The Sportstar was built in 1996 for good friend, customer and legendary homebuilder Otto “Buz” DiVosta. The Chip Foose designed Sportstar wasn’t designed as a takeoff on any particular model, certainly not on any of the classics. Among all of the Boyd Coddington creations, it has perhaps the least hot rod look of all, once you get past the tucked under the fenders headlights and the vaguely ’40-ish grille. It’s as if its inspiration was a sleek European roadster of the 5O’s, rather than a Detroit icon from the classic era. This is the hot rod dressed up like a sports car. The Sportstar’s body is all steel, crafted by Marcel DeLay, and sits on a perimeter frame custom-built from box-section steel tubing. In keeping with its international character, its power plant is a 1996 Lexus SC400 32-valve V-8, matched to an automatic transmission from the same source. Suspension is independent all the way around. It rides on 17-inch custom one-off wheels, 7-inches wide in front and 10-inches in the rear. Greg Morrell did the paint job in DuPont Boyd Red, a color matched in the leather and wool carpeting. It is as bright and attention-getting as any sports car.
The independent front suspension consists of billet aluminum A-arms with inboard coil-over shocks. In the rear, it’s the same system, where massive blanks of billet aluminum were hogged out on the mill to form the upper and lower H-section control arms, coil-over shocks form the core of the suspension. The frame complete with exhausts and catalytic converters was sent out to Marcel De Lay where Chip Foose began forming the wooden buck over which Marcel’s would fabricate the steel body. Buck building is an art and a great deal of time and effort went into this stage of the build before Marcel and his sons could begin sculpting up the steel panels. Nonetheless, the spring of ’96 saw the project move rapidly forward as we set a date for the unveiling. Back in Stanton, the body and chassis went immediately to the fabrication shop where Roy Schmidt and Steve Greninger began work detailing the body. Meanwhile, in the chassis shop, Andy Wallin worked on the installation of the pedal assembly, brake system and other chassis components. With all of the major work completed in just a matter of weeks, the body and chassis went to the paint shop where Greg Morrell and Keith Russell got to work smoothing things out and applying the DuPont Boyd Red paint. Then it was back to fabrication where a new 260- horsepower, four-cam, 32-valve Lexus V8 and four-speed automatic transmission, which had both been squirted gray, were installed in the chassis and hooked up. Modern computer-controlled powertrains can often cause car builders problems, but Peter Morrell had no problems making the computer understand the new configuration. He was even able to retain the Lexus instrumentation which, when it illuminates the wide and otherwise clear dash, defines Sportstar as a truly modern sports car. For the interior, we once again chose the simple and effective combination of red on red. The seats sit across a tall but narrow transmission tunnel broken only by a leather-clad Lexus shifter. At 78-inches wide, there’s plenty of room in the cockpit. Red carpet, red leather door panels and a red leather wrapped one-off Tri-Grip steering wheel complete the picture. Sportstar rides on what was at the time a unique set of wheels. Typically, Boyds Wheels used billet wheel centers machined in two planes however; the Sportstar’s star-themed wheels were cut using a new 3-D 5-axis CNC milling machine. Each custom wheel center took more than 9 hours to mill. Mounted onto those wheels are BF Goodrich Comp TA radial 205/ZR-l 7 in front and 315/35 ZR-l 7 in the rear.
|Roadstar Build Sheet|
|Chassis:||Custom perimeter frame|
|Engine||1996 Lexus V8|
|Transmission:||1996 Lexus Automatic|
|Wheels:||Custom One Off wheels 17x7 front, 17x10 rear|
|Front Suspension:||Independent inboars cantilevered coilover shocks|
|Rear Suspension:||Independent Carrera coilover shocks|