That's me, I'm him...

DISCLAIMER: Although I am a car guy this is not solely a car blog. I will talk cars, but this is also a blog about how I view the world. Just ask my mom and she will tell you my first word was "car". I do have a slight fascination with them. Luckily I have a supportive family and a very understanding wife...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Love him or Hate him...

he left his mark on the hot rod world. Another legend is in that big garage in the sky. Boyd Coddington has passed away according to the information super highway. I met Boyd and his wife Jo this past year at Bonneville and I am glad I did. He was a trendsetter, innovator, and helped countless others "break into" the industry.

Here is an article I pulled off line:

Boyd Coddington 1944-2008

Hot Rodding pioneer Boyd Coddington passed away this morning in Southern California. He had been hospitalized for several months with various health complications. He was 63.

Coddington remained at the forefront of the street rodding world for nearly 30 years and was involved with Goodguys from the very beginning selecting his legendary Boyd Coddington Pro’s Picks at Goodguys events around the country. Boyd spearheaded the great renaissance of the street rodding hobby in the late 70s and early 80s and is the father of billet wheels and “smooth” style street rods, hot rods and customs. His impact on our industry is gigantic and unprecedented. A quick look back at the cars he and his team gave to our industry is mind boggling. The Vern Luce Coupe, CadZZilla, Chezoom, the Smoothster, the Boydster, the Aluma Coupe, the list goes on seemingly forever.

Besides his own prodigious talents, Coddington worked on special projects with some of the top designers in the automotive aftermarket. Chip Foose and Jesse James both worked in the Boyd Coddington hot rod shop for several years and now each have their own cable TV shows. Other well-known designers such as Thom Taylor, Larry Wood (Hot Wheels designer), Todd Emmons, Chris Ito (International) and Eric Brockmeyer happily collaborated with Boyd over the years. Larry Erickson, currently with Ford Motor Company (Chief Designer, Mustang), worked with Boyd in the late Eighties to develop the enormously popular Cadzzilla, a radical custom based on a Fifties Cadillac for Rocker Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. Some would say that this is one of the finest custom-cars of all time in design and execution. Boyd's hot rods won the prestigious "America's Most Beautiful Roadster" an unprecedented seven times, the Daimler-Chrysler Design Excellence Award twice, and he's been inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame, the Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame, the National Rod & Custom Museum Hall of Fame, the Route 66 Wall of Fame, the Street Rod Marketing Alliance Hall of Fame, and was voted "Man of the Year" in 1988 by Hot Rod Magazine.

The Smithsonian Institution also recognized Boyd’s work, when his own '33 coupe was part of a 1993 exhibit titled "Sculpture on Wheels." Cars from the Coddington shop have also won the Ridler Award and the Al Slonaker Award.

In 2005, Boyd and his wife Jo founded the Coddington Foundation to provide a unique opportunity for terminally ill children to experience their dreams through building hot rods which are then auctioned for charity. The Coddington Foundation also provides work opportunities, job experience, and financial sponsorship for mentally challenged adults 18-60 in order to assist them in entering the workplace and raises funds for other non-profit organizations such as La Habra's children’s programs and the Elwyn Foundation through various charity events including the annual Coddington Foundation Car Show and Fundraiser.

The impact of Boyd’s passing will be felt far and wide and for many years to come. Former Goodguys Gazette editor Steven K. Anderson, now with Buckaroo Communications reflected on Boyd saying “I was close with Boyd for 25 years. Boyd welcomed me into his inner circle back in the 1980s. He gave me some great opportunities. He selected me and Hot Rod Magazine editor Rob Kinnan to drive CadZZIlla across country in 1990. Boyd more than any other person changed the face of hot rodding and brought it into the mainstream of the automotive world. He was a great marketing mind. Without Boyd – hot rodding would not be on the level it is today. Anyone making a living in today’s industry selling wheels and hi-end cars owes a debt of gratitude to Boyd Coddington.”

Back when the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association was gathering steam in the late 1980s, Coddington came along for the ride and remained active with Goodguys until his death. “Boyd was there with us since the very get go,” said a somber Gary Meadors, founder and Chairman of Goodguys. “He was one of the founding fathers of this whole street rodding movement and resurgence. His smoothie cars revolutionized and gave a re-birth to a giant segment to the hot rodding hobby. He brought pride and clout to our deal. He put hot rodding into the mainstream with his work, his recent television show and his charitable work. His presence at our events and his Pro’s Pick awards meant a lot to our event participants and members. Boyd was indeed a Goodguy. We will really miss him.”

Coddington is survived by his wife Jo, and sons Boyd Jr., Chris, and Greg. Funeral arrangements are pending…

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