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Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth: His Life, Times and Art (Cartech) Paperback – January 15, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Emanating from southern California's hot rod and surfing scenes, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's art captivated the nation--well, young breeder males, at least--in the years around 1960. Ganahl's coffee-table biography is a cornucopia of facts and color reproductions, including tee-shirt shop and county fair perennial Rat Fink and plenty of Roth's wild, customized vehicles. Rat Fink may have been created "to show what Mickey Mouse's father . . . looked like," but as underground comics god and former Roth staffer Robert Williams says, "It was the cars that made Ed." Roth rivaled George Barris in flamboyant hot rod designs, and his were "the first," Ganahl avers, "to take the automobile . . . into the irrational world of abstract thought." With their fanciful lines, monstrous motors, and palpable attitude, early triumphs like Outlaw and Beatnik Bandit attracted attention at auto shows. When plastic model kits of Roth cars and characters appeared, he became famous, and Rat Fink became a pop-cultural icon. Ganahl's text occasionally wanders, but as a pictorial archive, this package is peerless. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Pat Ganahl is the author of several CarTech books, including definitive works on Ed "Big Daddy" Roth and Von Dutch. He is a life-long hot rodder and has been the editor of Street Rodder, Hot Rod, Rod & Custom, and The Rodder's Journal. He lives in Southern California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Car Tech (January 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934709670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934709672
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,929,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was the primary audience for Roth's work back in the '60's -- my friends and I would have sleepover parties where we'd read car magazines and build model cars all night long. Roth's creations were just so outrageous at the time and they brought a lot of excitement to the hot rod scene. I remember first seeing the "Rat Fink" and thinking how over the top it was, and wondering what my mom would say if I brought home a Rat Fink model or T-shirt.
I had to get this book as soon as I saw it and I'm glad I did. It brings back so many good memories of those times. While not a true biography of Big Daddy, it does a great job of covering his life and has plenty of detail on all of his cars and other works. The book also has lots of great photos; the author spent a lot of time gathering as many existing photos of the Roth empire as he could. The author also interviewed as many people as he could find who were associated with Roth, and they have some funny and interesting stories to tell.
If you're at all interested in hot rods or hot rod history and the effect that Roth had on the culture, this book is recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to reading this book; and while it was interesting, I think the book falls short in two ways. First, the writing is somewhat sophmoric. The author writes as one would talk, and there was not a clear chronology. He jumped around and sometimes repeated information. Secondly, I was really looking forward to seeing photographs of Roth's vehicles, but there were limited photographs of some of the vehicles. I understand that maybe not many photographs were available from Roth's family's archives, but certainly, there were other sources for the photographs of the cars that appeared at major shows. I would recommend this book to Roth fans, but there may be other better books out there.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have almost all of Big Daddy's original digest size, subscription only CHOPPERS MAGAZINE from the 60's -- a big influence. I also own the book "Rat Fink, the art of Ed Roth ( fantastic book) and "Kustom Kulture", and "Hot rods By Roth" And the "The hot rod world of Robert Williams"-- Uber genius artist who was art director and ad artist for Roth in his heyday--- all great books on a creative genius, both mechanically and artistically... (A real Big Daddy fan should get them all!) SO... I hesitated to order this book for fear it would mostly a rehash---Boy, was I wrong... All the other books do a fine job of showing various facets of Roth, his life and life's work--- but THIS book puts it all together following a timeline showing and explaining in detail Roth's progress through his very interesting up and down career.
The custom cars, trikes, the model business, T-shirt business, his contact with the outlaw bikers who ultimatley turned on him, his personal and professional downfall are all detailed completly and in chronological order. If you get only one book on the late, great Big Daddy, I suggest this one. One interesting thing-- the book debunks a myth that most Roth fans have long taken for truth--- that the reason that his whole T-shirt, decal,and iron on business, and the show cars that promoted them AND the Revell models collapsed was his assoiciation with the Hells Angels AND the beautifully rendered but borderline offensive ads for his products---neither The Revell executives or Ed himself believed that.. The models just stopped selling, the world of show cars and everything that went with them had become passe'--- Ed blamed it on the Beatles---kids moved on from Hot Rods to rock and roll and all that went with that... the core of his business was based on capitilizing on fads, and the world had simply moved on... Until later... GREAT BOOK!
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Format: Hardcover
Ed "Big Daddy" Roth was a real renaissance man of the 1960s: creator of Rat Fink, builder of creative custom cars, and a Mormon beatnick who refused to fit in anyone's mold. Ed "Big Daddy" Roth: His Life, Time, Cars, and Art is an engaging and informative biography that charts his rise to fame in general and his skills building custom cars in particular, and comes from an author who met Ed in the mid-1970s and regularly covered his exploits. Nearly 300 photos - many new to this collection-charts his creations and his art, and will appeal to any who know his name.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For me, a guy, who lived and breathed the hot rod, surf and music scene of the 60's, this book brings back a necessary component of the time. Relive and remember the essence of the time through Ed Roth who's artwork and cars seemed to be on the tip of everyone's tongue. We all knew the "Rat Fink" and we all knew "Big Daddy". Now he lives forever in this definitive work.
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Format: Hardcover
Great book, with lots of interesting bio notes and great pictures of Ed Roth's art and automotive masterpieces...brought back a lot of memories of building models of them as a kid in the 60's and 70's. And who can forget Rat Fink?!? It was a birthday present for my brother, and he loved it.
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Format: Hardcover
Bought this as a gift and he loved it. A great collection of info and photos on the one and only Big Daddy. Great shots of him througout his life and career, up and down, (my favorite shot was of him sleeping on the side of the road beside his car on his way to a show). Lots of photos of his wild cars. Great book for all his fans.
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