This web site is dedicated to my dad and continuing the legacy.
Boyd Coddington Jr.
About The Boyd Coddington Companies
From the family farm, Boyd Coddington moved to California, reinvented the American hot rod and in just a few years took his company from a backyard business to Wall Street where Boyds was traded on the NASDAQ exchange. Here then is the essence of the American dream, the quintessential farm boy made good, and the young man who went to work for Disneyland and ended up building his own magic kingdom. From humble beginnings in a modest three-car garage behind his house, Boyds grew to encompass 9 buildings covering 175,000 square feet where hundred’s of CNC machines were cutting chunks of virgin 6061 aluminum were formed into rolling automotive sculptures. Boyd’s rolling art graced the pages of everything from the cover of Hot Rod Magazine to the Smithsonian Magazine. His customers, who have included Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Eddie Van Halen, Michael Anthony, the Beach Boys, Dixon Edwards, Shaquille O’Neal, Darryl Strawberry and Roger Clemens are equally diverse, as were the cars he built.
Dad grew up in a time and place where everyone was expected to pull their own weight, and when you broke something you did not buy a new one, you fixed what you had. Pretty soon you started making your own stuff. My dad’s captivation with cars started when he was about twelve years old. In Idaho at that time you, could drive when you were fourteen, so as you approached your 14th birthday you started to get interested in cars one way or another. Boyd, (in stylish hat) and crew hanging out in his shop clothes. His first car was a ’31 Chevy pickup truck. He was thirteen at the time and traded it for the shotgun my grandfather had given him for Christmas the prior year. That was his first car, but by the time he was fifteen he had bought and sold dozens of cars. It was my dad’s older brother that got him interested in cars. His brother, Wayne was five years older than my dad and his brother’s friends had “all the cool cars, the ’35 and ’36 Fords and Deuce roadsters”. According to my dad, he was a junior in high school when he built his first hot rod. He said, “it was horrible, but it worked.” It was a two-door tub he built it by combining a model a roadster cowl with the back half of a 1923 Buick body. The body was mounted on Model A rails and had a flathead motor. After Boyd graduated from high school enrolled in a local trade school where he took a body shop class his first semester. However, it was the machine shop classes across the parking lot that caught his eye that he spent the next three semesters. After trade school his fascination with machines led Boyd to a small machine shop in Salt Lake City, Utah where he served a three-year apprenticeship before packing up my mom and me, (I was two at the time) and headed for the hot rod mecca of the world, Los Angeles, California. We moved into an apartment in Redondo Beach, California, where my dad landed a job working the night shift as a machinist at Western Gear and kept a part-time job doing fabrication work at J&J Chassis. My dad’s first project when he moved to California was a Model T. After completing the T he entered it into his first car show, the Long Beach Car Show where he won the Best Of Show award. When they called him to the stage, he was so dumbfounded and nervous he had to convince a complete stranger to go up on stage to accept the trophy for him. Boyd sold that T and thought about what his next project would be. Three weeks later, he rolled a center-door T into our garage. It was the biggest piece of junk you could imagine. With my dad’s gift of vision, the only thing he could see was his next show winning hot rod. Dad moved to the day shift at Western Gear and later on took a machinist position at Disneyland working the night shift. Working on about only 4 hours of sleep, he would wrench on his hot with the time he had left. I cannot ever remember a time when there wasn’t at least one or more projects in the garage. After winning another series of awards, Boyd sold the center-door T and immediately bought another hot rod. By this time, he was starting to think that maybe he could make a living building hot rods. In 1978, we moved to Anaheim. Our new home by no means a move up from our previous home, it wasn’t new or even larger. The big advantage was the back yard, a yard big enough to accommodate a three-car garage. On October 31 1978 Boyd put in his last day at Disneyland, and On November 1, 1978, the small Orange County business Hot Rods By Boyd was incorporated.
