1964 Orbitron

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The Orbitron is a custom car built by Ed Roth and feared lost until its rediscovery in Mexico in 2007.

Built in 1964, the vehicle was powered by a 1955 or 1956 Chevrolet V8 and was backed by a Powerglide automatic transmission. The body was hand-laid fiberglass which actually hid Roth's extensive chrome work to the chassis. The cockpit, set at the extreme rear of the vehicle in the manner of a dragster, was lined with fake fur and featured a 11" General Electric "1-Touch" portable television inserted in the console. Topping the cockpit was a custom-made, hydraulically operated plexiglass bubble top. One of a series of ordinary doorbell switches atop the hood activated the top from the outside.

Other mechanical features included a 1956 Chevrolet rear end, dropped Ford front axle beam, Buick brake drums and early Ford brakes. The frame was handmade of 2x4 boxed steel tubing. The engine was a leftover from one of Roth's 1955 Chevrolets, having been removed to make way for a then-new Mark IV big-block given to him by General Motors. It was one of the very few completed cars Roth deemed to be a "mistake" because he felt the car did not show well since the heavily chromed engine and most of the chassis were hidden. The Orbitron was, in fact, one of his few customs to have a hood. Reportedly, the hydraulically operated hood did not fit well due to rushed fiberglass work.

The vehicle's most distinctive feature was its asymmetrical front end with red, green and blue tinted headlamps. It was thought that the three beams when combined would produce an intense white light; the idea came from the then-new medium of color television.

Source: Wikipedia, 2011

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