The Story of the Munster-Mobile
The Munsters ran from September 24, 1964 to May 12, 1966, barely making it through two seasons before being cancelled. As a kid watching it in syndication I was never a huge fan, but two things about the show stuck out in my mind. One was Marilyn, Lily’s niece played by Pat Priest. The other was the family car, known today as the Munster Koach. Like Marilyn, it’s unforgettable. As with so many other iconic TV vehicles, the Koach was built by George Barris’ custom car shop. Barris turned the design work over to Tom Daniel, who earned $200.00 (around $1500.00 today) for his efforts. It was finished out by Barris’ shop foreman Dick Dean. The final version included a 289 cubic inch AC Cobra engine that was bored out to 425 c.i. The Koach was outfitted with Jahns high-compression pistons, an Isky camshaft, Bobby Barr racing headers, and 10 (count ‘em, 10!) Carter carbs plated in chrome. It had a manual gearbox, brass fender and radiator, and was painted Gloss Black Pearl. The interior was blood red (a fact never conveyed by the black-and-white film) and the car ran on Astro Mag wheels painted the same scarlet shade.
The details on the custom ride were intricate. The rolled steel scrollwork alone took 500 hours to hand-form. The front end featured T springs, split radius rods, and a dropped axle. 18’ feet long in total, it was crafted from three separate Model T bodies and parts from a hearse. Total cost: $18,000 at the time, around $130,000.00 today. If that’s a bit beyond your budget, then you can buy the plastic model kit version for less than 20 bucks. The Koach has a huge following on the web, including this really cool site. An exact replica was built in 1984 and restored to its full, shapely glory in 2011. Now if they can only do that with Marilyn I’ll be a very happy man. Photo Credit: The Munsters