Alumni Stories

Chip Foose

BS 90 Transportation Design

Perhaps the world’s top hot-rod designer, Chip Foose and his contributions to the automotive industry have become legendary in a relatively short amount of time.

He grew up in California working for his father’s company, Project Design, and had five years of experience under his belt by age 12. He later worked for Asha Corporation, Stehrenberger Design, Baker Sportronics and Hot Rods by Boyd. Widely acclaimed for his “Boyd Look” design and creative skills, Foose is credited with many internationally known vehicles, including the Roadster, Sportstar, Boydster I and II, and Boyd Air.

In 1998 Foose and his wife, Lynne, started Foose Design. Headquartered in Huntington Beach, California, the company specializes in illustration, graphics, ideation, model making, surfacing and the complete construction of automobiles and related products for television, film, automobile manufacturers and private parties.

The recipient of the highest honors in the industry, Foose has made history with some. At 31 he was the youngest to be inducted into the Hot Rod Hall of Fame, and he was the first to receive the Goodguys Trendsetter Award. He was also inducted into the San Francisco Rod and Custom Motorcycle Hall of Fame and the Darryl Starbird National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame Museum. Foose has won America’s Most Beautiful Roadster seven times, the Ridler Award four times, Goodguys Street Rod of the Year eight times and Best of Show from Ford Motor Company. Recently Foose was named as a 2016 SEMA Hall of Famer, a title given to leaders who have shaped and inspired the automotive specialty-equipment market.

Foose’s experience with film and television work began early, starting with designing and building cars for his father for Blade Runner, RoboCop, Gone in 60 Seconds and others. The Discovery Channel filmed the documentary Rides, which featured several of his award-winning vehicles and gave viewers a chance to witness his redesign of the 2002 Thunderbird. Foose started a television series called Overhaulin’, which aired on the TLC network from 2004 to 2015 (with a four-year hiatus) and once helped Johnny Depp overhaul his wife’s beloved 1967 Ford Mustang. Foose was a guest judge on the Discovery Channel’s Ultimate Car Build-Off, and he hosted the documentary series American Icon: The Hot Rod on Discovery HD Theater. Selected by Pixar’s John Lasseter to contribute paint schemes and graphic treatments to Cars and consult on the sequel, Foose has his Cars artwork in a showcase at Disney Theme Parks.

Through licensing agreements, he produces Foose Wheels for MHT Luxury Alloys, and Revell has a Foose collection which includes replications of Foose’s real-world cars in addition to Revell models customized by Foose. He also represents 3M’s line of automotive aftermarket products throughout the world.

Along with his wife, Foose continues to run Foose Design, where he designs and builds automotive masterpieces.

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