Register now to get rid of these ads!

Barris Kopper Kart

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by T McG, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. T McG
    Joined: Feb 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,255

    T McG
    Member
    from Phoenix

    Maybe I'm way behind, but has the Kopper Kart been found? I recently saw a picture of it on Riksters site sitting beside the Aztec. Is this the real thing, or a clone? If it is the real deal, I would sure like to know where it was found. The last I knew it was rusting away in a field in Ohio, having been owned by the same guy that has the Kookie car and the Golden Sahara. Anybody know the story?
     
  2. The story that I heard was that the same guy that has the Kookie T and the Golden Sahara, bought the Kopper Kart and for whatever reason, cut it up. After what he did to the Kookie T, I don't understand his thinking. So I think that what you saw was maybe an old picture or a clone. Supposedly, the Kookie T and the Golden Sahara are in this guy's garage and no one is allowed to see them and they are in sad shape. His name was Jim Skonkakes, and then I think he changed it to Jim Street. I saw the Golden Sahara in Florida in 1960 at a Ford Dealership and the owner had a guy take it from dealership to dealership as a crowd gatherer and advertising pull. I also saw it at a Ford dealership in ALabama when I was in the army. The Golden Sahara was quite an impressive piece and I wonder what it would bring at the Barret Jackson Auction.
     
  3. T McG
    Joined: Feb 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,255

    T McG
    Member
    from Phoenix

    I too saw the Sahara and Kookie, at a car show in Erie, Pa. in 1963, along with the Alexander Brothers Venturian 56 Chevy. After the show was over, the owner DROVE the Venturian back to Buffalo NY in the middle of winter! Quite impressive. Some day those cars will come out of hiding when the family sells them off after his death. Of course by that time, who knows what condition they will be in. Then again, look what the Aztec was like before it's current restoration.
     
  4. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    That is the clone you see in the photo next to the Barry Mazza restored Aztec.
    I'am not sure about the whearabout of the original Kopper Kart.
    There are also rumors about a second clone beeing built by none other than Charlie Brewer... anybody know anything about that?
     
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. Rot 'n Kustom
    Joined: Sep 24, 2004
    Posts: 1,920

    Rot 'n Kustom
    Member

    Joe Skonzakes owned (owns?) the Golden Sahara and also the Kopper Kart. I never knew Skonzakes and Street were one and the same person.

    I'm not sure if he was the one who who radically modified the Kookie T. When Norm Grabowski built the car, it went through several versions before it became famous on "77 Sunset Strip."

    After Grabowski sold it, the Kookie car was updated to seventies standards at a time when fifties-style cars were old hat. Most show kustoms and rods required an updated look every year they were shown.

    Think of it this way: If you found 1980-era Model A resto-rod today, would you change the look?

     
  6. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,964

    The37Kid
    Member

    Anyone got a recent photo of Norm's T? Sure would like to see how it looks with the above mentioned modifications.
     
  7. happy hoppy
    Joined: Apr 23, 2001
    Posts: 2,332

    happy hoppy
    Member


    good point, but I hope the 80's style never comes back !

    whats the deal with alo t of the owners of cool cars not alowing anyone to see them?
    there are a few out here too, nothing to speak of but nice hot rods.
    the cars never leave the garage, and for the most part the owners are not "car guys"
     
  8. Mudslinger
    Joined: Aug 3, 2005
    Posts: 1,964

    Mudslinger
    Member

    Heres the story I heard back in the early 80's.
    The guy that owned the Kopper Kart lived in ohio and had stripped it down to rebuild it. After it was stripped it was pushed outside for many years and rusted and just went to hell then the owner decided IM done its trash so he cut it up with a torch and scrapped it but one thing survived. The bed. He made a trailer out of it of all things.
    Now to my knowledge the trailer was never found but in the 80's the guy I heard this from saw the trailer on the highway going the other way and he took off after it and lost the guy and started taking exits looking for him but never found him.
    The Kart was in fostoria Oh.
    This was the accepted story going around the KKOA back then.
     
