Friday, January 14, 2011

The Aztec and Bank Robber "One Eye" Bobby Wilcoxson!

We got this forward to us from Pat Ganhal and its quite and interesting story about the
fate of the Aztec. It from the site.

Link to Story THE AZTEC and "ONE EYE" Bobby Wilcoxson!

"One Eye" Bobby Wilcoxson liked fast women, fast race horses and fast cars. With proceeds from one of his bank heists, Wilcoxson bought one of the most famous hot rod's ever customized: The Aztec. A 1955 Chevy, the Aztec was many things but fast one not one of them.
William "Bill" Carr, an insurance company adjuster from Hollywood, California by way of West Virginia, moonlighted as a hot rod customizer in the 1950's. Carr worked nights in a shop owned by George Barris, the legendary hot rodder and famous creator of the original TV Batmobile, the Munster's Coach, and the Black Beauty from the Green Hornet, just to name a few.
Carr bought a brand new 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air and customized it. The Aztec appeared at a hot rod show in Washington D.C. in June, 1959 where Carr told a Washington Post reporter $20,000 had been spent customizing the Chevrolet Bel Air convertible.
Sometime in 1961 or 1962, Carr sold the Aztec to "Bob Wilcox", one of bank robbing "One-Eye" Bobby Wilcoxson's aliases. Carr was paid some cash and given a new Pontiac. A short time after the deal was done, FBI agents showed up at Carr's house asking questions.
Before it was known publicly Wilcoxson was a wanted man, he left the Aztec for safe keeping in Phoenix, Arizona, in my grandparent's garage. My father, a young auto body and fender repairman and an expert car painter from Salinas, California, visited his parents in Phoenix and looked the car over. I was with my father on that that trip - at the rip old age of two!
"Most of the body was molded from lead so it was a heavy car," Jim Hurley said. "It was so heavy that changing one flat tire required a floor jack lifting the frame behind each wheel well."
Wilcoxson was soon named on the 10 most wanted public enemies and the FBI seized the Aztec from my grandparents garage. As the story goes, the G-men tore the heavy car apart looking for stashed loot, weapons and evidence, according to Wilcoxson's half-brother, Jim Hurley.
The Aztec was next auctioned to a man in New Jersey who modified the original customizing, and sold it. The FBI eventually seized the car again when one of its subsequent owners was caught transporting illegal drugs. Thus, the "Curse of The Aztec" was born.
The car sat rotting away in a New Jersey junkyard. Barry Mazza, a hot rod man now living in Florida, acquired the corpse of the Aztec in 1991, barely saving the classic's remains from the jaws of a car crusher.
Today, thanks to Mazza's tender loving care, The Aztec is restored to its original customized glory. The popular car appears periodically at hot rod shows around the country.

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Barris Kustom City is dedicated to the preservation of early Barris Kustoms history, images and merchandise.