Hi reddit, I am Chip Foose. I'm a designer in a hot rod shop where I build cars for private individuals, and I also have a show where I build cars called Overhaulin that airs on Discovery and Velocity. Ask me anything!


Comments: 202 • Responses: 31  • Date: 

Chip_Foose45 karma

Thank you everyone who participated in our AMA. Hopefully reddit will have me back again one day. Keep watching, our Overhaulin' season finale is this Sunday on Velocity at 9/8c. Can't wait to share the new season 8 we're filming now (some really cool, DIFFERENT cars). Catch up with us at www.chipfoose.com, www.facebook.com/chipfoose and www.twitter.com/chipfoose -CHIP

Lerotto40 karma


I've been a big fan for a long time and love Overhaulin'! I wrote to you once probably around 10 years ago and I included a sketch of a Mustang I drew with my letter. I didn't expect a reply but got one within a week or two that not only had a hand written letter from you, but a (much improved) sketch of the car I had drawn. It really made an impression on a young kid like I was at the time.

My question is this: As a person that hasn't had access to the settings, tools, and money required to learn skills like welding, fabrication, suspension, engine work, etc. What is a good first step to take in learning what it takes to build a project car? Are there apprenticeships to be had or are there programs you would recommend?


Chip_Foose56 karma

Thank you for the kind words. If you know anybody in your local area with a body shop or custom shop, see if you can volunteer and learn by observing while youre sweeping the floor. I swept the floor at my Dad's shop when I first began at 25 cents an hour! Wish I was back there, too, I'd do it all again.

TheGreatJeremy27 karma

Hi Mr. Foose, HUGE fan! Always dreamed of working for you.

Can you explain some the reported tensions between yourself and Boyd Coddington, back when he was still with us?

Thanks for the AMA!

Chip_Foose56 karma

The tension was on Boyd's side. I worked with him for 8 years and loved every minute. When he went bankrupt in 98 is when my wife and I were forced to start our own business. The talented employees from Boyd's wanted to work with us and Boyd was unhappy about it. I have no ill feelings for Boyd. Would have stayed there forever if the shop was still running.

DirtFueler25 karma


Chip_Foose35 karma

Final sketches range from an hour to 3 hours. The rough sketches usually 5-15 minutes. I still tear up as well, thanks for watching!

RequiredLoginSucks12 karma

Hi Chip! I've loved watching Overhaulin' from day one. It's so great to see your dad and, now, your son on the show sometimes.

I was curious; are you teaching auto fab to Brock because he's really into it, or as something that would just be a useful life skill for the future?

Basically I ask because of something my father told me once: he wished he'd had the foresight to teach me his trade (carpentry) as something I could have with me my entire life, but he didn't necessarily want me to get into that business.


Chip_Foose26 karma

Brock likes cars, don't know if he's going to do this for a living. I wouldn't force him, it will be his choice whatever he does. I only let him work on OH or here at the shop during summer break. Homework comes first.

Ayce2212 karma

Hey Chip, love your work with cars but I'm more interested in your work with Progeria research. Could you tell us a bit more about how you became involved with it and what currently is going on in it?

Chip_Foose37 karma

I got involved with Progeria when I found out about the Progeria Research Foundation from my mom. My Mom is the President of California chapter. I do a show with Year One in Braselton, GA every year with Kevin King and his crew to raise money for the foundation. My interest is based on the fact that my youngest sister Amy had Progeria and passed in 1986.

adam0marine09 karma

Hello sir my name is Adam Williams I am a huge fan I sold my 1970 mustang a few years ago that I purchased when I was in the service and I recently talked to the gentleman that I sold it to and he agreed to sell it back to me but just having a baby I have other financial obligations my question is have you ever considered overhauling a Harley I know you stick mainly to the classics but your very talented and I think it would be awesome I would be more than willing to donate mine and also if I was to get my first classic car back how would I go about getting it overhauled thank you for your time sir

Chip_Foose17 karma

Have somebody submit your Harley at www.overhaulin.tv. Would love to do one.

jsmayne9 karma

Do you like big trucks and cannot lie?

