About Big Daddy

In 1932, Ed Roth was born to German immigrant parents in Beverly Hills, California. He grew up in Bell, just south of Los Angeles, and according to his brother, Gordon, always had an aptitude for things both mechanical and artistic.

In the '50s and '60s, Ed's unique personality would combine those mechanical and artistic abilities to create some of the most memorable custom cars ever built.

Young Ed Roth standing by car Ed Roth with the Beatnik Bandit

But Ed's life was much more that bubble tops, fiberglass and chrome wheels. His mind was constantly inventing and innovating, coming up with new ideas, new characters, new cars, trikes, and bikes.

The creation of Rat Fink, pinstriping and scallops with Baron and Kelly, VW-powered trikes, battles with biker gangs, the Roth Studios, Revell model kits, sign painting at Knott's Berry Farm, and the eventual return to building V8-powered trikes, cars, and even little red wagons, the guy just never let up.

Ed Roth holding model of the Outlaw show car Ed Roth on trike

Ed died unexpectedly in 2001, but he left behind a rich, creative legacy, and an entire generation of fans who grew up doodling Rat Finks in their notebooks. Today his cars are ensconced in museums or sought after and restored by collectors. Original Ed Roth artwork hangs in art galleries, his model kits are back in production, and Rat Fink has broken free of the two-dimensional world and appears on toy store shelves world-wide.

Ed Roth is one character that won't soon be forgotten

(From Pat Ganahl's book "Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, His Life, Times, Cars, and Art)