|Plot element from the The Munsters|
|Element of stories featuring||The Munsters|
The Munster Koach is the family car that was used in the television series, The Munsters. The show's producers contracted George Barris to provide the Koach. Barris paid Tom Daniel $200 to design the car, and had it built at Barris Kustoms, first by Tex Smith, but finished by Dick Dean, his shop foreman at the time. The Munster Koach appeared in over twenty episodes throughout the series' two-year run, and was also seen in Munster, Go Home! using different wheels. Tom Daniel's original drawing of the Munster Koach had it supercharged with a hood scoop and thin, round disc lights. George Barris chose the ten-carburetor setup with the ten air horns and lantern lights.
Only one Koach was made for the television series and feature film. It was made from three Ford Model T bodies and is 18 feet long. The 133-inch frame was made by hand, as were the brass radiator and fenders. It has blood red interior and black pearl paint. It took 500 hours to hand form the ornate rolled steel scrollwork. The front end had a dropped axle, split radius rods and T springs. Its design featured a custom hearse body.
AMT produced a plastic model kit of the car during the series run. It has been reissued several times since. Johnny Lightning has also produced a 1/64th scale die-cast model of the car.
An unauthorized reproduction Koach was built on speculation and presented to George Barris, but Barris declined to buy it. Tubbs Johnson, Barris' paint man, purchased the unauthorized Koach and later sold it to Jay Orhbach. Barris auctioned off the original Munster Koach in 1982 with oversized gas lights and different tires and wheels. In 1984, George Barris wanted a Munster Koach for the Hollywood Christmas Parade. He had Dick Dean build a second authorized Munster Koach. Dick Dean's son, Keith Dean, helped with this build. This Koach was restored in the summer of 2011 with new black pearl paint, pie crust cheater slicks, new brass lantern lights, torque thrust mag wheels, smaller skull radiator cap, and had the dummy crank lever removed and sealed. They did not have Bobby Barr Headers, so there is a wide opening where those headers were on the original.
There were five walnut blocks between the spokes of the mag wheels in rear. The rear slicks were Firestone eleven-inch pie crust slicks. The Astro mag wheels were painted blood red just on the outside of the five spokes. There was no skull radiator cap on the Munster Koach in the 1960s. Only later did the Munster Koach get a skull cap. Both reproduction cars have been restored, but the original has not.
Interestingly, series star Fred Gwynne never sat in the seat to drive the Munster Koach. Instead, he sat on the floor on the ermine-fur rugs. During the time of the television series there was a song released as a single by Decca, called "Here Comes the Munster Koach".
The engine was a 289 cubic-inch Ford V8. Originally configured for installation in an AC Cobra, it was built with Jahns high compression pistons, 10 chrome plated Hudson Jet carburetors, an Isky cam, and had a set of Bobby Barr racing headers. It had a three speed toploader manual transmission.
- Tom Daniel