Car-Building legend Boyd Coddington dies

NightStalker3

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Oct 4, 2004
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By JEFF WILSON, Associated Press Writer 30 minutes ago



Car-building legend Boyd Coddington, whose testosterone-injected cable TV reality show "American Hot Rod" introduced the nation to the West Coast hot rod guru, has died. He was 63.
Coddington died at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in suburban Whittier at 6:20 a.m. Wednesday. His La Habra office spokeswoman Amanda Curry wouldn't disclose the cause of death.
Coddington, who started building cars when he was 13 and once operated a gas station in Utah, set a standard for his workmanship and creativity, with his popular "Cadzilla" creation considered a design masterpiece. The customized car based on a 1950s Cadillac was built for rocker Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.
"That was a groundbreaking car. Very cool," said Dick Messer, executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
"This was your modern era George Barris," Messer said. "He did things to hot rods and customs that weren't being done by anyone else. But the main thing is he designed cars that were drivable."
Coddington was a machinist by trade, working at Disneyland during the day and tinkering with cars in his home garage at night and on weekends. His rolling creations captured the imagination of car-crazy Southern Californians and soon he was building custom cars and making money.
Most often, he customized 1932 Ford "little deuce coupes."
"It was one of those things when a hobby turned into business," Messer said, noting Coddington was also "one of the first guys to get into the custom wheel business."
Wheels by Boyd were fetching $2,000 apiece, which was unheard of two decades ago.
Coddington also surrounded himself with talent. Alumni from his shop include Jesse James and Chip Foose, who went on to open their own shops and star in reality TV shows.
Coddington twice won the Daimler-Chrysler Design Excellence Award and he was inducted into the Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame, the National Rod & Custom Museum Hall of Fame and the Route 66 Wall of Fame.
Always dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, Coddington said he loved his "American Hot Rod" Discovery Channel show, which featured ground-up construction of $500,000 hot rods.
"The viewers are ... people who lived in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and loved these cars. Now, they have money," Coddington told The Associated Press in a 2004 interview.
___
On The Net:
http://www.boydcoddington.com
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
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Aug 29, 2002
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#2
His show was interesting at times. He was a talented guy. I really never dug how pricey his stuff was... It seemed like contributed to alot of things becoming out-of-reach for "normal" folks in terms of costs/pricing.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
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#5
And I guess God needed a 32 Ford coupe, slapped together in 7 hours on the last day of a deadline.
 

Cunt Smasher

Caligula Jr.
Aug 26, 2005
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While he seemed like a guy I would have trouble working for,there's no denying what he did for Hot Rodding.
 

burky79

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Feb 18, 2005
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#8
Wow. That sucks.

He is a legend for sure, his precision and design will live on... he birthed a lot of the Hot Rod world as it is today. Damn.
 

Arch Stanton

It's all about the funny!
Nov 22, 2004
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#9
Car guy here.
I caught a couple of episodes, but one I saw twice. He had this really cool older guy who could fabricate anything, weld a stick into a four inch hole and you would never know. The guy would do this really funny thing.

He would take a styrofoam cup, upside down, fill it with gas/propane. When no one was looking, he would spark it off and BOOM. It sounded like a bomb going off. The guy passed on.

Boyd Coddington did a nice tribute to the older guy. Really nice tribute.

Considering the resources this guy had, 63 is young.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#10
Car guy here.
I caught a couple of episodes, but one I saw twice. He had this really cool older guy who could fabricate anything, weld a stick into a four inch hole and you would never know. The guy would do this really funny thing.

He would take a styrofoam cup, upside down, fill it with gas/propane. When no one was looking, he would spark it off and BOOM. It sounded like a bomb going off. The guy passed on.

Boyd Coddington did a nice tribute to the older guy. Really nice tribute.

Considering the resources this guy had, 63 is young.




the guy with the cup was Roy, his metal man, who worked with and for boyd for over 20 years, i will have to say that i am sorry to see him go, as a fellow car builder he has my respect for basically building an entire industry, if it wasnt for him and his talent and influence on people you would not see the quality of some of the cars that are out there today. its a hard life, and to make it to the level that he did took a lot of work, i feel kind of sorry for him buy dying so young, but people in my field rarely ever retire. i hope to make it to 63 and be half a famous and talented as him


here's a link to a better article http://blogs.popularhotrodding.com/6233040/magazine-stuff/coddington-63-dies/index.html
 

Newbomb

New Wackbag
Feb 21, 2007
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#11
The ZZ Top coupe was not built by Boyd, it's a take off of the California Kid and was built by Don Thelan.

If god needed a custom car builder he'd kill Chip Foose or Troy Trepanier.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#12
with out boyd there would be no foose
 

Hudson

Supreme Champion!!!!!
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Jan 14, 2002
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#13
The ZZ Top coupe was not built by Boyd, it's a take off of the California Kid and was built by Don Thelan.