Chip_Foose19 karma

I love big trucks, I would never lie about that. Have you seen the Foose Experience Tour big rig?

hilkito7 karma

Hey Chip! My father and I are huge fans, and we sit down to watch Overhaulin' every time we see it's on.

  1. What's your favorite kind of restoration? Modified or unmodified?

  2. Do you still do restorations out of Overhaulin' or in your free time?

  3. Have you ever been to Puerto Rico? Did you like it? Is there a chance of Overhaulin' coming to Puerto Rico?

Thanks in advance if you answer, and never stop doing Overhaulin'. You truly are an inspiration for my father, who has been trying to restore an old '73 VW Beetle, but hasn't had the time or money to start!

Chip_Foose17 karma

What's your favorite kind of restoration? Modified or unmodified?

Modified of course.

Do you still do restorations out of Overhaulin' or in your free time?

Always working on something. With a wife and two kids it seems like there's never free time.

Have you ever been to Puerto Rico? Did you like it? Is there a chance of Overhaulin' coming to Puerto Rico?

I've been to PR several times. I was just there a couple months ago at a show and visited the Museum of Transportation which was very cool.

kaoss777 karma

Hello Chip, I'm a huge fan and a huge car guy. I'm currently watching Ultimate car build off on Netflix, and loved your comment on the pull me push me cars on how they should have lowered them. My questions are how do we convince the rest of the car guys that lowered vehicles are the best? I hate seeing a beautiful modern muscle car sitting at stock height. Also, it is possible to hire you to do a rendering? I’d also love your opinion on my 1977 Datsun 620 Imgur. Thanks!

Chip_Foose22 karma

Thanks for watching! If you want to convince somebody that a lowered car is better look at any performance vehicle. As far as renderings, I'm currently only doing work for Foose Design and Overhaulin' because my schedule is so busy. Your Datsun sounds like a great project, best of luck

ride4ever7 karma

Chip, as much as I love your show and the way your projects turn out, it is your artwork that fascinates me. On the show it appears it takes you hardly any time at all to turn out the finished sketch. How long does it really take and where did you acquire your artistic skills?

Chip_Foose13 karma

Rough sketches are 5-15 minutes, final renderings are usually 1-3 hours. I started drawing when I was 3, sitting next to my father, copying what he was drawing. Then I met Alex Trembulis at the age of 7, he was a professional designer that worked for several different manufacturers. When I saw his artwork I knew that's what I wanted to do. He told me about Art Center College of Design, which is where I graduated from in 1990.

eleanordream6 karma

Hey Chip, I met you finally in person two years ago in Detroit at Autorama when I was there with the guys from Torq'd Design Lab and their Thunderbird. You are truly an inspiration to those of us who love custom cars. What are your thoughts on current automotive styling moving more towards a European Feel and away from the American Muscle car, for example the new Corvette strongly resembles something out of Ferrari and while the fastback design still rides with the new Mustang it still has a lot of European influence to me. Also do you think we as consumers are more interested now with the Tech gadgets in our cars as opposed to our cars themselves and enjoying the open road and seeing the sights around us like someone on Route 66 might have back in it's hayday. Please keep up with all that you do and you never stop amazing us. Oh and if you ever talk to Jonathan Peace tell him to cut his hair. LOL.

Chip_Foose13 karma

You never know where your influence is going to come from. When there are trends that seem to be very popular, a lot of designers will draw from that. As a designer myself, I would rather run away from trends, the reason for this is that it costs so much to build a car I never want it to be trendy. If you do good design, it is timeless. Let your project be its own product. The ultimate complement to the work we do is in time if a group of talented craftsman come together to restore a car we built and put it back the way we built it, rather than updating it. This is what we strive for.

Slowhand096 karma

Chip - Awesome ideas seem to fly out of your head. more work than we all think I expect. I have a red 71 Plymouth Barracuda convertible. Has a Ray Barton 528 Hemi in it. Wanna play with it? Could be a cool project...

Chip_Foose15 karma

Sounds like a great project! I love the 'cudas, we've never done one on Overhaulin'. If you're interested, send it to www.overhaulin.tv or call us at Foose Design.

frakkinadama6 karma

Hey Chip, thanks for doing this AMA. I have a question that's a little more personal.

