Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth

Customizer

Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth was an artist, cartoonist, pinstriper, and custom car designer & builder who created the hot-rod icon Rat Fink and other extreme characters. Roth was a key figure in Southern California's Kustom Kulture and hot-rod movement of the late 1950s and 1960s.

Roth is best known for his grotesque caricatures — typified by Rat Fink — depicting imaginary, out-sized monsters driving representations of the hot rods that he and his contemporaries built. Roth began airbrushing and selling 'Weirdo' T-shirts at car shows and in the pages of Car Craft magazine as early as July 1958. By the August 1959 issue of Car Craft 'Weirdo shirts' had become a full-blown craze with Roth at the forefront of the movement. The article featured Roth along with fellow Kustom Kulture pioneers Dean Jeffries and Pete Millar. Inspired by Roth and Barris Kustoms (whose shirts were airbrushed by Dean Jeffries), Detroit native Stanley Miller, a.k.a. "Stanley Mouse", began advertising his own shirts in the pages of Car Craft in January 1961. The lesser-known Rendina Studios of Detroit and Mad Mac of Cleveland also joined in on the monster 'weirdo' shirt craze, but Roth was certainly the man who widely popularized the "monsters in hot rods" art form.

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Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth was an artist, cartoonist, pinstriper, and custom car designer & builder who created the hot-rod icon Rat Fink and other extreme characters. Roth was a key figure in Southern California's Kustom Kulture and hot-rod movement of the late 1950s and 1960s.

Roth is best known for his grotesque caricatures — typified by Rat Fink — depicting imaginary, out-sized monsters driving representations of the hot rods that he and his contemporaries built. Roth began airbrushing and selling 'Weirdo' T-shirts at car shows and in the pages of Car Craft magazine as early as July 1958. By the August 1959 issue of Car Craft 'Weirdo shirts' had become a full-blown craze with Roth at the forefront of the movement. The article featured Roth along with fellow Kustom Kulture pioneers Dean Jeffries and Pete Millar. Inspired by Roth and Barris Kustoms (whose shirts were airbrushed by Dean Jeffries), Detroit native Stanley Miller, a.k.a. "Stanley Mouse", began advertising his own shirts in the pages of Car Craft in January 1961. The lesser-known Rendina Studios of Detroit and Mad Mac of Cleveland also joined in on the monster 'weirdo' shirt craze, but Roth was certainly the man who widely popularized the "monsters in hot rods" art form.

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