I am often asked why out of the millions of different cars made, I have a Bugazzi in my garage. That is a fair question and I have a special answer that starts with Hot Wheels. I was born in 1961 and Hot Wheels rolled out in 1968. At the age of 7 and with their introduction I was hooked immediately, buying the different models, racing them and fighting my brothers with the sword like orange tracks. Years later when discovering that others collected Hot Wheels and you could by them on eBay, I started collecting again and have built a collection that today has thousands of cars. I got so interested in Hot Wheels I started studying the history of the company that made them, Mattel. I learned that in 1966 Mattel hired a well known car designer named Harry Bentley Bradley to design the first 16 toy car models. In 1968 before the cars hit the stores they let him go figuring the toy cars would not do well in sales later in the year.
I met Harry Bentley Bradley years later and he sold me his collection of sketches for the first Hot Wheels he designed, an award his coworkers gave him when he left the company, and many of the items he saved from working at Mattel. I then put in eBay search the name Harry Bentley Bradley to see what else comes up in the future.
Then one day on eBay I see it. The Bugazzi! Designed by Harry Bradley in 1972 as a car to compete with the Rolls Royce but being an American car. It is a perfect example of the excess of the early 1970s. Wild, stretched, marble interior with Persian carpet, TV in the front seat, gold leaf, running board and a bar. Wow!
I had to have it.
Only when I ended up purchasing it did I discover the other famous people involved with its production. Bob Larivee, the first owner of my car, had it in car shows throughout America. George Barris of Batmobile fame had my car, changed the colors and made it a genuine Barris Kustom. Joe Bailon, the famous candy apple red inventor for car paint, painted the car.
Danny Thomas the TV star owned a Buggazzi, as well as the owner of the infamous Mustang Ranch, Joe Conforte. The white Bugazzi he owned made the cover of Rolling Stone on November 23, 1972.
Please see the information I have gathered on this website and enjoy learning about the CAR WITH CHARISMA, THE BUGAZZI!
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