Let’s be honest, America loves winners. We all love those stories about the “underdogs” who don’t just won’t take “no” for an answer.
Such is the story of Carl Casper. From his early struggles growing up in poverty, to becoming one of America’s most accomplished automotive icons, Carl Casper is a modern-day renaissance man. His talents and array of interests are as boundless as his determination to overcome any obstacle. His work with rocket design, for example, got the attention of NASA back in the 1960s; the large-scale public events that he coordinated for over 50 years is legendary; and the vast and diverse legacy of incredible automotive design excellence is enough to boggle the imagination.
Concerning automotive design, the Casper resume is expansive. Carl designed and built dozens of “Show Rods” during the 1960s and 1970s for hundreds of indoor car shows. Those cars then went on to become plastic model kits that were sold across the world.
Regarding race cars, Carl was very impressive building and driving his early machines. For his most successful record-setting championship top fuel Young American dragster, he put together a hard charging, amazing team listed on the following Young American graphic.
Carl’s creativity also got the attention of Hollywood studios, leading to the building of numerous vehicles for television and the big screen, including the “Batman Returns” Batmobile™, the bright orange “General Lee” Dodge Charger, the “Knight Rider” Pontiac Trans Am, and others…which all became Hollywood stars in their own right.
Even historic horse-drawn carriages became a calling card for Carl, as he amassed an expansive collection which he meticulously restored, entered into competitions, and championed throughout the U.S. and Europe. Eventually, the top award in the carriage-world’s pinnacle event’s was renamed for him!
In the book about his life, “Carl Casper, The Legendary Automotive King”, he is described as a “Visionary”, “Artistic automotive genius”, a “Modern-day DaVinci”, “Master of all he touches” and more. But more important than earning those accolades, Carl is considered by those who know him best as being humble, generous, encouraging, philanthropic and passionate about helping others. Carl frequently sums it up with encouraging words to younger fans by saying, “Have fun making the impossible possible and never give up on your dreams!”. Insightful advice from someone who would know.
The Carl Casper exhibit CUSTOM CARISMA: The Legendary Creations of Carl Casper will be held at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky opening March 10 and should be on your “can’t miss” list this year!
– Kevin Anderson