The Munsters~ Lily (Yvonne de Carlo), Herman (Fred Gwynne, Eddie (Butch Patrick), Marilyn (Beverly Owen), Grandpa (Al Lewis), 1964. Though the show only ran from 1964-66, it’s still a TV classic.
Herman and Grandpa street racing the Munster Koach and Drag-U-La, these photos are amazing! I think Grandpa Munster needs a breather- that clear dome lid does not looking very comfortable, man.
The fiberglass body of DRAG-U-LA was built from a coffin that Richard “Korky” Korkes, Barris’s project engineer, was able to purchase from a funeral home in North Hollywood. Korkes said that it was illegal to sell a coffin without a death certificate, so he made a deal with the funeral director to pay in cash and have the coffin left outside the rear door to be collected after dark.
Grandpa Munster getting some fresh air after raising the clear dome top of the Drag-U-La.
Designed by Tom Daniel, built by George Barris, The Koach was made from 3 Model T bodies and is 18 feet long. The 133″ frame was made by hand. It has a four speed manual transmission and a power rear end. The brass radiator and fenders were hand formed. In 1964, the cost to build the first one was $18,000.00. It had “blood red” velvet interior. It took 500 hours to hand form the ornate rolled steel scrollwork. It had Gloss Black Pearl paint. The front end had a dropped axle, split radius rods and T springs. The studio gave George Barris 21 days to complete the car. Powered by a 289 Ford Cobra engine from a 1966 Mustang GT. Built with Jahns high compression pistons, ten chrome plated Stromberg carburators, an Isky cam, and had a set of Bobby Barr racing headers.
The Munster’s filmed drag-racing footage of The Koach and Drag-U-La at The Lions Drag-strip, that they renamed to Mockingbird Heights Drag Strip for the episode, “Hot Rod Herman, that originally aired on television May 27th, 1965.
The Dragula is a drag strip car built by Grandpa Munster in the episode of The Munster’s Hot Rod Herman. Kustom Kulture icon George Barris’ shop built The Dragula drag-strip race car. The front of the vehicle sported a marble gravestone with the legend: “Born 1367, Died ?” The body of DRAG-U-LA was built from a real fiberglass coffin that Richard “Korky” Korkes was able to purchase out the back door of a funeral home in North Hollywood. The radiator was formed to look like a small brass coffin.
The Dragula’s driver sat in the rear of the vehicle behind the engine, under a plastic bubble. The two rear tires were 10.50 -inch racing slicks, mounted on custom 10-inch Rader aluminum & steel wheels. Gas is consumed at a rate of 4 gallons per mile of embalming fluid pushed by the high powered Dupree Chrome Dome electric fuel pump.
To extend the Gothic motif further, Barris installed four Zoomie style organ pipes on each side of the car in lieu of standard exhaust pipe, and mounted antique lamps on the front and rear. While the car came from George Barris’ shop, the car was actually constructed by Richard “Korky” Korkes and others who worked under Korky’s direction while he managed the Barris facility. An ornate Owens-Corning Fiberglass casket, trimmed in royal purple velvet silk and embodying a very lively 350 H.P. Ford Mustang engine with a 12 volt Autolite electrical system.The exterior of the casket, which rests on a tube chassis has a quiet antique gold finish with sedate Italian gold leaf. The DRAG-U-LA was only used in one episode, despite being shown in the end credits of every 2nd season episode.
Fred Gwynne filming The Munsters television show at the famous Lions Drag Strip, 1967.
Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne) inside the custom-made George Barris Drag-U-La Drag Strip race car.
Designer Tom Daniel’s original drawing of the Munster Koach had it blown with a hood scoop and thin round disc lights. George Barris chose the ten carb set up with the ten air horns and lantern lights.A plastic model kit of the “Munster Koach” was produced by AMT during the TV series, and has been reissued several times since then.
The Munster’s Koach was made from 3 Model T bodies and is 18 feet long. To accommodate the five members of the Munster family and meet their specific requirements, Barris used a 133 inch frame. Each member wanted a compartment so a fiberglassed 1927 model “T” body was grafted into a six-door touring roadster with three compartments including a laboratory for Grandpa Munster and a hansom cab rumble seat for Eddie. Optional goodies that were added to the interior for the Munster’s pleasure included, a Muntz stereo tape recorder,Sony TV, and two antique French telephones. A special Autolite electrical system was needed to make these extras operative. The Munster Koach could reach a top speed of 150 M.P.H. (0-45 in 7.2 seconds, 0-60 in 10 seconds, 0-80 in 15.4 seconds)