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Perfectly wacky Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth Surfite

The ’60s were all about the surfer lifestyle before the Beatles took over the airwaves. Movies like “Gidget” and “Beach Party” and music from the likes of Dick Dale, fueled the sand-crazed desires of Midwestern and East Coast teenagers. Custom producer Ed “Big Daddy” Roth Surfite, always looking for a fresh idea.

The Surfite still looks, pretty weird

Captured during its stint at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, the Surfite still looks, well, weird. According to the Roth website, Surfite is powered by a chrome-plated 1,269cc Austin engine from a Mini Cooper. More impressive, this single-seater went onto the green at Amelia under its own power. The beach buggy had all the essentials for an avid surfer — space for a surfboard. It hasseat in which to sit and the all-important windshield wiper.

While the Surfite isn’t one of Roth’s most well-known creations, it did get some time on-screen in the 1964 film “Bikini Beach” and was immortalized in plastic as part of a Revell/Monogram model kit.

Compared to the classic Porsches and priceless Duesenbergs peppering the Amelia Island Concours, the Surfite had to look even weirder outside its normal context of a custom car show, a wacky beach movie or stuffed in a museum exhibit dedicated to early 1960s show rods. If you want to see what else was at Amelia, check out our coverage here.

 

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