It’s also not hard to imagine why Auctions America estimates this car could bring upwards of $250,000 when it crosses the auction block in Santa Monica, California on July 18.
Though it’s hard to tell now, the Beatnik bubbletop began life as a 1955 Ford, of which Fioto quickly chopped the top. Over the course of four years, that Ford base was melded together with a styling grab bag of Cadillac, Chrysler, and Lincoln body parts. Clearly styling trumps automaker allegiances here.
The front bumper? That came modified from a ’59 Cadillac. The rear bumper? That was hewn from the front of a ’58 Caddy. The rear fins are said to be from a 1960 Chrysler, while the rest of its body is pulled together with hand-formed steel, dressed in a rich lavender paint, and powered by a shimmering small block Chevrolet V8. Bits of ’55 Ford are still noticeable inside the doors and beneath the trunk lid, but today the Beatnik sits atop the running gear of a 1988 Lincoln Town Car.
Fioto explained his build process to Auctions America, “I don’t always know what I’ll do when I start, but I can see the result as I’m working.” In comments made to Street Rodder magazine, he noted, “Whatever makes the car look good is what I go for–it’s got to look like it’s moving, even when standing still.”
Inside the bubbletop lies a stunning pearlescent interior, which reveals an aero-themed steering wheel, radical space age speedometer cluster, and crucially–air conditioning. Bubbletops tend to create a greenhouse effect, though this one–inside and out–is chillingly cool.
Photo Credit: Patrick Ernzen