Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hot Rod King Boyd Coddington Rides into Death Valley

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, 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.

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.
Coddington was easily recognizable in his industry, usually clad in a Hawaiian shirt and his company baseball cap. We aren't familiar with Coddington's show, but we assume that whenever he got excited about a project, he'd give a Simian grunt. Mayhem and some level of destruction would most likely ensue.

[San Francisco Chronicle]

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