Coddington Hot Rod Icon, Dies at 63
Innovator and Star of TV's American Hot Rod
Coddington was the man who made hot rodding and custom cars a household hobby
CA- February 27, 2008- Boyd Coddington, the creative visionary who took hot rodding
to an art form and custom wheels to a new level dies at 63. Coddington who was
a long-time diabetic died from complications that were brought on from a recent
surgery. It was Coddingtons' ever forward-looking view at the design and art of
the hot rod and his unconditional desire to create the finest quality cars that
became the "Boyd Look".
"It is a major loss for the automotive
enthusiasts and hot rod aficionados around the world. Boyd Coddington did so much
more than create automotive trends, he also built the finest hot rods. He was
entertaining on his TV Show (TLC's- American Hot Rod) and an ambassador who educated.",
said Harry Hibler, former publisher of Hot Rod Magazine.
grew up in Idaho was a car enthusiast from a young age. At age 12, young Boyd
traded his prized shotgun for a Model A Ford, this began the legacy of the "Boyd
Look". Moving to Southern California to chase his dreams of chrome and customizing,
he first worked as a shop machinist at Western Gear. Then in the 1970's, Coddington
found work as a maintenance repairman and machinist at Disneyland. Coddington
would recount fondly his experience at Disneyland and the company's desire for
perfection, a trait that he instilled in everyone who worked at his hot rod shops.
first major opportunity at developing the "Boyd Look" was when Vern
Luce bankrolled a dream. The "Vern Luce Coupe" was Boyd's vision of
what could be done to create the ultimate 1933 Ford hot rod. Boyd would refer
to his look as getting rid of the bumps and allowing the lines of the car to show.
Coddington removed door handles, hinges and massaged the body
a way that no one every had ever realized. To make the Vern Luce coupe even more
dynamic was his trademark use of billet aluminum to create parts that were unique
to ever hot rod. The result of his first creation was the prestigious "Sloanaker
Award", the first of many.
Over his thirty-year reign as the "King
of Hot Rods", Coddington created dozens of hand-built hot rods and custom
cars. Coddington has amassed numerous awards and was the first builder to ever
win the America's Most Beautiful Roadster (A.M.B.R.) award six times. Collectively,
Boyd created more respect for hot rods than ever thought possible, his hot rods
have been in Museum exhibits and even the cover of Smithsonian Magazine.
innovations have become not just hot rodding touchstones, but influences that
have helped the entire aftermarket industry flourish. Building cars that stand
the test of time and have creative names such as CadZZilla, CheZoom, Aluma-Coupe,
Smoothster, Boydster I and Boydster II set him apart from others. His client list
also included ZZ Top, The Beach Boys, Van Halen's- Michael Anthony, Brad Penny
of the LA Dodgers, Budweiser, White Cap, Sobe, Old Milwaukee Beer, O'Reilly Auto
Parts and Hershey.
Boyd Coddington was also an entrepreneur with a driven
desire to build his company and see his goal become reality. In the 1980's, Boyd
literally re invented the wheel by creating the billet wheel for hot rods. Coddington
and longtime friend Lil' John Buttera found they could machine practically anything
they needed from solid aluminum. It was Coddington who took the idea and made
it commercially viable. In the 1990's, his hot rod shop and wheel company had
grown and was so successful that he took the company public in an I.P.O. on NASDAQ.
Coddington was less known as a father of five boys and a man who had an infectious
laugh. To many he was the under-the-gun, deadline-stomping star of "American
Hot Rod" a persona that led some to believe he was cantankerous. Actually,
Coddington was a humble and somewhat shy individual who loved kids and was a true
philanthropist. Coddington has continually employed those were mentally challenged
and gave them a welcome environment to learn and work. Through his "Coddington
Foundation", Boyd and his wife Jo gave to the community and an array of charities.
Coddington was honored during his life as Hot Rod Magazine's "Man of the
Year", he was inducted into numerous Hall's of Fame. His hit TV show "American
Hot Rod" brought world wide notoriety and corporations sought his talents.
The "Boyd Look" will live on and his spirit will forever remain the
hot rodders inspiration.
Survived by his wife JO Coddington and his five
sons Boyd Coddington Jr, Christopher Coddington, Thomas McGee, Gregory Coddington
and Robert McGee. The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made
to the Coddington Foundation to benefit a variety of Boyd's favorite charities.
Please address your donations to: Coddington Foundation, 811 E. Lambert Rd., La
Habra, California, 90631
Services will be held on Wednesday March 5, 2008,
9 a.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 900 West La Habra blvd., La Habra, California,
90631, (562) 691-0533. A reception will be held immediately following the service
(Approximately 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.) at the Boyd Coddington Hot Rod's and Collectibles,
811 E. Lambert Rd., La Habra, California, 90631
will definitely miss you, God Speed Boyd!
For automotive parts