Rich Evans grew up around shops, fabricating, doing mechanical work, and building hot rods with his dad. Rich and his dad always had a project car. Even though no project was ever really finished in their opinion, a completed car would be sold off and a new project begun. His never-say-die attitude and determination to learn everything he can has made him a leader in the custom automotive industry today.
In August, 1992, after working at several shops, sharpening his skills in the automotive industry, Rich took the big step of opening his own shop called Huntington Beach Bodyworks out of his garage. Business was good, and the calendar was always booked. Then, the inevitable, time to move out of the garage and into a shop with more room. The talent that Rich possesses prompted more growth of the business, and he was forced to find another facility. Only this time, it was for keeps, Rich purchased a 13,000-square-foot building, only 100 yards away from his current location. Rich wanted to avoid any down time, so moving into the new facility was a slow process. In less than six months, his castle was up and running. "Customizing and modifying vehicles is what I and my crew live for, but collision work pays the bills," Rich tells us.
In order to develop the art and airbrush aspect of the business, Rich began traveling to shows-first with his own vehicles, then with those of his customers, and ultimately with a trailer displaying his unique designs. Because of the different concepts Rich comes up with, the guys at Meguiar's hired Rich to paint two brand-new tractor trailers that would be seen all over the country. Did we forget to mention that you could also catch Rich on TV? Chop Cut & Rebuild on the Speed Channel is running 26 episodes featuring the Black Knight, his '56 Chevy 210 Hard-Top build. He has also made an appearance on an episode of Monster Garage.
Scott Capone is the web designer for HB Bodyworks and has ties to the movie industry. And one of his producer friends asked if he knew of any nice vehicles that could fill the role in an upcoming movie called Succubus Hell Bent. He instantly thought of Rich and set a time where producer Kim Bass and crew could look at some of the vehicles that Rich has built. As they set their eyes on Rich's '56, they were impressed. When Rich found out more about the movie plot, he was quick to unveil the Harley-Davidson Ford F-150 called the Skull King. Kim was in love at first sight, because the F-150 fit the story so well. In the plot, each skull on the truck represents a demon that was killed. If you want to know more, you will have to see the movie. Both the Skull King and the '56 were cast for the movie. When Rich showed up to drop off the truck on the set, Rich was asked if he would be the double for Gary Busey who has one of the lead roles in the movie.
The truck itself is an '02 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150, and it was initially brought to Rich after it was in an accident. When the owner found out how much it would cost to repair, he said forget it and left it at HB Bodyworks. Rich put a lien sale on the truck, and when the truck was his, he repaired all the damage and used it as a blank canvas. He had a couple of ideas in his head for other projects. So, before trying them on the projects themselves he rolled the F-150 into the spray booth and laid down the wicked tribal graphics. Then, his boy Terry Stephens busted out the airbrush, locked himself in the booth, and 1,000 hours later, the truck was covered in skulls. And if you look close, each skull is different, and you may find some caricatures of famous celebrity skulls.
Rich would like to thank key members of the HB Bodyworks team, including Gordon Welliver, shop foreman, Terry Stevens, airbrush artist, and Miranda Ostermeier, secretary, who is involved in finding new ways to better organize, and last but never least, his wife and business partner, Patricia, who runs the office, handles all the loose ends, takes care of customer service, and "is the glue that holds the business together."
Owner/hometown: Rich Evans, owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks / Huntington Beach, California
Year/make/model: '02 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Edition
Engine/drivetrain: Supercharged and intercooled 5.4L Triton SOHC V-8 engine rated at 340 hp at 4,500 rpm / 425 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm / 4R100 HD four-speed automatic transmission / limited-slip 3.73 ratio differential / Bassani Exhaust
Installers: Todd O'Neal
Wheels/tires: 22-inch custom-designed by Rich Evans and cut by Oasis / 14mm backspace / BFGoodrich 295/40R22
Suspension: Hotchkis 1-1/2-inch-diameter hollow front / 1-inch-diameter hollow rear sway bars / lowered 1 inch
Installers: Rich Evans and Huntington Beach Bodyworks
Body Modifications: Shaved tailgate handle / SnugTop tonneau cover / billet grille and antenna / tinted headlights and taillights / Line-X bedliner
Paint: House of Kolor BC26-White, BC25-Black, BC02-Orion Silver, UFC35 topcoat, and Polyurethane F10 Klear
Paintwork: Rich Evans and Terry Stephens of Huntington Beach Bodyworks
Special Thanks: Ace Stainless, Bassani Exhaust, Oasis Rims, Sata Spray Equipment, House of Kolor, 3M Products, J.D. Polishing, BFGoodrich, SnugTop, Bedslide, Azteka, Street Glow, and Hotchkis