If god needed a custom car builder he'd kill Chip Foose or Troy Trepanier.
CadZZilla
Based on a 1948 Cadillac Sedanette, the CadZZilla is a low-slung, sleek and dark custom car built by Boyd Coddington and designed by Larry Erickson. The name is a contraction of Cadillac, ZZ Top and Godzilla. It wasn't featured as prominently in ZZ Top's videos as 'The Eliminator', but it appeared in "My Head's in Mississippi" and in "Burger Man" - pulling out of the parking lot of a diner at the very beginning of the video. When CadZZilla has left the frame, it reveals a brief view of 'The Eliminator' parked besides the diner. An artist's rendition of CadZZilla was used on the cover of the "Recycler" album. In the video for "Doubleback", which uses Back to the Future Part III footage, CadZZilla appears at the final show down and similarly to the early Eliminator videos, three sexy women get out of the car and solve the problem. When the car drives off, a view of its rear license plate is shown: "I 8 Tokyo" - I ate Tokyo, a reference to Godzilla.



The Eliminator
The red 1933 Ford 3-window coupé Hot Rod 'The Eliminator' was customized by Don Thelen at Paramount. The car was featured in a video trilogy from the album "Eliminator", consisting of "Sharp Dressed Man", "Gimme All Your Lovin'" and "Legs". The car was also featured in various custom car magazines around the globe.
'The Eliminator' gets eliminated by two wheel loaders in the video "Sleeping Bag" from the "Afterburner" album, while it saves a young couple from being captured by the bad boys. The car gets reborn as a mix between the Hot Rod and the Space Shuttle, as shown on the cover of the "Afterburner" album. When the Eliminator Shuttle rockets into space, controlled by the ZZ Top crew, a text appears "to be continued...". But in the next video "Stages", the shuttle only has a very brief showing at the end with the text "Stay tuned...". In the following video "Rough Boy" the shuttle plays a larger role as the sole customer in a car wash space station. This video closes the "Afterburner" trilogy with the ominous text "Stay clean...". The Eliminator has one last (so far) and almost imperceptible appearance at the beginning of the video "Burger Man" from the "Recycler" album.
 

weeniewawa

it's a man, baby!!!
May 21, 2005
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#14
That Roy could make anything and make it look easy. I had a set of Boyds wheels on a pickup once and they were great, lot smoother rolling than the tru-spokes I replaced, since they were actually round :)
 

Newbomb

New Wackbag
Feb 21, 2007
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#16
with out boyd there would be no foose
Sam Foose, Chip's dad, is a great Rod builder in his own right, Chip learned early on from him and what he couldn't learn from him he went to design school to learn.

I'd say there would still be a Chip Foose w/o Coddington.

Foose actually designed most of Boyd's most well known cars.

Boyd and Foose never got along after Foose left.

You can't deny Coddington's influence, but he's not the end all, be all of car builders.

Foose is much younger than Boyd and has this to his credit....(from wiki)

America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2006. Some of these cars were designed by Foose and completed by other builders including such as Boyd Coddington, Barry White, and Bobby Alloway.
Detroit Autorama Ridler Award in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
The Good Guys Street Rod of the Year Award in the years 1990, 1991, 1995, 1997, 1999, and 2001.
 

Cunt Smasher

Caligula Jr.
Aug 26, 2005
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Not to throw gas on the fire,but sticking up for Fez,without Coddington the industry itself might not be what it is today. Not many guys were getting paid for they're work. A car selling for 10-20K prolly had 100K worth of labor in it.
 

Newbomb

New Wackbag
Feb 21, 2007
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#18
I agree, he was definitely responsible for taking the business side of car building to the next level.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#19
thats the point, he may not have actually been totally hands on with every project. but a persons influence on an entire industry can not be denied. if it weren't for boyd, i personally would not be doing what i do today.
 

Kid Brock

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Jul 26, 2005
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#20
Even Jesse James worked for him before he made it big. As far as cars go his weren't my favorites, but that is more a matter of personal taste then not liking Boyd personally. I surely can not deny his influence on the car scene.
 

Kid Brock

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Jul 26, 2005
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Sam Foose, Chip's dad, is a great Rod builder in his own right, Chip learned early on from him and what he couldn't learn from him he went to design school to learn.

I'd say there would still be a Chip Foose w/o Coddington.

Foose actually designed most of Boyd's most well known cars.

Boyd and Foose never got along after Foose left.

You can't deny Coddington's influence, but he's not the end all, be all of car builders.

Foose is much younger than Boyd and has this to his credit....(from wiki)

America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2006. Some of these cars were designed by Foose and completed by other builders including such as Boyd Coddington, Barry White, and Bobby Alloway.
Detroit Autorama Ridler Award in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
The Good Guys Street Rod of the Year Award in the years 1990, 1991, 1995, 1997, 1999, and 2001.
Chip also helped design the prototype that went on to become the Prowler for Chysler while still in art school.