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Thread: Car-Building legend Boyd Coddington dies

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    Car-Building legend Boyd Coddington dies

    LOS ANGELES - 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

  2. #2
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Car-Building legend Boyd Coddington dies

    That news makes me sad. I met him in 1972 in Columbus, Ohio. He would always take time to talk cars with people.

    My condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Mr. Coddington. He will surely be missed. God's speed old timer.
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    Re: Car-Building legend Boyd Coddington dies

    Boyd Coddington, shown signing an autograph during the SEMA show last October.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    By MARK VAUGHN

    Boyd Coddington, the hot-rod innovator whose creations won the coveted Grand National Roadster Show's America's Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) trophy a record seven times, died Wednesday morning after a lengthy hospital stay. He was 63.

    Coddington was raised in rural Idaho but moved to Southern California as soon as he came of age, to pursue his dream of building hot rods. He quickly earned a reputation for subtle, stylistic innovations on what had been an almost overdone theme--the '32 Ford roadster. That branched out to '33s, '34s and then all manner of surprising twists on iconic themes.

    Cars with names such as Boydster, Smoothster, Alumacoupe and Chezoom redefined what a rod could be. His wheels were equally well known, particularly those shaved from billet aluminum. He soon earned the nickname "Billet Boyd" for his aluminum-machining techniques.

    One of his best qualities, realized at the height of his creative passion in the mid-1990s, was his ability to gather a talented team to produce the creations he envisioned.

    In the early '90s, he had assembled one of the best teams ever, including builder Lil' John Buttera and designer Chip Foose, to produce some of the best hot rods the hobby had ever seen, raising the level of what could be expected from such a craft.

    His early works were swaddled in simple, flowing lines. The Foose-designed Boydster was an early Coddington interpretation of the iconic '32 Ford roadster, but Boyd's take was stretched three inches, lowered and smoothed out beyond what anyone else had ever done. The subsequent Boydsters II and III carried that theme but with full, flowing fenders.

    The Smoothster was a yellow, full-fendered '37 Ford riding on Corvette mechanicals and a Corvette drivetrain.

    A Corvette engine also powered Chezoom, a '57 Chevy so heavily modified that only 10 percent of the original sheetmetal remained. While the look was unmistakably '57 Chevy, it was unlike any '57 ever seen, with a lowered, channeled body and a reclining cruiser elegance not normally associated with the muscle of the original.

    Like Chezoom, Cadzilla was a reclined cruiser take on a more modern Cadillac. Designed by Larry Erickson and built by Boyd for ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons, it is one of his most well-known creations.

    Coddington experimented with aluminum in offbeat creations such as the Mitsubishi-powered Alumacoupe, the truck-based AlumaTruck and the shiny Aluma-Dub-Tub.

    Coddington went through his share of troubles, including a bankruptcy in the late 1990s. He is best known outside the rodding community for his Discovery Channel show, American Hot Rod, which often showed his short-tempered side. But ultimately, his influence on hot rods and customs cannot be overstated.

    "It is my firm belief that Boyd is the founding father of this street-rod movement," said Gary Meadors of the Goodguys. "From the Boyd cars to the Boyd billet aluminum wheels . . . that whole smooth look that he brought to street rodding is what set him apart. He took our hobby to a whole other level with all the exposure he got in media outside our world. He was a forerunner, and he will be missed."
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    Re: Car-Building legend Boyd Coddington dies

    February 27, 2008, 7:11 pm
    Boyd Coddington, Hot Rod Hero, Dies at 63
    By Jerry Garrett

    Tags: Boyd Coddington, customization, hot rods

    Your King is dead, hot rodders. Long live the King.

