Chip Foose is Overhaulin’

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Overhaulin’ is an American reality TV series that originally aired on TLC from 2004 to 2008, later moving to Discovery Channel, where it enjoyed success until 2015. It is still in reruns on various channels, and it is just as interesting to watch today as when the series was first produced.

Part of the interest is because of the premise of the show. Some people think it is kind of schmaltzy because it plays on the emotions of car owners. Some have even said that the undercover skits were implausible and undermined Chip’s talent. Yet, many think that is a cool part of the show. Unsuspecting car owners with run-down, neglected, or otherwise unloved vehicles are nominated by friends or family members to have their cars “overhauled. ” Foose did the design, and he was aided in the build by a team of skilled mechanics and automobile craftsmen. The main interest to many people is the overhaul is led by primo car designer Chip Foose.

Meet the Car Genius: Chip Foose

Chip Foose, SEMA, 2006

Chip Foose, SEMA, 2006

Chip Foose, the driving force behind Overhaulin‘, is a world-renowned automobile designer, fabricator, and entrepreneur. Born in Santa Barbara, California, in 1963, Foose began his career in the automotive world at a young age, working in his father’s company, Project Design. His passion for cars and innate talent for design led him to study at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he honed his skills before eventually opening his own shop, Foose Design, in 1998.

Foose is that he was at the Art Center College of Design he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Foose is a visionary dude who knows how to innovate, so it is no wonder that he credits his ADHD for allowing him to hyperfocus on his projects and develop his distinctive, innovative designs.

Another little-known fact is that Chip Foose worked for Boyd Coddington, who pioneered the “build” TV genre with his American Hot Rod show. Conflicts arose between Coddington and Foose over creative and financial issues, and Foose and others left Coddington. The fact is, Foose was the creative brain behind many of Coddington’s most notable later designs.

While Chip Foose is undoubtedly the face of Overhaulin‘, the show’s success wouldn’t be possible without the talented crew working alongside him. One notable member of the team is Chris Jacobs, the co-host, and main conspirator responsible for keeping the mark in the dark while their car is being overhauled. Jacobs, an avid car enthusiast himself, brings a sense of humor and camaraderie to the show, forming a perfect partnership with Foose.

Jacobs is an accomplished actor, having appeared in television shows such as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Two and a Half Men,” and “The X-Files.” His diverse talents and genuine love for cars make him an essential part of the Overhaulin‘ team.

Standout Builds from Overhaulin

Overhaulin‘ has seen numerous incredible builds over the years, but two, in particular, stand out as especially memorable to car people.

1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible. In one of the most heartwarming episodes of Overhaulin‘, the team takes on the task of restoring a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible for a woman whose late father had begun the restoration process but never finished. The car, a sentimental heirloom for the family, was given a complete overhaul, transforming it into a sleek, modern beauty while retaining its classic charm. The emotional reveal left the owner and viewers alike in tears.

1965 Ford Mustang Fastback. This iconic American muscle car was a rusted-out shell when it was brought to the team. The owner, a hardworking single father who had always dreamed of restoring the car, was left speechless when the crew unveiled their work. The team transformed the dilapidated Fastback into a stunning masterpiece, complete with a custom paint job, a modernized interior, and performance upgrades. This build not only showcased the incredible talents of the Overhaulin’ crew but also captured the essence of the show – turning dreams into reality.

1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda. In another unforgettable Overhaulin‘ episode, Chip Foose and his team transformed a 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda into a jaw-dropping custom masterpiece. The team completely restored the classic muscle car and added numerous performance upgrades, including a modern HEMI engine, a new suspension, and upgraded brakes. The exterior was enhanced with a custom paint job, featuring a unique and eye-catching graphic design, while the interior was completely redone with luxurious upholstery and modern conveniences. This build stood out as a prime example of Overhaulin’s ability to merge classic style with modern performance and design.

Overhauling relied heavily on suppliers who supplied parts at a low cost, and in return received exposure on the show. Once completed, the old cars that came into the shop became worth $100,000 or more after the Foose touch, and unfortunately, owners had to pay taxes on the difference. That was a burden to many of the middle-class owners featured on the show, so they had to sell the car to pay the government.

The Show that Kept on Giving

Overhaulin‘ started in 2004 but was an on-and-off again affair. The show originally ran for five seasons between 2004 and 2008 on TLC. They made no new shows until it reappeared on the Velocity network, owned by Discovery, in 2012. It came back again in 2019 for another 12 shows. With various series and specials, there were 113 shows, and you can still see the reruns.

Overhaulin‘ has captured the hearts of car enthusiasts and casual viewers alike with its engaging premise, heartwarming stories, and jaw-dropping transformations. The talent and charisma of Chip Foose, Chris Jacobs, and the rest of the crew have made the show an undeniable hit. The series serves as a reminder of the incredible passion and dedication that goes into restoring and customizing cars and the life-changing impact these transformations can have on the lives of their owners.


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