Progress on Bob Barnett Models!
Noted custom car historian and scale replica custom builder Bob Barnett died in 1994 after a
long illness. Widely respected and liked, Bob left behind a legacy of geniality, passion for the hobby, friends everywhere, and a terrific array of started custom models including some replicas of real
cars. Shortly after his death, his widow, Kay, called me and invited me to come to her home in Oklahoma to look through Bob's materials and prepare the shipment to the Museum of a wide array of unfinished
replica custom, original models and an unbelievable array of hobby and custom car memorabilia. It was an emotional time since Bob was one of my closest friends.
The El Matador is a very difficult subject matter. Not only is every panel modified from the
original AMT kit, but the major body modifications are subtle. Rick Harris is a devoted fan of the El Matador and Bob Barnett, and we're expecting great things! Go here for another photo of the full scale car:
Previously, his models have been shipped out to noted builders. One of his finest unfinished efforts is the half-complete replica of Bill Cushenbery's El Matador. We
have advertised Bob's models before to interested builders, and a few dedicated hobbyists have stepped forward. Just a few years ago, one-time GSL Best of Show
winner Fred Grumke did a magnificent job of completing Bob's model of Johnny Zupan's custom Mercury (check out the article in the June 1999 issue of The Builder
The completed scale replica of Johnny Zupan's chopped '49 Mercury has been covered here
before, but Fred Grumke's completion of this model is a stunner. We covered the construction in our June 1999 issue of The Builder, and you can check out more photos here on the Museum's
More recently, Joe Prestia undertook the task of completing a '49 Mercury
convertible that Bob Barnett had started. A builder of no small reputation, Joe's decision to take on this project was first covered in our December 2000 issue of The Builder. In time for display at the 2002 NNL East, Joe presented the finished Bob's
Mercury convertible. Thanks, Joe, for your great work and dedication to the Museum. Bob would certainly approve of your work. Check out these great pictures
of the finished model:
Noted builder and one-time GSL Best of Show winner Fred Grumke has graciously
agreed to finish the radical '57 Ford custom Bob left to the Museum. Fred's work is well known to Museum fans (he finished the Johnny Zupan Mercury).
Come back here often to check on progress on this great project. Thanks, Fred!
Rick Harris has taken on the project of completing the El Matador You may remember Rick's recent restoration of his Revell-Pactra I Southwest Regional Paint
winner '40 Ford featured in the The Builder and elsewhere on this site. The El
Matador is a difficult piece because the original car was highly detailed, and will require considerable work to complete. When completed, it will be displayed in the Oakland Roadster Show Diorama.
Other Barnett models have already also been placed for completion:
- 1940 Mercury nostalgia custom (lot of work by Rik Hoving, to be painted/assembled by Mark S. Gustavson
- '49 Ford and '58 Chevy: Tom Dillion III
- '51 Chevy Sedan Delivery: Bob Davalt
There are still other models that remain unfinished. Interested and qualified
builders are invited to participate
- '32 Ford Hiboy
- Cushenbery´s Marquis
- Ray Goulart´s `51 Ford
- '40 Mercury (nostalgia custom).
- '41 Plymouth Convert.
- "Tiger Shark"
- Wildcat' pickup
- "Stardust" '40 Mercury: Available.