Ed Roth’s Mysterion is gone, but one superfan built his own and it’s up for auction


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Jeffrey Jones wrote the guide on Ed “Huge Daddy” Roth’s radical twin-engine Mysterion sizzling rod. Truly, he wrote about his journey to replicate it. Two years after Jones’ guide was printed, his precise reproduction automobile might be yours.

RM Sotheby’s is providing the distinctive recreation at its Petersen Automotive Museum Public sale on December Eight. There is no such thing as a reserve or pre-auction estimate, however the sizzling rod is anticipated to go for six figures.

Roth’s improvements and creations made him a serious participant in 1950s and ’60s Southern California automobile tradition. His first “well-known” customized automobile was the futuristic Outlaw. He’s additionally identified for the Beatnik Bandit, Orbitron, Surfite, and Rotar. His out-there customs usually grew to become Revell scale-model kits. A proficient illustrator, Roth additionally created the cartoon character Rat Fink, which he known as “Mickey Mouse’s evil twin,” and he efficiently bought Rat Fink-themed t-shirts and memorabilia at reveals.

Mysterion is Roth’s most well-known and least documented present rod. Constructed within the early 1960s, it appeared in quite a few magazines however few construct specs or detailed images exist. And the unique automobile is lengthy gone.


Jones says he fell in love with Mysterion as an adolescent, and automobile present promoter Bob Larivee was clearly a giant fan as nicely. In response to Jones, Larivee owned Beatnik Bandit and Orbitron, and in 1965 he satisfied Roth to commerce Mysterion in alternate for the pair. Larivee later traded Mysterion again to Roth, but it surely by no means made it to Roth’s store intact. Roth solely wished the entrance and rear axles, and the remaining was parted out.

Jones vowed to construct a Mysterion of his personal sometime, and within the early 2000s he lastly started working. Jones’ analysis revealed secrets and techniques and inaccuracies—a few of which Roth created and perpetuated—and make clear some design flaws (the unique automobile was meant solely to be a present piece).

Amongst his discoveries: Though the unique Mysterion carried twin 390-cubic-inch Ford big-block engines (the setup resembles the wild LS V-Eight setup that we noticed at SEMA earlier this week), the unique body couldn’t deal with the load of even one engine and transmission and really perform as a driver. So Jones’ recreation has a further steel-rod internal body. And though it appears to be like just like the Mysterion is carrying two 390 V-8s, just one really works. The opposite is hole. The 2 engines are joined by a cross belt in order that it seems they each work.

Mysterion’s asymmetrical styling included an rectangular grille and odd-shaped nosepiece, with one giant, pod-mounted headlight on the left and a smaller standard gentle on the best. Its hydraulically operated bubble high has a small windshield up entrance. The recreation additionally has shag carpet inside and a tv, and the automobile is painted gold Murano sweet over white pearl.

All of Jones’ findings are revealed in his guide, “Ed Roth’s Mysterion: The Genesis, Demise, and Recreation of an Iconic Customized Automotive”. He concluded that Roth wasn’t a customized automobile man in fairly the identical vogue of his contemporaries however as an alternative was “an artist who used the car as his medium.”

Included with the RM Sotheby’s Mysterion recreation are a customized trailer and manufacturing molds—simply in case you wish to make extra and have a storage full of those wacky issues. Dave Shuten of California customized construct store Galpin Auto Sports activities really did that already—his recreation was included in an Ed Roth tribute on the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Class.

– by Jeff Peek

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