What's your favorite sandwhich and drink combo?

Thanks in advance and keep up the awesome work! Love watching me some Overhaulin!

Chip_Foose22 karma

Peanut butter and jelly and ice cold milk!

SpiceCake686 karma

Chip, I love you, man. It's clear you pour your heart into your work. It has always seemed to me that you maintain a positive culture among your colleagues, where other shows thrive on drama. Is this just creative editing? Please tell me your work environment really is as peaceful as it seems.

Chip_Foose19 karma

Life's too short to be full of drama. I always want to show professionals coming together, having a great time, doing something special for someone. The drama is fabricated, by Chris usually, in the way that we trick the owner, while we the builders trick out their car.

mrsbass796 karma

Morning chip thanks for the AMA. Just wondering if you could give a shout out to my dad Steve. He loves your show, gets a lot of ideas. At the moment he's customising his 55 chev :)

Chip_Foose16 karma

Hi Steve and best of luck on your 55 Chevy! I like the fact that your customizing it. Hope I get to see what you're doing to it one day. Send me some pics on twitter when you're done.

thatAngryGinger6 karma

Hi Chip, I work as a prepper ( painters assistant) at a local dealership. 99% of what we do is collision repair on modern vehicles. What can I do to expand my skill set to where I'd be a candidate for a painter at a high end restoration/ hot rod shop?

Chip_Foose12 karma

Start asking or expressing the fact that you would like to paint to your bosses. Or paint projects at home,anything you can do to get the experience.

scully3135 karma

Hey Chip!! You are the reason I watch the show Overhaulin. You just have so many good ideas and I can tell you love your job. Hey - where did you get your art wooden chest of drawers when you do your mock-up drawings. (Coming from an art lover/collector).

Chip_Foose11 karma

Thanks! I got the wooden chest from a local art supply store.

rocking2rush105 karma

Has there ever been a project that you've really wanted to do that was just too over the top or out of budget? If so, what was it?

Chip_Foose23 karma


lankykiwi5 karma

Hi Chip, thanks for doing this AMA!

I'm an Automotive Design student, so these questions might be more design orientated :D

  • What's your design process like? Do you rough out ideas with sketches or go straight into a line drawing/render?

  • What's your favourite part of building a car, either for a client or for Overhaulin' ?

  • What's your opinion on Rapid Prototyping technology, have you used it on any projects? I know CNC milling plays a big part in your builds and was interested if you'd played around with 3D printing at all.

Thanks again and have a great day!

Chip_Foose16 karma

What's your design process like? Do you rough out ideas with sketches or go straight into a line drawing/render?

Depends on the project but it usually starts with loose sketches. Loose always before a finished line drawing. The drawing is only the tool to build the final art, which is the 3-Dimensional piece.

What's your favourite part of building a car, either for a client or for Overhaulin' ?

My favorite part is the design and layout and the responseof the owner when they see the final project.

What's your opinion on Rapid Prototyping technology, have you used it on any projects? I know CNC milling plays a big part in your builds and was interested if you'd played around with 3D printing at all.

Rapid prototyping is a tool you're going to see grow. I think 3D printers will be in every home, one day. Rather than something coming in the mail that you ordered, you may order it and it's printed in your own home. With this technology you'll be able to design and print small projects everywhere you go.

Olympia18635 karma

Hi Chip! Love the show, just watched it this morning! A cup of coffee and Overhaulin is the way to kick off the day. Just wondering, is Chris single?

Chip_Foose14 karma

Other than the cup of coffee, I kick off my day with Overhaulin on the set, building the cars we share with you. Thanks for watching. And yes, Chris is single!

Tossawaygirl4 karma

Hi Chip! Thanks for taking the time to do this! I've always been a classic and muscle car fanatic, a mustang girl and a HUGE Foose fan, and I love seeing your interpretations come to life on cars that have seen better days. I just wanted to say I think you're awesome!

Chip_Foose15 karma

Thanks for being a fan! If you're ever in Huntington Beach, stop by the shop.

