The Original Type Master - Ed Big Daddy Roth

The original and most awesome FONT TYPE and creative type of all time, NO FANCY COMPUTER, no nothing. NOTHING BUT HIS TWO HANDS AND A FEW BRUSHES. THIS MAN A TRUE MASTER OF THIS CRAFT.

Ed “Big Daddy” Roth was a founder of what later became known as the Kustom Kulture movement, starting off his career as a painter and hot rod builder in the 1950s and eventually creating world-famous characters like Rat Fink and wild show cars such as The Outlaw, The Beatnik Bandit, Mysterion, and Rotar. Working the show car circuit in the 1960s, Roth promoted his bubble-topped customs, sold airbrushed monster t-shirts and promoted Revell model car kits based on his own designs and creations.

Over the years he worked with a variety of Kustom Kulture icons, including Robert Williams, Ed “Newt” Newton and Von Dutch when the two artists worked for the Brucker family’s Movie World theme park in the 1970s.

As a result, the man nicknamed “Big Daddy” influenced nearly every niche of the car hobby, from traditional hot rod and custom builders to lowriders and Detroit designers. In fact, many credit Roth’s drawings and show cars as a key influence on the resurgence of “traditional” hot rods that have regained popularity today. Roth passed away on April 4, 2001, but his use of bright hues, wild bodywork, outrageous monikers and over-the-top promotion has turned his original show cars into rolling art, and most have been snapped up and restored as icons of a highpoint in automotive design and expression.

Roth’s cars and choppers are so famous in custom culture circles, they rarely changed hands over the four decades since the heyday of traveling custom car cavalcades and road shows.


Big Daddy Roth was the man! It's partly his fault I pursued a career in the graphic arts. When I was a kid, I used to copy his Rat Fink cartoons, drawing with Magic Markers on my friends' T-shirts.