Darryl Starbird is an American custom car and hot rod designer and builder, known for his innovative and futuristic space-age car designs, often featuring bubble tops. Some of his best-known cars include the Predicta, the Electra, the Cosma Ray, the Big T, and the Lil Coffin.
Creating many of his most influential designs in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Starbird served as a design consultant for the Monogram hobby corporation which reproduced one of the cars he claimed to design. He is one of a group of designers and artists including Ed Roth, George Barris, Norm Grabowski, Dean Jeffries, Bill Cushenberry and the great pinstripe artist Kenny Howard (nicknamed Von Dutch), who presided over one of the most productive and creative periods of American custom car and hot rod design.
Starbird currently owns and operates Darryl Starbird's National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame Museum in Afton, Oklahoma, which features many of his cars as well as other notable examples from the history of custom car and hot rod culture. A notable car in the museum is the Reactor Mach II which appeared on multiple television programs.
George Lucas included a tip of the hat to Starbird in his 1973 film American Graffiti in which a character named Toad comments about his friend's 1958 Chevrolet Impala, "This may even be better than Darryl Starbird's superfleck moonbird!" In reality, there is no such car, however Starbird's creation, "Predicta", has taken to the "Superfleck Moonbird" name.
- Official Website
- Article about Darryl Starbird's National Rod & Custom Hall of Fame Museum
- Listen to a live radio interview with Darryl Starbird on Nostalgic Radio and Cars