by Keith Cornett
For sale on Craigslist is a George Barris custom creation built from a 1969 Corvette. The story goes that Barris was commissioned to the build the car for Bobby Rautbord, the off-shore boat racing champion who won the 1972 World Cup. The boat that Rautbord won the World Cup with was called the Fino #18 and so Barris named the creation the ?Finovette?.
Unfortunately, no pictures seem to exist of the Corvette as it was originally customized by Barris although the seller says the VIN has been verified by Barris Kustoms and for a $1500 check, you can get a copy of their documentation.
The pictures we see of this Corvette today looks like a Batmobile/Knight Rider customization gone bad. Inside, the dash is full of faux-monitor screens and flashy buttons and there are even pictures of seat covers with a yellow/black Batman logo. We’re asking ourselves if the original Finovette had all those interior modifications built by Barris or if the came from a later owner.
A search of the Finovette turned up this description in the C3Registry:
Located this vehicle in a field in Fresno. No engine or transmission everything else including the drive shaft is intact and in the vehicle. True to Barris style as you see everything was customized to his specific design. Please note the elaborate electrical work. George redesigned this entire vehicle, this you can see from what you can’t see ie under carpet, behind dash, wiring, harnesses, digital dash, alarm system! Chrome differential! I have emailed the Barris Group the Vin# and picture of car as it is now. George Barris daughter responded that the car had been built by George Barris, the was called the ?Finovette? also emailed to me a picture of the car, I believe a starting picture. I will forward this email to serious only buyers. The George Barris ?king of customs? group has available complete documentation and signature plates with additional pictures for 1,500.00. Which for the person who restores this piece of history should have for historical and financial value of this car. I did some research and found that the ?Finovette? was built for Bobby Rautbord (family started and owned Alpeco Company) for all you speed freaks he was the 1972 World Cup Winner Off Shore boat racing. The boat in which he won the World Cup was called Fino # 18, thus the name of Barris corvette ?Finovette?. This car was later sold to John O Crouse the author and publicist for the world famous boat builder Don Aronow. Just a side note Don Aronow, Bobbly Rautbord, Clayton Rautbord and John O Crouse all hung out and played with the best big boy toys of there time. Anyway that’s all I have researched at this time. In the ad you will see pictures of a time period correct engine and transmission these are included in the bidding. 1968-1969 427 Engine, Back driver-side block, casting# 3935440 Hi Performance, Stamped on flat pad on passanger side block #T07151V-18L170654. Engine has brackets and exhaust manifolds. Transmission is a Muncie M21 or M22 seven bolt. Stamp # is 3925660. In conclusion, this is a serious piece of history and the person who takes on this project will have his skills in fabrication, mechanical, electrical and research tested. But the prize is valuable one of two ?Finovettes? ever built by George Barris (the other could have been built for brother Clayton, or good friend Don Aronow). Built by the King of Kustoms Geroge Barris for the 1972 King of off shore speed Bobby Rautbord and his winning boat ?Fino? # 18. Color codes from the trim plate. Assembly date is D22. October 11, 2011.
The Corvette is located in Morro Bay, California and we found it listed on craigslist for $8,000. The seller is also offering a big block engine and a Muncie 4-speed transmission for additional money.