Beatnik Bandit

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A white car with brown stripes, with open wheels and a clear bubble canopy over twin seats, and exposed, chromed engine with a blower.

The Beatnik Bandit is a custom car created in 1961 by "Big Daddy" Ed Roth, originally as a project for Rod & Custom magazine.[1] The car rides on a 1950 Oldsmobile chassis that has been shortened to 85 inches and is powered by a supercharged 303 cu in (5.0 L) Oldsmobile engine.[2]

In 1968, the year Hot Wheels was founded, Mattel contacted Ed Roth about making a Hot Wheels car based on the Beatnik Bandit.[3] The model became one of the "Sweet 16", or the original 16 Hot Wheels designs.[4] The Bandit's most notable feature is the fact it is controlled using a joystick rather than a traditional steering wheel. Also notable is its use of a front hinged canopy door.


  1. ^ Roth, Ed; Thacker, Tony (2007), Hot Rods by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, MBI Publishing Company, pp. 30–37, ISBN 0-7603-2893-5 
  2. ^ "Ed Roth's Beatnik Bandit - Kustomrama". Kustomrama. Retrieved August 22, 2017. 
  3. ^ Roth, Ed (2003), Rat Fink: The Art of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, Last Gasp, pp. 50–51, ISBN 0-86719-544-4 
  4. ^ "1968 Beatnik Bandit - Photos - Historic Hot Wheels cars: A glimpse back at the first die-cast models". NY Daily News. Retrieved August 22, 2017.