicle include extensive restoration, hopefully by many of the original craftsmen.  Ed Roth died in 2001 at the age of 69; however a current resurgence in popularity proves his life’s work is as timeless and masterful back today as it was then.  Recent auction prices for Ed Roth memorabilia, artwork and vehicles have exceeded market expectations.


Orbitron painting below courtesy of Nick Sinclair.  For more, go to www.sinclairhotrods.com




"Big Mess, Big Success!" ~ Ed Roth




Copyright 2008 

  Littlerock, CA



Webmister Moldy Marvin