Photos courtesy of JMPR
The legendary Pink Panthermobile, from NBC’s “The Pink Panther Show,” has returned to Los Angeles after 14 years abroad. Originally built for $100,000, the one-of-a-kind limousine was found and restored by Galpin Auto Sports (GAS). The fully restored Panthermobile will debut during Galpin Motors’ Fifth Annual Car Show in North Hills, Calif. on Sept. 18.
Built on a 60s Oldsmobile Tornado chassis and sculpted largely from sheet metal, the distinctive Panthermobile is 23 feet long and six wide. The driver must wear a helmet as the driver’s seat is located outside the vehicle in front of the engine, a seven-liter monster that moves the front wheels.
The all-pink long-snouted vehicle exudes classic 70s-era cool with its space-age styling and two-piece clamshell opening doors. Pink shag reclined seats and pink furry pillows where passengers can lounge while enjoying a glass of champagne or chatting on the 1970s car phone fill the interior. There is even a backup camera and a small black and white TV, so the driver can see behind the car.
Designed by the renowned Ed “Newt” Newton in collaboration with famed customizer and TV personality Dan Woods, creator of the paint color Candy Apple Red Joe Bailon, and founder of the kustom car craft Bill “The Leadslinger” Hines, the custom creation was originally featured each week alongside cartoon characters in the opening credits of “The Pink Panther Show,” which aired from 1969-1976. Newton also created a number of other famous vehicles, including Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s Orbitron and Surfite, GAS’ Scythe concept, and other legendary customs. Woods built the infamous Milk Truck and Ice Truck.
“The Pink Panthermobile is truly one-of-a-kind,” said Woods. “I remember spending all night in the garage with the guys, working on the body to make sure it had just the right shape before it went to paint. Those were the days! It’s amazing to see a car you worked so hard on come back to life – the Panthermobile was ahead of its time and is a real Hollywood icon of cool.”
GAS’ highly-skilled team, led by Dave Shuten, completely restored the 47-year-old vehicle. This involved a total revamp of the unique metal paint job using custom-mixed PPG water-based paint to create the perfect shade of pink. Joe Perez, who designed the original interior of the Panthermobile, reupholstered the interior with top of the line fabrics - and he did it in the exact same garage 47 years later!
“Our team at GAS did an amazing job restoring this legendary vehicle,” said Beau Boeckmann, President of Galpin Motors. “This pink limo is a true star from the age of television and we worked hard to resurrect this piece of Hollywood history.”