  9. Rot 'n Kustom
    Joined: Sep 24, 2004
    Posts: 1,920

    Rot 'n Kustom
    Member

    Here is the final version of the Kookie Kar.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,394

    Muttley
    Member

    Wow......thats ugly. :eek: :eek:
     
  11. Me and My brother Scarliner have both owned Historic hotrods,and we know the temtation to change the car after one buys it......
    But we both had the good sense to not change the vehicle from its original builders version......We sold both to another party who promised to restore not change either car....
    I feel that is the right option in the case of a car that was an early show or hotrod build.
    His car was a 32 Ford 5 w built in 1958 by Gary Petersen of the ViseGrip company /family.....it had a 354 Chrysler Hemi/toploader and Banjo rear- and alll trad underpinnings-lots of chrome and vintage interior- and great workmanship/show car history too-.....there are many Cars like these and Barris' Sahara &Kopper Kart that are HISTORY and therefore should never be:eek: "improved :eek: ".

    Mine was a 31 A pickup ,channelled but not chopped- full race/Edelbrock 3x2- Merc Flatty /toploader and Banjo rear white pleated interior and metallic blue of course!]Built in 1961 by Ted Hoy of the Roadmates club in Torronto Canada.
    I think In my case I did the right thing as I have trouble leaving any car as I found it.......I just wish a lot of famous customs had been moved on to an appreciative owner instead of :D UPDATING it to a state,becoming little more than unrecognizable garbage.......
     
  12. Thirtycoup
    Joined: Jul 21, 2002
    Posts: 1,198

    Thirtycoup
    Member

    WTF ???
     
  13. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    This is the photo T McG has seen. The Aztec and the Kopper Kart Clone.


    [​IMG]
     
  14. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,667

    Royalshifter
    Moderator
    from California

    Ditto.:mad:
     
  15. Rot 'n Kustom
    Joined: Sep 24, 2004
    Posts: 1,920

    Rot 'n Kustom
    Member

    For some, the old car may be the last good thing they have to hold on to.
    If life did not turn out as they hoped, it may represent a time when things were better.

    If you're young, it's hard to imagine being in that situation.

    They may not have the money to keep it on the road. They may be part of the generation that never showed a car unless it was complete and running. Fear of theft is another reason.

     
  16. Jdee
    Joined: Feb 19, 2002
    Posts: 482

    Jdee
    Member

    That pic is from chopolds shop in NJ.
    I think he did a post on here a while back about it.
    Jdee
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Von Franco
    Joined: Nov 26, 2001
    Posts: 1,285

    Von Franco
    Member

    Maybe people will understand WHY we clone cars because of other people stupid Idea of changing them or the cars were distroyed in some way.Im glad to see more cars being cloned,restored or what ever you want to call it.bringing back history of hot roddin in some way is allways great......
    Endsville Franco......Kookie Kookie lend me your clone......
     
  18. T McG
    Joined: Feb 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,255

    T McG
    Member
    from Phoenix

    Thanks for the info and pics. I guess if you can't find the original, a good clone is the next best thing, although it is probably harder to clone than it was to do it the first time. I think the Kopper Kart is a significant piece of Barris history, although it seems like it really doesn't get as much fanfare as some of his other vehicles.
     
  19. flyingpolock
    Joined: Apr 7, 2005
    Posts: 459

    flyingpolock
    Member
    from PHX

    I'm sure that at least ONE person has posted this before... but, digging through some old mags while packing to move, I flipped open the March 1960 issue of Motor Trend... and there, on page 56, was this ad:
    [​IMG]
    Kinda cool... and strange that I had never noticed it before.
     
  20. This must have been before Barris sold it to the guy in Ohio. It seems he must have had a bunch of coin and bought everything that was cool. Golden Sahara, Kookie T, Kopper Kart, and as mentioned in a earlier reply the Venturian Chevy. I had never heard about him owning that one. He also had a bunch of things done to the Golden Sahara that had to have cost a fortune. Total voice control over steering and starting the car. He also had special translucent tireas made with lighting inside. THere always seemed to be someone in every town that just bought what they wanted and never built anything that I know of. Kinda like the only child syndrome, that I own it, you can't have it, and if I want to smash it, I will!

    Look at the ad above the Kopper Kart, Stutz Blackhawk Roadster, $2950 in Concours condition. Look at all the stuff in that ad.
     
  21. JMaurice
    Joined: Jul 23, 2006
    Posts: 113

    JMaurice
    Member
    from Kustomland

    In my quest to replicate the Kopper Kart, I spent a great deal of time researching any leads I could find... even from my tiny corner of the world up here in Maine!

