August 23, 2014


Take a Saturday drive with Gene Winfield. Winfield grew up in Modesto, CA, where he established himself as a talented designer and driver in the hot rod scene (Trivia: my great-grandfather was the High School principal in Modesto). He became a leading innovator in custom cars and revolutionized new blends of automotive paint. Winfield's talents were spotted by Aluminum Model Toys (AMT), who hired him in 1962 to design model kits. His talents soon brought him work designing full-scale concept cars and vehicles for Hollywood. Spy Vibers will know some of his creations, like the Piranha U.N.C.L.E. car (1964), Get Smart's Sunbeam Tiger, Shuttlecraft Galileo in Star Trek (1967), the modified T.H.E. Cat car, and no less than twenty-five vehicles  designed for Blade Runner (1982). One of Winfield's creations, The Reactor, really got around! Originally called the Autorama Special, the car was built on a Citroen  DC chassis and powered by a Chevrolet Corvair engine, and featured electronic doors, hood, and roof. The Reactor appeared as Ertha Kitt's Kitty Car in Batman (The Joke's on Catwoman/1967), Bewitched (Super Car/1967), The Flying Nun (Old Cars For New/1967), as the "Jupiter 8" in Star Trek (Bread and Circuses/1967), and Mission Impossible (The Freeze/1968). The original can be seen at the Darryl Starbird National Rod & Custom Hall of Fame. Winfield's custom shop also constructed other famous vehicles for outside designers contracted to Hollywood. He will appearing with the Piranha at The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Golden Anniversary event in Hollywood this September! Learn more: Custom Car Builder, Kustomrama, Uncle Car articles and prints, T.H.E. Cat car, Legendary Custom Cars and Hot Rods of Gene Winfield book, Star Trek Wiki, Gene Winfield website. Thanks to Agent K of Mod Tales for putting Winfield on my radar. Now let's open his garage and take a spin!

Selected Spy Vibe posts: Avengers Blu-RayAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenDiana Rigg at 76Gerry Anderson DocMr. Hulot's Box SetRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsMattel X-15Thunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies IBatman NewsMonty Python Fathom SpiesRodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-EnigmatixBig Fun ToysDanger Diabolik SoundtrackMod Fashion DollsCold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese BooksThe 10th Victim German EditionThe Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

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