Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth: Cartoonist, Hotrodder Legend (1932-2001)
March 4, 2020|
Left: Ed Roth with his Excaliber Roadster in 1959, which he renamed The Outlaw. Right: Rat Fink sticker, Source: Photo by Colin Creitz/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images/Getty Images; Amazon.com
A kind of patron saint of hot rods, rock ’n roll, and Rat Fink, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth was a counter culture legend who brought snarling monsters and wacko fiberglass road oddities to the mainstream in the late 1950s and 1960s. His style of thick lined, “weird” art combined with eye-catching custom cars made the Southern California "kustom kulture" nationally influential through stickers, t-shirts, posters, and model kits. Initially seen as too weird for normal audiences, Roth’s designs changed the way people thought about car culture and art in general. Go to any car show today and you’ll definitely see Roth’s imagery and plenty of copycats trying to capture that Rat Fink look.