Scale model designer Tom Daniel conceived the Red Baron car for the Monogram Company in 1967. Inspirations for the car's design included:
The T-bucket hot rod movement of the day,
West Coast surfers wearing chromed German WW-I helmets while surfing, and
The then-popular song “Bloody Red Baron of Germany.”
The Red Baron model kit was released in January 1968, eventually selling more than two million units. Mattel included the Red Baron in its first Hot Wheels series.
In 1969, car show guru Bob Larivee worked together with Monogram to have Chuck Miller of Styline Customs build a full-size Red Baron, at a cost of $10,000.
The original model car featured a 1914 Mercedes Benz inline 6-cylinder engine used in the Fokker airplane.
Not having easy access to such an esoteric German aircraft engine, Miller employed the new and exotic looking for the time 1968 Pontiac overhead cam 6-cylinder engine.
The Red Baron car was instantly popular with the public, won The Oakland Roadster Sweepstakes in 1969, and toured the country as part of Larivee's traveling Autorama car show series until the 1990s when it was retired from service.