    When I first got into the 'Kart I always believed the story about Jim "Street" Skonzakes acquiring the truck then chopping it up. Andy Southard references this in his book "Custom Cars" on page 113 (where he sees the Kart for the last time in March, 1960 - the same time the Motor Trend ad was out).

    I stumbled across a great article in the September '61 Custom Rodder about the Kopper Kart (in it's final, early-60's style iteration... and 40,000+ miles on the odometer!) and its owner, Paul Blasberg, not Jim mind you. Well, I did some research on Mr. Blasberg and found that he had moved to Florida. I called him up and spoke with his wife, since he is very hard of hearing now. We talked for a while about how they owned the truck during the 60's. She said that they unfortunately didn't have indoor storage for it so after a few years (in the rain and snow) it had some serious deterioration - compounded by the exterior upholstery. Someone (she couldn't remember who) owned a body shop locally and offered to start reworking it for them presumably at no charge, but the project slipped through the cracks and they lost interest in it. She thought it was chopped up.

    Thought I would share this with everyone - I thought it was a cool story.

    -John
     
  22. Great to hear the truth anytime it comes up. Thanks for the information and good luck with your quest to replicate this great vehicle. I always wanted to visit Paris. :)
     
  23. JMaurice
    Joined: Jul 23, 2006
    Posts: 113

    JMaurice
    Member
    from Kustomland

    Actually, I've decided to call it quits with my project... It's a shame but I think it's for the best. I bit off more than I could chew but maybe someone else can have some fun with it. I can't decide whether to part it out or sell it as a project though?

    I have a superb 235 for it with Fenton headers, Offenhauser goodies, and the Vette Intake setup w/ rebuilt carbs to boot. I will be putting this in my '54 over next winter.

    I would be really psyched to meet with Chopolds sometime in the future when he's finished with his clone - it's really remarkable.
     
  24. Can you post some pictures that show where you are in the project? Lots of work for sure in this one.
     
  25. JMaurice
    Joined: Jul 23, 2006
    Posts: 113

    JMaurice
    Member
    from Kustomland

    Sure thing. I'll post when I get home tonight.
     
  26. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,721

    chopolds
    Member
    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    I'm gearing up to continue on this project. I'd love to see how far you got along on yours! It really is a project of tremendous proportions!
    If you decide to "liquidate" your version of it, or, at least, important parts (Studie pans, grill parts, or Stovebolt stuff) I would be interested. you didn't locate any Vette engine stuff, did you? We have the dual exhaust, but need the intake, carbs, and perhaps the valve cover (if different from pass. cars)
    We need all the help we can get!
     
  27. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,820

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    Chopolds, he's got the stuff! I love this place.
     
  28. Whiplash
    Joined: Aug 17, 2005
    Posts: 74

    Whiplash
    Member

    Has anyone ever heard of the Barris "Royal T" ?, I was at a show in Emmet Idaho last weekend and saw it, the new owner is restoring it back to Barris condition.
     
  29. eye bone
    Joined: Jul 13, 2005
    Posts: 655

    eye bone
    Member

    I know it's a long hall… but when that clone is finished… Please bring it out to California to the Cow Palace roadster show in the SF Bay Area. I would like to gaze upon it in real life…

    The Kopper Kart is one of my all time favorite Kustoms… It would be cool to see the original, like when the Hirohata Merc was restored… But "like that will ever happen!" So Thank You for the Klone…

    Hopefully someone can track down the guy who ended up with the original… Then we can get the story from the horses mouth… if still living…

    Until then the rumors/legend are very interesting… maybe better than the truth… Time will tell… or not! Some time it's more fun not to know the "Real Story"…
     
  30. Here is some more info to expand on John's. I'm not sure how the Jim Skonzakes rumor ever got started, probably from the misinformation in Andy Southards book.

    Attached is the Sept '61 Custom Rodder article and an article from the August 25, 1961 issue of National Dragster.

    The Nat'l Dragster article states that the "Barons Rod & Cycle" club was rebuilding the Kopper Kart for the '61 National Champion Custom Car Show for owner Paul Blasburg, who was the sponsor of the club. Thge job was being done at the Baron's Service Center by members Jim Moore Russ Bell and Art Glattke. They were in the process of swapping the Chevy 6 to a Cad V-8 plus doing numerous body changes.

    I don't know if it ever made the '61 Show or not, but my guess is it was probably more than they could handle and may have never been finished, like John's info indicates.

    Mick
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.