It was after midnight on a chilly January night, and there we were on site of the Overhaulin' television production with none other than Chip Foose and host A.J. as they just finished their special edition show. The show revolves around a seven-day circuit/schedule, and we felt the strenuous hours that the builders go through the whole time. Even though we didn't contribute to the build, we were there the whole time capturing it as it happened, wishing we could strap on some gloves and help.
This episode was a special edition filming as the restoration crew built two rides, instead of the normal one. This meant more builders, parts, and more strain on the producers and regular staff. Since Napa collaborated with Overhaulin' on this episode, they decided to steal one of their delivery trucks from the well-known auto parts chain. Dayrline was the overhaulee because she worked for the company and this was her work truck. She also had an El Camino that she was working on for a long time and never got the time or money to spend on tricking out her ride. The most use she and her husband got out of this pickup was when they would haul their Harleys around in the bed of it. So, Overhaulin' stole both the work truck and her El Camino to customize in one shot.
There is more to the show than meets the eye. It was created and put on by Brentwood Communication International, which is led by Bud Brutsman. Bud, the automotive enthusiast, has been into cars and trucks, since he was a youngster. His dad was a stock car racer, and his brother built musclecars, so it was inevitable that he would share their interests. At the age of 15, he was caught and arrested for stripping an L88 Corvette. Then, when he was 18, his rebellious ways caused him to drop out of high school.
Bud was on the rebound and decided to pursue a career in media production. And in 1992, he produced his first video on country line dancing-look out, Billy Ray Cyrus. Jump forward about 10 years, and Bud found himself looking to do an automotive-based television show. He ran across Chip Foose, and Chip pitched the idea to do a SEMA buildup for the pilot to be filmed. It was shot and sold to the TLC network, as it was a hit with people across the nation.
Bud then wanted to move on with producing a new show that was based on frame-up restorations. The only one who believed and was willing to invest time and efforts to do these full restoration projects was, again, Chip Foose. Since Bud and Chip knew they had something going for them with the SEMA buildup show that had become the Rides production, they brainstormed together and came up with the Overhaulin' concept.
If you have not seen the Overhaulin' show, then you have been missing out on some quality gearhead TV. During the hour of the program, they show you who is to be overhauled and what their story is. Then, the crew steals the car from the overhaulee and starts tearing the vehicle apart down to the frame. Then, during a week's time, the crew of builders and head designer Chip Foose make way to revamp the vehicle. The masterful show breaks the vehicle down into sections and has every piece individually worked on. At the same time, the owner is told some bizarre story of how the car was destroyed or cannot be found. Once the build is done, the owner is brought out to a random shop that Overhaulin' happens to be in and the crew awaits with the finished product.
Of course, the ending is the best part of the whole show as it is unveiled. Many times, the owner of the vehicle will have some sort of breakdown because they have just unsuspectedly had their vehicle completely redone and remodeled in high fashion. On this episode, which is called "Doublehaulin'," Dayrline first came back to find her work truck with a full-blown 454 big-block V-8 Chevy engine. Then, she was diverted outside of the shop, and when she returned, to her surprise, she found that her own personal El Camino had been transformed into a show-worthy vehicle. She was undoubtedly shocked and overjoyed with happiness.
The S-10 was one crazy transformation to witness. It came in as a clapped-out 'Dime that had seen some hard miles and left a pro-street monster stuffed full of blown big-block muscle. When the truck was brought in, it couldn't have been more stock still wearing the big yellow NAPA hat on the roof. The crew started by stripping the truck down to a bare frame, while Chip was working on his rendering. They all knew the truck would be badass, but when Chip showed them a fat-tired concept with the motor sticking way out of the hood, their feelings were solidified. When the complete tube frame and the force-fed mill showed up, everyone was on the same page and the work began to meld the new parts to the old sheetmetal. Once all the tabs and motor mounts were on the frame, it was shipped off to the powedercoater. When it came back, everything was attached, including the four-link rear suspension and the 22-inch wide meats. The hard parts on the truck were shipped off to have the kick-ass paintjob sprayed on the freshly straightened sheetmetal. NAPA still had big logos on the side, but this time some realistic flames give the truck some motion and style. After it was all said and done, the overhaulee not only got tricked, but her ride got tricked out.
