Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ed Roth, Huntington Beach, Civil War & El Modena

The remains of the Orbitron -- a noted custom car created by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth -- was just discovered in Mexico. It was being used as a dumpster behind an "adult" book store! Roth was the king of crazy custom cars and also created Rat Fink and other cartoon characters. He used to work at the Cars of the Stars Museum in Buena Park, where he also gave a young John Moorlach his first job (organizing decals and working around the office). Roth later worked in the sign painting department at Knott's Berry Farm -- long a repository of great but little-known artists. In the photo above, Roth checks out a junkyard for spare parts. The inset image depicts the Orbitron as it originally appeared. Today, even a replica of a Roth car body is worth a fortune, so it's a cinch that the Orbitron is well on its way to restoration.

By the way, Rat Fink fans would probably also enjoy the Basil Wolverton show at the Grand Central Art Center. The opening reception will be held Sept. 1, 7-10 pm, and the show will continue through Nov. 11. The Grand Central Art Center is located at 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana.

In an article for the Huntington Beach Independent, Chris Epting writes about the Rivers family dynasty of the H.B. Historical Society, their upcoming Civil War reinactment, and, sadly, the recent death of Bernard Rivers.

The Civil War reenactment will be held in Central Park in Huntington Beach this Saturday and Sunday. The event will be held off Gothard St., between Talbert and Slater. Amid all the canon-fire and bugle calls, keep an eye out for Charles Beal's display of local G.A.R. artifacts and photos.

The El Modena biannual reunion will be held Sept. 27, 5pm to midnight, at Moreno's Mexican Restarant on Chapman. El Modena residents past and present are invited. Cost is $20 a head. For more information, call (714) 543-6991. (I've only been to Moreno's once, but I really enjoyed it.)

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