Tuesday, May 24, 2016

ZZ Top Eliminator Coupe--I Thought That Car Was Stolen?

ZZ Top Eliminator Coupe,

I Thought That Car Was Stolen?

-Alan Arnell

The ZZ Top Eliminator coupe hot rod became a legend by appearing in several rock music videos. Even though the car is a Ford, I have a special place for it in my heart, because of my fondness for ZZ Top along with traditional and custom hot rods.  I am a just a classic car and guitar guy that happens to like 1957 Chevys the best, but why limit yourself is one of my mottos.   
Part of my guitar and musical instrument collection.
Rock and Roll Gearhead Billy Gibbons who is famously known for his rhythmic Texas guitar playing, Lone Star blues and Boogie songs as the frontman of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame-musical group ZZ Top.  Billy may be the best known hot rodding-Rock N Roll musical virtuosos in the music business.  Billy was first introduced the hot rodding and car customising vibe to his musical presence by having his friend “Redhead Fred” pinstripe a guitar of his. Bill said, "He laid on the pin strips to that guitar of mine, and brought custom car hot-roddin’ into the land of the electric guitars."
Gibson '61 Reissue Les Paul SG "Lil Red"

Rock N Roll Hall of Fame-inducted ZZ Top
Billy was influenced by Kustom Car visionaries such as Harry Westergard, George and Sam Barris, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Daryl Starbird, Von Dutch just to name a few.
Billy and his music started coming into their own at the same time as these great custom car designers.  Billy explained that the custom car designs of the 60s inspired him in many ways.  Billy said, “They were inventing car-art-pop magnetism.  No rules, no holds barred. Art forms, yet to be classified.  And, the high-stylin, high profilin’ tradition continues today.”  
Custom Car Designs of the 60s
Billy’s first custom car was made by G-man Barret and Redhead Fred in 1972. The car chosen was a 1951 Shoebox Ford. The car was chopped, lowered and a given a DeSoto toothed grill.  The molding, headlights and taillights were also frenched. Billy, being a good ol’ Texas boy, of course, had a Tijuana tuck ‘n’ roll interior installed in the car.
In 1976 Billy got together with Pete Chapquris and Jake Jacobs at Jake’s Hot Rod Repair. Billy really liked the 1934 coupes the pair were in the habit of making at the shop.  Billy described the ‘34s being made as, “...(an) attitude of pure, Holy-Hell hot rod.”
The ZZ Top 1933 three-window Eliminator Coupe
Billy enlisted Pete and Jake to purchase a 1933 three-window to build as a hot rod projece for Billy.
The car took five years to complete. The car was given custom sheet metal, bitchin motor, and candied pant.  After the the car was completed, automotive stylist Larry Wood and Kenny Youngblood laid out the impressive ZZ lines across the side panels of the coupe. Billy said, “The Eliminator coupe is artistically complete, top to bottom, side to side, repowered, repainted, and with loads of go fast.”
The little red coupe was unveiled and then placed on the cover of ZZ Top’s Eliminator Album.  Soon the car was as famous as they come and was seen everywhere across the nation and the world.  Helping the car to become arguably the most famous car in Rock N Roll was its casting in ZZ Tops music videos shown on the then new MTV,  The car was in ZZ Top’s hit music videos “Gimme all your Lovin’” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs”
Monogram’s ZZ Top's Eliminator Model
The  Eliminator Coupe was first displayed at the Grand Opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum's. Since that initial display the Coupe has been in and out of the museum several times. Now the car is be on display at the George Voinovich Atrium, that is located in the lower level of the Museum, as a permanent display.

I Though the ZZ Top Eliminator Coupe Was Stolen?

Mike wrote:

“I have read several blogs about the Eliminator-Billy Gibbons-1933-ZZ Top Coupe. Some blogs claim, that the car was stolen Other blogs claim, that it was making a tour and also resided in the "Rock-n-Roll Museum." One blog said the car was at Don Thelan's. Don arriving upon arriving at his shop (Buffalo Motors) found a door broken into and the Coupe had been stolen. What's the skinny?”

The Skinny:

The ZZ Top Eliminator Coupe was not stolen. It has been safe and doing well at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Museum.  The incorrect rumor started years ago after the first couple of ZZ top videos came out on MTV with the Eliminator coupe.  Where did the rumor start?  It is not known for sure, but many think the rumor began when clones of the beloved coupe were shone and put on display at local drag strips.

Ltownrodder on the same chat board wrote:

“A bunch of us decided to drive our rods to watch the drags and take some pictures of the famous coupe that was being shown at the racing event. After the first night at the the motel we were staying at one the morning we got up and opened our motel door. We were shocked to see what we thought was the Eliminator Coupe sitting right in front of our room.

We quickly grabbed our cameras and were taking pictures when this guy comes out of a room next to us and tells us that the car was a just clone and not the real car, The car we saw was one of a couple cars that had built to look like the Eliminator Coupe to be tour around the country.

The clone car guy told us that most of the time he was paid just to unload the car and drive it down the track, then load it up and take it right to the next town. He also said that the original car was still being used (at that time) in video’s and they could not afford for something to happen to it. I can say I saw at least.... ONE of the imposters.

The Coupe looked alright.....but wasn't detailed and finished as well as the original. If you were sitting in the grandstands at the drags you couldn't tell the difference.”

Patrick2965 wrote:

“... I had heard of somebody seeing two clone coupes on a trailer on the highway.”

The rumor of the Coupe being stolen may have been about a clone car or maybe not, no one knows for sure what started the rumor.  If you need proof that the car was not stolen you just have to go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum which is located at 100 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44114. The museum is a iconic music-minded museum loaded with pop-culture memorabilia, artifacts, instruments & a jukebox.

ZZ Top Eliminator Coupe Hot Rod as it sets at the Rock and Roll and Museum


Billy Gibbons

Rock N Roll Biography of Billy Gibbons

William Frederick "Billy" Gibbons (born December 16, 1949)] is an American musician, singer, songwriter, producer, and actor, best known as the guitarist and lead vocalist of the American rock band ZZ Top. He began his career in the Moving Sidewalks, who recorded Flash (1968) and opened four dates for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Gibbons formed ZZ Top in late 1969 and released ZZ Top's First Album in 1971. The albums that followed, Rio Grande Mud (1972) and Tres Hombres (1973), along with extensive touring, solidified the group's reputation as a hard-rocking power trio.

In the 1980s, ZZ Top released their three biggest-selling albums: Eliminator (1983), Afterburner (1985) and Recycler (1990). A wave of music videos for the hit singles "Legs", "Gimme All Your Lovin'", and "Sharp Dressed Man", among others, became mainstays on MTV. Gibbons has made appearances with other artists and acted on television shows, most notably Bones. He was ranked at number 32 on the 2011 Rolling Stone list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

The complete Eliminator Album

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