It’s About Reputation
The new hot rod shop had no trouble attracting business. The customers who picked up their chassis or complete cars left with smiles on their faces. Happy customers pay their bills and recommend a shop to their friends. Word got around: Boyd cars were unique, the work was flawless, and the features unusual, and the projects were nearly always finished on time and budget. One of those happy customers was Vern Luce. Vern Luce was the first of many high rollers to bankroll a big-money Boyd car and the first “hot rod sugar daddy” that all the top builders of today dream of landing. Vern might best be described as a “sleeper.” Usually dressed in blue jeans with holes in them, a sweater and boots, Vern seemed to be just another of the guys who liked to hang around the shop. Shortly after their first meeting, Vern considered buying a ’56 Chevy Sedan Delivery that Boyd had for sale. Vern took a ride in the car, liked it, and asked Boyd what he wanted for it. Boyd replied with a price of $7,500 and explained, “I’ll need a deposit if you want to buy the car.” Well, when Boyd asked for a deposit he offended Vern; Boyd apparently doubted Vern’s ability to pay for the Chevy. Vern responded by pulling out a large wad of hundred dollar bills and paid for the Sedan Delivery with cash and Boyd soon became fast friends. Vern, of course, wasn’t just your average “hanger” that stood around the shop all day because he had nothing better to do. Vern was an industrialist, and owned a candy factory; usually Vern would be considered a“white-collar” guy. In truth, Vern was an intellectual man with an eye for a nice set of wheels. One day while visiting Boyds shop, Luce saw a sketch made by world-renowned automotive designer Thom Taylor in Boyd’s office and commissioned the car on the spot. The result was a ’33 fenderless Ford that became known as “The Vern Luce Coupe.” By the time it was done, The Coupe had an out the door price of $90,000, unheard of at the time, but representative of the labor, talent and effort that went into it. Others followed at prices well into the six figures. The ’33 Ford made quite a splash at the 1981 Oakland Roadster Show, where it won the coveted Slonaker award. By this time, the small shop known as Hot Rods by Boyd was attracting more and more attention. Awards from the show led to magazine interviews. Coverage in publications like Street Rodder and Hot Rod helped to focus even more attention on the talents ofyoung Boyd Coddington.
Another man that took notice of all this attention was Jamie Musselman from San Antonio, Texas. A car fanatic since high school, Jamie had already owned hot rods when he heard about Boyd Coddington in 1981. Like Vern Luce, Jamie would become a good friend. When Jamie’s Roadster won the award as “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster,” the highest honor at the world’s most prestigious hot-rod show in 1982, it set Boyd Coddington on the map.
Run Away Success
A move to a larger shop in Stanton,California on Monroe Avenueis what put us into the fast lane. After winning the second “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” award, this time for Larry Murray’s Tudor phaeton, the growth and success came fast and hard.A succession of street rods followed. Each outdid the last, and the progression included, among many roadster, Aluma CoupeCadZZilla, Chezoomthe Boydster and the Boydster II. Through it all, it was the people that Boyd assembled who made it happen. They were the best in the business, and they operated in an environment that radiated creativity. There were designers such as Thom Taylor, Larry Erickson, Chris Ito, Chip Foose, Eric Brockmeyer, Luis Tanahara, Eddie Wimble and Todd Emmons. No one can deny Boyd his rank in hot rodding and customizing. Boyd’s remarkable success and the fact he pioneered the productionof high-end billet-aluminum custom wheelsis unprecedented. His car designs have received worldwide acclaim for craftsmanship, quality, attention to detail and originality. Street Rodder magazine once called Boyd “a man striving to be the best he can be”. My dad didn’t just thrive on the success or the good press, but rather on the exhilaration of the projects themselves. He had an incredible eagerness to design new products and new markets for those products, and the excitement of building hot rods that would have been unbuildable if not for the unique combination of designers, the employees and their skills, and all the equipment brought together by Boyd. There is no simple answer to explain the success of my dad. His successes were achieved over time, with vision, hard work, a little luck and the result of a combination of attributes, some of which can be traced all the way back to the strong foundation my grandfatherlaid down for him. If he were alive today, and you asked him if he ever expected to become so successful, he would tell you no. He’d tell you “most the time, I wish I was still behind the house in the garage.”
In 1997, Boyd Coddington Junior started Boyd Coddington Wheels, continuing the legendary Coddington dedication to innovation, quality, and service allowing Boyd Senior to focus his energies on building and marketing innovative new hot rods, components, and accessories. Together they continued to take Boyd Coddington Wheels and Hot Rods to new heights by implementing new designs, space age materials and machining processes. The Boyd Coddington Companies produces the finest hot rods, frames, chassis, and accessories, as well as the highest quality wheels at the best value price on the market today. Today, Boyd’s hot rods and wheels are designed and manufactured at the Coddington Companies, in Kansas City, Missouri. With over 30 years of experience, the Coddington’s have the highest commitment and dedication to the hot rod and wheel industries.
Americanrepublicwheel.com, billetwheel.com and hotrodsbyboyd.com are not affiliated with the Boyd Coddington Companies, Boyd Coddington’s Garage or Boyd’s and they are NOT official websites. Boyd Coddington does NOT build the wheels for sale there!!! The only official website is the one you are on. The Boyd Coddington Companies, Boyd Coddington Jr. and Boyd Coddington’s Garage are not now, nor ever have been, involved in any way with American Republic Wheels. || - Theme by Themefyre