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If you do not know by now, Chip Foose is the man when it comes to designing and building custom vehicles. He is a living legend that is on the quest for the ultimate build. He is always looking forward and striving to put out the finest quality vehicles around. And unless you've been living under a rock or in a deep cave, then you should already know the extent of his workmanship.
This month, Sport Truck spent many hours working on our feature story, covering the complete buildup of the Overhaulin' Napa truck. We camped out in the garage, while Chip and his team of fabricators turned a plain delivery truck into a blown modern-day pro-street terror. Foose was the chief designer of this crazy Chevy S-10 project that was fully revamped on the latest episode of the television show. During that time, we watched a man who is not only an excellent customizer but a natural leader, corralling a team of 30 to achieve the unbelievable in just seven days.
Mr. Foose was the product of his environment. He was born and raised in the shoreline city of Santa Barbara, California. His father was heavily into cars, and Chip watched his dad wrench on old-school hot rods, which sparked his interest in the automotive world. Chip helped his father work on cars, and he later met up with Alex Tremulus, who inspired him to attend the Art Center, where he majored and graduated with honors in automotive product design.
After graduation, Chip went to work in the automotive industry, and as his talents progressed, he gained a full-time position at Hot Rods by Boyd. That led to a management position, which ultimately made him president of operations there. Chip was responsible for famous vehicles like the Boydster 1 and 2. In 1998, Chip went out on his own and opened up Foose Design in Huntington Beach, California. He now builds amazing custom cars for private and commercial clientele.
After going into business for himself, the company and his name grew to new frontiers. In 2000, he and MHT Luxury Wheels signed an agreement to produce a line of Foose Wheels. Then, in 2002, The Discovery Channel decided to film a documentary on building a vehicle for the SEMA Show, and the television bit was played frequently on the network. Overhaulin' was born as a result of that first documentary's success and scheduled for air on the TLC network. Since then, Foose has been ripping them loose on the show and building frame-up restorations for real people.
Foose has had an incredible career so far that has included several prestigious awards, such as the AMBR (America's Most Beautiful Roadster) and inductions into the Hot Rod Hall of Fame and Rod and Custom Motorcycle Hall of Fame. We wanted to gain some in-depth information on Foose and his design work, so we called our contacts and managed to get a chance to talk to Chip and find out the story in his own words.