    Boyd Coddington. (Discovery Channel/Associated Press)Boyd Coddington died today in Whittier, Calif., a few miles from his shop where the cable TV reality show “American Hot Rod” was produced, and where he spent much of his adult life. Mr. Coddington, 63, lived a life as high-stress as any of his high-octane creations.
    Though Mr. Coddington was a Hot Rod Hall of Fame inductee, he also suffered through bankruptcy and a fraud conviction. He had a keen eye for design, as well as talents who could compete at his lofty, prolific level. His “discoveries” included the likes of Jesse James and Chip Foose, both of whom began their careers with Mr. Coddington before going on to fame, fortune and TV shows of their own in the customizing industry.
    Mr. Foose, who became a fiery rival of Mr. Coddington’s the last decade, was not available for comment. But his wife, Lynne, told me that “people didn’t understand the true nature of their relationship” and that “Chip was on good terms with Boyd when he died.” In an interview with Mr. Foose last year, it was suggested that friction had developed over whether proper credit was given for certain Foose designs that came out of Mr. Coddington’s shop in the 1990s; also, some property that Mr. Foose believed to be rightfully his became entangled in the financial collapse of one of Mr. Coddington’s companies in the late 1990s.
    Mr. Coddington’s business interests were later reorganized, and he re-emerged as a force in custom car design. But in 2005, he was accused of fraud by the State of California for titling his custom-fabricated creations as “antique cars” to avoid emissions controls and tax obligations. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in connection with the allegations, and was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine and perform 160 hours of community service.
    Mr. Coddington, born in Rupert, Idaho, spent his early years learning his craft in Idaho and Utah garages. He moved to California in 1966 and worked at Disneyland as a machinist by day, and as a hot rod tuner by night. He jumped into the business of car-building full-time in 1977, and by 1981 one of his creations won the prestigious Oakland Roadster Show, the pinnacle of fame in that genre. Another of his famous creations was the “Cadzilla” street rod built for rocker Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. But he is probably best known for his many variations of the classic 1932 Ford deuce coupe.
    His creations have sold at auctions for well into six figures. But there were indications shortly before his passing that perhaps he had been a bit too prolific. A pristine 1934 Ford roadster by Mr. Coddington failed to meet its reserve price at RM Auctions’ Scottsdale event in January; it earned “only” a $110,000 high bid — shockingly low by Coddington-creation standards.

    A 1934 roadster by Boyd Coddington failed to meet its reserve price at an auction in January. (Photograph by Jerry Garrett for The New York Times)Mr. Coddington was a colorful outsize character, who preferred loud shirts and loud talk. On his television show, he was often portrayed as a ruthless taskmaster. But as someone who has worked a bit in television, I can tell you it was an image that was carefully cultivated by producers who wanted the show and its star to have an edge. In private, he projected a mischievous sense of fun and excitement that was irresistibly infectious. His followers generally went willingly where he decided to lead.
    Love him or hate him, Boyd Coddington relentlessly pushed the art of the hot rod forward like few men before or since. His fellow customizers and show competitors will have a hard time finding a source of inspiration with high-power wattage as brilliant.
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    Re: Car-Building legend Boyd Coddington dies

    The world-renowned customizer was hospitalized twice last month for a recurring illness and underwent emergency surgery. In a statement released after his surgery, wife Jo Coddington said "We are happy to report that Boyd is recovering and doing very well, he is expected to go home next week. Boyd and I would like to thank all of the people who have sent their well wishes and support!" It is not yet known whether Coddington's illness is related to his death.

    Boyd Coddington is a household name in the custom car world. The SEMA Hall of Famer won the Grand National Roadster Show's coveted "America's Most Beautiful Roadster" award a record seven times and the DaimlerChrysler Design Excellence Award twice. Originally from Idaho, Coddington moved to southern California at a young age to begin working on cars, notably the '32 Ford Roadster, his favorite. He would later open Boyd Coddington's Hot Rods, a 50,000 square-foot workshop in La Habra, California. Today, the 70 employee strong shop produces 12 to 15 custom cars per year at prices ranging from $50,000 to $500,000. A newer venture, Boyd Coddington Wheels, produces over 100,000 custom designed wheels per year and is larger than his hot rod business. His techniques developed in machining wheels from billet aluminum would earn him the nickname "Billet Boyd." His legacy, though, will be his custom cars.
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    Re: Car-Building legend Boyd Coddington dies

    Think of the talent that came out of that guys shop. he mentored guys like Chip Foose and Jesse James. They still have not gave a cause of death that I can see, or I just missed it.

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    Re: Car-Building legend Boyd Coddington dies

    I would bet he had a stroke or something along those lines.
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    Re: Car-Building legend Boyd Coddington dies

    Boyd Coddington: 1944-2008

    Boyd Coddington, the "King of Hot Rods", has died. Coddington, who was a long-time diabetic, died at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in suburban Whittier, Calif. at 6:20 a.m. Wednesday. His death was due to complications brought on from a recent surgery. He was 63.
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    Re: Car-Building legend Boyd Coddington dies

    he will be missed by the entire automotive community

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