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Boyd Coddington

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Name  Boyd Coddington
Role  Designer
TV shows  American Hot Rod

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Born  August 28, 1944 (1944-08-28) Rupert, Idaho, United States
Occupation  Hot Rod Designer TV Show Host
Net worth  12.5m (at time of death)
Died  February 27, 2008, Whittier, California, United States
Spouse  Jo Coddington (m. 2002–2008), Diane Marie Ragone Elkins (m. 1971–1996)
Children  Thomas Coddington, Robert Coddington, Chris Coddington, Boyd Coddington Jr., Greg Coddington
Books  American Hot Rod: How to Build a Hot Rod with Boyd Coddington
Similar People  Chip Foose, Billy Gibbons, Jesse James, Mike Rowe

Chip foose trabalhando com boyd coddington

Boyd Leon Coddington (August 28, 1944 – February 27, 2008) was an American hot rod designer, the owner of the Boyd Coddington Hot Rod Shop and star of American Hot Rod on TLC.


Boyd Coddington Boyd Coddington custom hot rod builder at Indianapolis

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Early life, education and early career

Boyd Coddington Boyd Coddington of American Hot Rod and His Passion for Cars

Coddington grew up in Rupert, Idaho, reading all the car and hot rod magazines he could, and got his first car (a 1931 Chevrolet truck) at age 13. He attended machinist trade school and completed a three-year apprenticeship in machining. In 1968, he moved to California building hot rods by day and working as a machinist at Disneyland during the night. He soon became known for building unique hot rods and in 1977 he opened his own shop, Hot Rods by Boyd, in Cypress, California. His first major customer was Vern Luce whose car, a 1933 coupe, won the Al Slonaker Award at the 1981 Oakland Roadster show.

Design innovations

Boyd Coddington Boyd coddington personnel meeting YouTube

Coddington was known for clean, elegant designs combining old school with what would come to be known as the "Boyd Look".

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Some of Coddington's signature innovations were his custom-fabricated alloy wheels, typically machined from a solid aluminum billet, an industry first. Together with John Buttera, Boyd pioneered this "billet" machined look and applied it not only to wheels, but broadly throughout the car.

Boyd Coddington Boyd Coddington Hot Rod Designer Legend Ultimate Hot Wheels

In 1988, Coddington founded Boyd's Wheels, Inc., to manufacture and market his custom billet wheels.


In 1989, the "CadZZilla", a customized 1949 Cadillac, was commissioned by ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, conceived by Jack Chisenhall and designed by Jack Chisenhall and Larry Erickson. It is acclaimed as one of the great expressions of automotive customization. Columnist Gray Baskerville called CadZZilla "the most incredible transformation he'd ever witnessed", and in their "History of Hot Rods & Customs" the auto editors of Consumer Guide praise it as "the first really new type of custom since the heyday of the 1950s".

Artistic legacy

Boyd Coddington Breaking Hot Rod Legend Boyd Coddington Dies at 63

Many of the next generation of customizers started their career with Coddington. Larry Erickson, later the chief designer of the Mustang and Thunderbird for Ford Motor Co., worked with Coddington early on, and specifically credits the CadZZilla collaboration for jump-starting his career. Designer Chip Foose (Overhaulin') and fabricator Jesse James (Motorcycle Mania). both started their careers in his shop. Coddington hosted the Discovery Channel show American Hot Rod.

Coddington's creations have won the Grand National Roadster Show's "America's Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR)" award seven times (the only back-to-back winner of America's Most Beautiful Roadster) and the Daimler-Chrysler Design Excellence award twice, and earned him entry into the Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame, the SEMA Hall of Fame, the Route 66 Hall of Fame, and the National Rod & Custom Museum Hall of Fame. In 1997, Coddington was inducted into the Hot Rod Hall of Fame.

Later financial trouble

In 1998, financial trouble due to a $465,000 loss from a bankrupt customer led Coddington to re-organize Boyd's Wheels and partner with his eldest son (Boyd Coddington, Jr.).

In his later days, he began registering cars that were essentially completely custom fabrications as antique automobiles, avoiding major emissions restrictions and tax liabilities. California officials considered this a "ship of Theseus" fraud, claiming that so many central elements were replaced, the cars ceased to be the same entity. Coddington was charged with a misdemeanor and pleaded guilty on April 7, 2005.


Coddington was hospitalized on December 31, 2007. He was discharged shortly after New Year's Eve, but was readmitted a few days later to Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier, California. Doctors performed surgery; despite the prognosis of a complete recovery, Coddington died on February 27, 2008. His publicist stated that Coddington was a long-time diabetic who died from complications that were brought on from a recent surgery for a perforated colon along with sepsis and kidney complications.

Coddington was buried at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California.


Boyd Coddington Wikipedia

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