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This bubble-roofed custom Ford is strange and wonderful

Gary Fioto’s ‘Beatnik Bubbletop’ is coming up for auction in California. You want it

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We’re not quite sure what it is, but for some reason we very much want to own it.

Meet the 1955 Ford ‘Beatnik Bubbletop’ Custom, a jaw-dropping, um, thing that’s coming up for auction in Santa Monica later this month.

The Beatnik is the work of one Gary ‘Chopit’ Fioto, a New York custom car builder with a clearly eclectic moodboard.

Fioto’s creation started life an a 1955 Ford, before undergoing the most extraordinary Jetson-style transformation over four years at the turn of the millennium, gaining a bewildering cacophony of fins and bodywork, an interior straight out of the retro-future and, most strikingly, that vast bubble roof.

The fact it all somehow works as a piece of design is more impressive considering that Fioto – by his own admission – literally made it up as he went along.

“I don’t always know what I’ll do when I start,” Fioto says, “but I can see the result as I’m working.”

Plans? Where we’re going, we don’t need plans. In 2006, the Beatnik won the ‘Grand Prize’ at the National Rod and Custom Car Show, and has scooped a bunch of other glitzy awards from the chopping community.

“It’s gotta have attitude,” explains Fioto of his creation. “It’s just got to say something to me. It’s got to look like it’s moving, even when standing still.”

The Beatnik Bubbletop will go under the hammer at Auction America’s Santa Monica sale on July 17-18. It’s expected to make between $150,000 and $250,000 (around £100,000-£160,000).

We can’t decide if that’s a daft amount of money for a car that is, let’s be honest, not going to be a whole lot of use for the school run, or a veritable bargain for one of the most unique objects on the planet…

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