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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

George Barris Signing Autographs at Mecum St. Charles Auction

“King of the Kustomizers” George Barris will be onsite to sign autographs and share stories at Mecum’s St. Charles Auction at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Ill., on Oct. 2-3, 2009.

Barris will drive his custom-built 1969 AMC AMX-400 Coupe (Lot S105) across the block when Mecum auctions it on Sat., Oct. 3, at 2:25 p.m. during its live television series, “Mecum Auto Auction: Muscle Cars & More” on Discovery Communications’ HD Theater.

“The AMC AMX-400 was a concept car we developed during the time when American Motors was building special AMX vehicles,” said George Barris. “Our goal was to make it aerodynamic yet retain its muscle car appearance. The car has been restored and would be a great daily driver for any enthusiast to add to their car collection.”

The ’69 AMC AMX-400 Coupe was custom built for the early 1970’s TV show “Banacek.” This one-off original George Barris Kustom is a modified AMX 390 automatic with a 315 HP V8 engine as well as extensive styling modifications. Barris chopped 4-1/2 inches from the roof to lower the car’s silhouette, lengthened its front end 15 inches and installed a louvered grille. It has a Borg Warner “Shift Command” 3-speed automatic transmission. With 3,300 original miles, the AMC AMX-400 is believed to be the last “Kustom” built by Barris in the 1960s.

Featuring a brown bucket seat interior, Barris added matching Naugahyde crash padding on the dash and a carpeted rear compartment. His signature adorns the glovebox lid.

Barris, who was born in Chicago in the mid-1920s, pursued a passion for constructing scratch-built aircraft models that led to model cars, winning competitions for construction and design. He began “kustomizing” cars in the 1930s – changing the spelling of custom to kustom to reflect the unique nature of his vehicles. Barris created his first full custom from a used 1936 Ford convertible while in high school, and shortly after formed a club called Kustoms Car Club. He has developed kustoms and hot rods for movies and actors and is known as the originator of the Batmobile. Barris continues to work out of his shop today.

Mecum’s St. Charles Auction features more than 750 vehicles ranging from rare muscle and vintage cars to hot rods and exotics.

The auction is open to the general public with tickets available at the door for $10. It will be broadcast live on Mecum’s television series, “Mecum Auto Auction: Muscle Cars & More” on HD Theater – Discovery Communications’ first 24-hour high-definition cable network, offering compelling real-world and motorized content. There is still plenty of time for attendees to pre-register to bid on the impressive lineup of cars and to be part of a live television audience.

The Mecum Auction Company has been specializing in the sale of collector cars for 22 years, offering more than 5,000 collector cars per year. Consignment, Bidder, event and accommodation information is available online at or by calling 815.568.8888.

Schedule: Mecum St. Charles Auction Pheasant Run Resort 4051 E. Main St. St. Charles, IL 60174 Oct. 1-4, 2009 Price: $10 Vehicle Check-in: Tuesday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Wednesday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Preview: Gates open daily at 8 a.m. Thursday through Sunday Vehicle Auction: Thursday – 2 p.m. Friday – 11 a.m. Saturday – 10 a.m. Sunday – 11 a.m. Memorabilia Auction: Thursday – 1:30 p.m. Friday – Neon sold during TV broadcast Saturday – 9 a.m. Sunday – 10:30 a.m.

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