Besides the glamour of TV and the drama of finishing the project, the behind-the-scenes action remains the same. During an average show, there are between 165 to 175 hours of video that need to be gone through editing just for a single one-hour show. And there are three times the number of builders that help out behind the scenes on the build of each vehicle. Every single person has a specific job, and when all those people are working together, it makes for a smooth process during the time given.
Another interesting aspect of the show is the responsibility of picking out a unaware person to be the next victim of the show. Of the 13,000 weekly submissions sent for possible builds, 95 percent of them are worthy of getting overhauled. What gets picked is based on the story behind the person and the availability of parts for the possible vehicle. So, if you have some vehicle that the parts are just too hard to come by, then that vehicle may not cut it. Once the person is picked, Veronica Torres the sub-producer goes through and makes sure the stories are true and that they are not made up.
Part of the mystery of the show is that the production does not have a set place to work out of. You would think that they would want to have a building where they could film all their shows, but it takes away from the show being different every time. Most of the times, the show will take place at the warehouse of the biggest parts supplier to ensure that all those parts are readily available to the crew. Plus, if you are the one being overhauled, then the different location is less conspicuous.
When the whole production comes to an end, there is an overwhelming joy on everyone's face. They just completed a build in seven days and made one lucky person very happy. With the long hours and extensive work put in, it is good to know that it was all worth it to see the outcome of the vehicle and the reaction from the owner. After all the hard work and orchestration, both the crew and the owner are satisfied with the outcome, as well as those of us who have watched every step.
They don't come more stock than this. Check out the sweet 15-inch rims, vinyl stickers, an
The white body panels were taken off and were prepped to be cut and painted. Soon enough,
Here is a look at the Auto Weld frame as it was freshly shipped. As you can see, it comes
Crate happy, this 454 big-block came in and it was mounted to the new frame. The newer con
With all the new hardware in, the cab had some adjusting to do. It was channeled over the
Um, let's see: a shorted rearend, coil-over link suspension, Sir Michaels roll pan, and so
After the frame came back from the paint shop, the pieces of suspension were put together.
Holy blown big-block, Batman! Once all the performance parts came in, the V-8 was assemble
Like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, all the pieces have to come together. The chassis w
The body came back from the paint booth and was color-sanded to a smooth finish.
Whoa! The cab caught on fire? Oh wait, that that's just the real fire paint by Mike Lavall
It's looking like a truck again! Once it started to take shape, the S-10 was looking prett
Not that this truck is ever ready to go into service again, but a shiny 350 Chevy engine w
You better protect yourself by having plenty of rubber on hand, before you do anything stu
Time to fill her up and turn the crank. This beast will blow your ear drums out.
Seven days downtime and the moment has arrived. D-day has come to an end, and everything m
Auto Weld: Full tube chassis with front and rear suspension
Baer Brakes: Front and rear brake kit, 13-inch front rotors, 12-inch at the rear
Bill Dunn Upholstery: Re-covered the headliner and redid the carpet
Michelin: Front tires, 225/35ZR19
Boston Acoustics: SX65 speakers (in the truck bed); JVC DVD player
California Performance Transmission: 200-4R transmission with manual valve body
Costa Mesa Auto Glass: Front and rear glass
Driveline Specialties: Driveshaft
Dynamat: Sound material
Fix Auto: Paint shop
Foose Design: Design
J&G Customs: Stereo design/install
Katzkin Interiors: Re-covered Sparco seats and custom door panels
Killer Paint: Custom graphics-Mike Lavallee's realistic fire
Lemons Headers: 2-1/8-inch headers
MagnaFlow: 4-inch exhaust (no mufflers)
Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels: Rear tires, 31x18x20
MHT: 22x15-inch rear wheels and 19x8-inch front wheels
Napa Auto Parts: Chevy 454 big-block; Chevy 350 engine (in the bed)
Optima: YellowTop battery
Permanent Impressions: Logo masks for bed sides
R-M: BASF Blue and Gold paint
SATA: Spray guns
Sir Michaels: Rear roll pan, tailgate handle relocator
Summit Racing: Engine accessories (6-71 blower, fuel cell, carburetors, Auto Meter gauges, front bumper cover, seatbelts, and much more