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Chip Foose began working on automobiles at age seven for his father’s company (Project Design). Encouraged by Ford and Preston Tucker designer Alex Tremulis, Chip started to attend the Art Center College of Design in 1982, however dropped out after two years due to financial difficulties. After working for four years at ASHA Corp., Chip returned to the Art Center to complete his education. After graduating in 1990, Chip worked full-time for Sterenberger Design and part-time for Boyd Coddington. In 1993, Chip resigned from Sterenberger to work for J Mays at Ford, however Coddington was able to convince Chip to work for him instead. Working for Coddington full-time, Chip eventually became the president of Coddington’s company Hot Rods by Boyd. While working for Coddington, Foose designed many of Coddington’s wellknown creations such as the Boydster I and II.
In 1998, Chip went out on his own and opened up Foose Design in Huntington Beach, California, where he now builds amazing custom cars for private and commercial clientele. 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 modified ’02 Ford Thunderbird called the Speedbird for the SEMA Show, and the segment was played frequently on the network. Chip gained more exposure in 2003 as a result of a TLC documentary on his design and creation of the Thunderbird. In 2004, the TLC program Overhaulin’ began to air with Chip as the star of show.
In 2006, Chip launched a line of die cast replicas of many of his famous designs partnering with the makers of Johnny Lightning in the creation of JL Full Throttle. JL Full Throttle produced many of Chip’s famous, award winning designs like Grand Master and Impression. Also replicated were a number of cars from Overhaulin’. Announced at the SEMA Show in 2006 was a partnership between Foose and Ford Motor Company to produce Foose designed Ford vehicles, the first of which was shown at the 2007 New York Auto Show.
Chip was also retained as design consultant to provide architects with unique styling elements for the exterior and interior of the $275 million expansion of Detroit’s MotorCity Casino, anticipated to be complete by the end of 2007.
Chip also finds time to serve as the Vice Chairman of the Progeria Research Foundation, California Chapter. (Foose’s youngest sister died of Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome.)
Chip and his wife Lynne live in Southern California with their two children Brock and Katie.
In 2007, Chip began limited production (50 vehicles in total) of the Hemisfear. Also known as the Foose Coupe, the Hemisfear was designed by Chip in 1990 during his senior year at the Art Center. This earlier design drawing and model of the Hemisphere served as the inspiration for the Plymouth Prowler. The full scale, fully operational Hemisfear was publicly unveiled at the SEMA trade show in November 2006 bolstered by an agreement with die cast model car company, JL Full Throttle which had partnered with Chip to build both the real Hemisfear and scale models of the car.
The first available for sale production Foose Coupe as well as a design consultation for the design of the vehicles interior and exterior treatments with Chip was auctioned off at the Barrett-Jackson car auction in Palm Beach, Florida at the end of March 2007. The vehicle was the highest bid vehicle of the entire Barrett Jackson Auction
Honors and Awards
Chip has won widespread recognition for the excellence and originality of his automotive designs and creations. In November 1997, Chip became the youngest person to be inducted into the Hot Rod Hall of Fame. Additionally, Chip was inducted into the Darryl Starbird Rod & Custom Car Museum Hall of Fame in 2002, the Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame in 2003, and the San Francisco Rod and Custom Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2005. Chip has also won the following awards for his work:
* America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Award in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2006. Some of these cars were designed by Foose and completed by other builders including such as Boyd Coddington, Barry White, and Bobby Alloway. * Detroit Autorama Ridler Award in 2002, 2003 and 2005. * The Good Guys Street Rod of the Year Award in the years 1990, 1991, 1995, 1997, 1999, and 2001.
Price range of a Foose vehicle (customized & ground up)? Most vehicles are based on a time and material quotation process. Out of respect for their privacy, we don’t usually discuss the finances of our clients.
Built for any celebrities? John Travolta, Tim Allen, Lance Armstrong, Nick Lachey
What do you think of the DUB/urban lifestyle movement? I appreciate all aspects of car design and car culture. The DUB and Urban market seems to get a lot of attention due to the sports and music celebrity aspect. That’s cool. It is just another expression of passion about cars. I see some amazing rides and new ideas in this market that really impresses me.
What new trends do you see? Wow, that’s a tough question. It’s like asking how long is a string! (Laugh!) The whole automotive culture and customizing seems to move in waves. All of a sudden a new expression or approach comes along. When you look at it closely it often has a foundation is earlier car culture. I have said many times there are no wrong answers in car customizing. Do what you love, express you person.