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Chip Foose, Scion tC, VW Phaeton, Mothers, Lidatek, Ultimate Ears
Issue Sixteen
February 25, 2005
Chip Foose & The OverHaulin' Crew
Seven Cars to Watch for 2005
Mothers® Waxes Polishes Cleaners
2005 Scion tC
2004 Volkswagen Phaeton W12
Lidatek LaserECHO LE-30 Laser Jammer
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Coming Next Issue
Geneva Auto Show
Porsche 911 S
Spring Cleaning
Hot Lap
Chip Foose:
Modern Day Metal Magician
By Steve Litscher

(December 1, 2004)

Chip Foose Design Studio in Huntington Beach, CA

The infamous SpeedBird - a Chip Foose creation Ford Thunderbird

Foose drives his creations - here he takes the Speedbird for a spin Ford Thunderbird

Chip Foose designs a car for OverHaulin'

Go to
Chip Foose Gallery 1
Chip Foose Gallery 2
Official Web sites:
Chip Foose
Overhaulin' on TLC
History tells us the world's first magician made his debut in ancient Egypt, sometime around 2700 BC, performing a trick whereby he removed and replaced the heads of two birds and an ox. Modern day magicians like Houdini, Copperfield, and Penn & Teller have since revolutionized magic, taking things to a whole new level by impressing millions of people in huge arenas, Las Vegas casinos and on national television.

There's another group of magicians, practicing their craft not in amphitheaters or arenas, but in body shops and metal fabrication shops - they're called "fabricators," "hot rod builders," and "metalsmiths." A handful have reached super star status, building cars that grace magazine covers, win awards and dazzle millions of car lovers. California native Chip Foose is one of those designer/fabricators, having designed and built some of the world's most famous hot rods, show cars and concept cars. He's also becoming a household name, thanks in part to his incredibly popular television show, OverHaulin'.

Chip Foose, 41, has a surreal knack for design and fabrication. He also happens to have a penchant for racking up awards, having earned his fair share of top industry awards in a relatively short amount of time. For anyone else, winning a single coveted "Ridler Award" or a single America's Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) award is an honor. Foose has won two Ridler awards and has been involved with six AMBR winners - all in a period of less than five years. Copious amounts of mysterious black art aside, it's hard work and a healthy dose of unparalleled talent that is responsible for Fooses' rapid ascent to the pinnacle of the hot rod world.

When we caught up with Foose at his Huntington Beach shop, he introduced himself, said hello, and then asked us to bear with him while he tended to a few emergencies. His assistant, Lynne Stout, asked him how much sleep he'd gotten last night, to which he replied, "Last night? None. But I got about 2 hours earlier this morning, so I feel great." And with that, he ran to his crew of employees and began helping them iron out the details on his forthcoming Ridler-nominee, which is as of this moment unnamed.

The Foose Design shop is situated on a cozy side-street in a small industrial park in Huntington Beach. The shop employs about a dozen people, two of whom you may recognize from another television show: Charley Hutton and Andrew (aka "Beetle Bailey"). The two recently joined Foose after departing Boyd Coddington's shop.

After spending about thirty minutes at the shop, we followed Chip to his home, where we photographed him with one of his most infamous creations, "The Speedbird." The Speedbird began life as a 2002 Ford Thunderbird, before undergoing the skillful manipulation of Foose; emerging as the Best of Show award winner for the 2002 Las Vegas SEMA show. As we marveled at the Speedbird's smooth lines, innovative components and timeless design, we asked Foose what motivated him. We wanted to know what inspired him and to what (or whom) he credits his amazing talent.

"First and foremost, I credit my father, Sam. He's the inspiration for everything I do. My wife, Lynne is also an unbelievable person. She puts up with me, supports me and inspires me, no matter how busy or crazy things get," said Foose. "Thirty four years of hard work probably helps as well," he added with a chuckle.

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