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Darren McGee

Deputy Editor at Globe Drive

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In photos: One-of-a-kind Beatnik Bubbletop headed to auction

And now for something completely different: The Beatnik Bubbletop - a crazy retro-futuristic award-winning car which began as a 1955 Ford - is going on the block at Auctions America's event July 17-18 in Santa Monica, Calif., and is expected to fetch $150,000-$200,000 (U.S.). Created by Gary "Chopit" Fioto, this eclectic lavender ride features the front bumper from a 1959 Cadillac, a rear bumper from a 1958 Caddy and finned taillights from a 1960 Chrysler. Its chassis is from a 1988 Lincoln Town Car and the engine is powered by a Chevrolet 350-cubic-inch V-8. "Being a person who loves art deco and is inspired by custom cars of the '40s, '50s, and '60s, I decided I would like to build something similar to cars I remembered from my childhood," Fioto told hotrod.com several years ago. "There was always that one car that stood out from the crowd. I decided I wanted to build something of that stature. I wanted to be noticed by people while driving down the road." Mission accomplished. But what exactly does the Long Island, N.Y., car customizer believe is vital when constructing such a one-of-a-kind car? "It's gotta have attitude. That's what I look for when I chop a car," Fioto told Street Rodder magazine. "I look for coolness. Whatever makes the car look good is what I go for - it's just got to say something to me; it's got to look like it's moving, even when standing still." And, of course, it also has to have air conditioning - which indeed, the Beatnik does - because life in a Bubbletop on a sunny day can get painfully hot, no matter how cool you look.

Jul 13, 2015

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Darren McGee is an editor and writer for Globe Drive.

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