Didi633 karma

Hi Chip, I've enjoyed your shows. I love seeing something not so great turn out wonderful. My dad has a 57 Chevy Bel Air that I would say he loves more than us, however he sold his first 57 when I was born, to get something more reliable. His second 57 he sold to help me buy a car after mine was trashed by a falling carport. Can you think of something 57 Chevy centric I can get him for Father's Day to show him how much I appreciate him?

Chip_Foose14 karma

Try to find a painting/photo/artwork, maybe something black and white so it's not specific. Of a 57 that he can display.

scully3133 karma

Hey - do you ever do any events or shows in the Temecula/Murrieta area?

Chip_Foose10 karma

I'll be in the 3M booth at an event in Riverside, first weekend of May.

kat325th2 karma

Hi Chip! I am a huge fan and I am so excited you are answering questions. Before my dad died we would always watch overhaulin together. Since he died I have been left trying to finish the rebuild on my 67 El Camino and his 64 Plymouth Fury.

Do you have a place you prefer to go to for rarer car parts? I have been looking for a patch panel for the Camino for over a year and no one makes it. What do you do when you can't find the part?

Thanks again for everything you do. I was so happy to see Overhaulin back and I can't wait to share the show with my kids like I shared it with my Dad.

Chip_Foose9 karma

If we can't find it we build it. You could check with an El Camino club to see if any members have the parts you need (ebay?).

TheJohnRossParks2 karma

Hey Chip, I love all your work my family and I are huge fans! My dad is a big time mopar guy, we own a 70 hemi cuda', a six pack superbee and a few other cars. sadly, they are all in peices just sitting. with a little work, they would be up and running. My dad has a huge passion for cars but just doesnt have the motivation to get up and get started on these projects. Off the top of your head, what would be a good way for me to convince him to get started? He needs somewhat of an intervention! haha

Chip_Foose9 karma

Ask him if you can have one if you finish it. Show interest in it or tell him that you want to build it with him. Hopefully this works and that you enjoy the project together.

FruitbatNT2 karma

Hi Chip,

As someone who has used their talents to create a brand based on yourself and your image, do you ever wish you could go back "behind the curtain" wizard-of-oz style and just churn out amazing looking cars, rather than doing all the face-time?

Chip_Foose10 karma

I'm lucky that I get to build the cars that we do at Foose Design and Overhaulin', but I've also been blessed to have worked with some of the manufacturers, designing and building show cars, where just like the wizard of Oz I am behind the curtain and the work is confidential.

brenswen2 karma


Chip_Foose9 karma

It would be a new Foose design concept car

58Buck2 karma

Mr Foose, I'm a huge fan who is building a 58 Buick. I want to use Foose wheels as an homage to the guy who inspired me to start building. I'm looking at an 18" + 20" stagger. Which Foose wheels would you recommend? Thank you

Chip_Foose10 karma

I would recommend a wheel but I don't know the theme of your car. The wheels need to match the same theme you're building the entire car with.

adam18370 karma

Hey Chip, I'm a big fan of your work and your show! I have a '69 charger in the UK and I need help selecting which Foose wheels I should go for! If I tweet a photo of the car will you give me your opinion? Thanks Adam

Chip_Foose5 karma

I would put the Foose challenger wheel that we used on the SEMA Overhaulin' Challenger and Charger, based on the Chrysler rally wheel.

shakenbakerickybobby0 karma


What's your opinion on the current "stance" movement among the younger crowd? You know, lowering the car extremely low without air suspension, putting on wheels to wide for the car/too low offsets making the wheel stick out past the fender, and using excessive negative camber/stretched tires in order to make it fit?

Reference : http://www.farmofminds.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/that-stance-n-camber.jpg

As a car guy, I hate it and cringe when I see a performance car like an M3 stanced like that

Chip_Foose15 karma

When somebody is customizing a car the greatest thing about it is the fact that you can do exactly what you want to make it your car. This is what personalizing means. It may not be what I would do to my car, but it's not my car. I love the fact that they desire to modify their car and that the love affair with the car is alive and well.