Let’s take a trip back in time, forty years ago and visit the refractory period of the golden era of custom cars.
The Seventies was a rebound decade after ten years of free love, hard drugs and bad bellbottoms. It was also one of the most prolific times of really bad custom cars. Think Pink Panthermobile, Bathtub rods, Barbershop rods and other nutty four-wheeled contraptions.
Custom cars with barbershop, bathroom and pinball themes, the sky was the limit.
Corvettes were not immune.
Take the “Turbo Vette” by the aforementioned Carl Casper. Looking conspicuously like a beluga whale hit by a Holland America propeller, it is truly a one-off “creation.”
The car was offered in many iterations as a scale model. Dig text of postcard that talks of 92,000 RPM turbocharger...
The guy who authored many of these seemingly LSD dipped creations is Carl Casper from Kentucky. We’re gonna to go out on a limb here, but we’d love to roll a big doobie and sit down with Mr. Casper as ask “What the hell were you thinking?”
Casper’s work is well know. We’ve always dug the “Empress”
On second thought, let’s skip the hooch because folklore has it that Casper was a tee totaler. That’s right, no drugs involved!
So, the decision to transform Larry Shinoda’s lithe, aquatic-themed masterpiece into the “red around the gills” creature it is today, was made stone cold sober…
A little backstory about Mr. Casper is in order. He’s name is synonymous with car shows down south and his longest-running event, the Carl Casper Custom Car Show in Louisville, Kentucky will celebrate its 55th anniversary in 2017.
AMC Marlin-esque fastback is a tick “off” here…
Casper is also one of the few people to keep every car he ever built, with no less than three Top Fuel cars he built during the 1970s.
Sadly, this will be the last Carl Casper’s Custom Auto Show as he is retiring after 2017.
Evidently the “Turbo Vette” was a big deal back in the day with many endorsements and publicity events as well as model kits in varying themes.
Today, few pics of the car exist. In fact we could only find a few and had to rely on model boxes for a glimpse at the rear end styling. Dig the tall, thick, AMC Marlin-esque fastback as well.
Chicago Times, February 1974
Anybody out there have anymore pics of this car? Let us know.
As always, here’s our Weiner Wednesday disclaimer. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what is one man’s wine could be another’s turpentine. We say to each is own! Thanks Carl Casper for all your crazy customs over the years and good luck in your retirement.