BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Gearheads and classic television fans were treated to a weekend of fun as Butch Patrick visited the mountains of Fannin County and spent time with fans discussing his love of muscle cars and The Munsters.
Patrick played Eddie Munster on the hit 1960s television show The Munsters, and it is from this show that his love of cars began.
The Munsters were known for their edgy, yet family friendly setting, and among the many iconic items from the show, two that fans are sure to remember are the family car, the Munster Koach, and Grandpa’s car, the Dragula.
“The Barris cars were so iconic because they were the first hot rods on television that were used as a family vehicle,” Patrick said, explaining the history of these two amazing vehicles.
Patrick added, “The Munster Koach and the Dragula were basically introduced to the show by George Barris, legendary builder.”
Barris was a famed designer and builder of many of Hollywood’s custom vehicles. With hundreds of designs produced throughout the years, Barris’s most notable mainstream custom works include that of the Munster Koach and the Batmobile.
Being a member of Dead Man’s Curve in New Jersey, a car club dedicated to hot rods, Patrick doesn’t hide his enthusiasm for these automobiles: “I’m a gearhead.”
“It probably started with doing The Munsters,” Patrick spoke of his early infatuation for this genre, “because of these cars (Munster Koach and Dragula) and going down to George Barris’s shop.”
Patrick recalls building model cars and slot cars in his younger years and said it was all about the timing: “Muscle cars were all the rage in the late 60s and that’s when I grew up in the car culture, so it was good timing.”
Beyond his love for these vehicles, Patrick is also a huge fan of drag racing.
In his late teens, Patrick would hang out at the legendary Lions Drag Strip in the Wilmington district of Los Angeles, California. This drag strip was also the site of the filming of one of The Munsters more memorable episodes “Hot Rod Herman.”
“That’s where my love affair with drag racing started,” Patrick explained.
It was at this drag strip that Patrick would spend evenings hanging out with fellow gearhead Jack Chrisman. Chrisman, a drag racing pioneer, would later go on to be instrumental in the formation of the Funny Car class, as he introduced the first blown injected nitro-burning Funny Car.
Patrick said of this time, “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to be around the whole car culture.”
Spending his days traveling, Patrick now stops along our nation’s highways and byways to show off the Munster Koach and Dragula. While he spends time at drag races and making appearances on the Indy circuit as well as NASCAR, Patrick loves to stop at car dealerships and this too relates back to his childhood.
Patrick’s father owned a dealership, so naturally Patrick has a fondness for the industry. Patrick showed off the replica Munster Koach and Dragula, created by Rucker Posey, at Blue Ridge’s own North Georgia Ford.
While the Munster Koach is actually street legal, Patrick explained why the Dragula is not: “That one (Dragula) could be street legal. It’s got the turn signals and everything, but the problem is it rides so darn hard.”
The Munster Koach, which is street legal, could be seen on roadways but poses a different set of problems when Patrick has ventured to take it out: “The only problem with driving it around, it’s not the dependability at all, it’s people looking and not watching where they are going and trying to get a camera, and I’m worried about someone plowing into me.”
You can visit Munsters.com to view a full schedule of Butch Patrick’s planned events or get in touch with The Munsters star to schedule a stop in your town.
“If we are going anywhere nearby,” Patrick tells fans, “we love stopping.”
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March 16th & 17th
BLUE RIDGE, GEORGIA– Actor Butch Patrick, who as a child portrayed “Eddie Munster” on the iconic 1960s television show called The Munsters, will be at North Georgia Ford in Blue Ridge, Georgia on Friday, March 16th from 3-6 p.m. and on Saturday, March 17th from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. with his Munster Koach and Dragula Tribute Hot Rods.
The Munster Koach and Dragula Tribute Hot Rods are the first and the coolest hot rods ever to appear on television. Butch will be on hand for autographs and photo ops each day of the event.
North Georgia Ford is located at 7525 Appalachian Highway, Blue Ridge, Georgia 30513. Visit www.northgaford.com for more event information or call 1-877-861-6648.
Don’t miss the unique opportunity to meet an original cast member from the hit show, the Munsters, and the only celebrity touring with his own television hot rods! For more information on Butch Patrick and his tour dates and events, please visit www.munsters.com.