Ed "Big Daddy" Roth
Artist, Car Designer
As a kid growing up in the 60s, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth was a hero and a guy I emulated. He was an artist, cartoonist, illustrator, pinstriper and custom car designer and builder who created the hot rod icon Rat Fink and other characters. Roth was a key figure in Southern California’s Kustom Kulture and hot rod movement of the late 1950s and 1960s. Adults were turned off by his smelly rat and other disgusting characters therefore me and my friends could rebel by buying anything Rat Fink. My interest in cars and drawing them was inspired by Ed as well as George Barris, another custom hot rod builder. I got really good at drawing hot rods with big smoking tires driven by weird creatures with big fangs. My dad would take me to the Auto Show in New York where we could see all the latest cars, concept cars and occasionally one of the creations from Ed or George like The Outlaw or The Munster Mobile. Eventually I started trying to design and illustrate more normal cars with dreams of being an automotive designer. Alas I took a different path.