American Hot Rod

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American Hot Rod
US Navy 050508-N-1205S-085 Television show American Hot Rod car builder Boyd Coddington and his wife Jo signed autographs for Sailors stationed aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).jpg
Boyd Coddington (r) and his wife Jo from American Hot Rod sign autographs aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Nimitz in 2005.
Starring Boyd Coddington
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
Producer(s) Mike Rowe
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Pilgrim Films & Television
Original channel The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel
Original run January 10, 2004 (2004-01-10) – March 30, 2008 (2008-03-30)

American Hot Rod is a reality television series that originally aired between 2004 and 2008 on The Learning Channel and Discovery Channel. The unique series documented the crew at Boyd Coddington's car shop and their personal struggles to build hot rods and custom vehicles. It was made on location at Coddington's hot rod and wheel shop in La Habra, California. Many employees went to work for Overhaulin's Chip Foose, a former partner of Coddington, for a more relaxed environment. Even Boyd's own son could not work there anymore.[citation needed]

Custom built cars built during the series included the "Alumatub", 61 Impala Bubbletop, 63 Chevy Corvette Stingray and a 42 Woodie. In July 2007, the shop made an Elvis Tribute Car, a modified 1957 pink Cadillac, sponsored by Reese’s.

Boyd Coddington died in February 2008. His shop closed its doors for the final time on Friday June 20, 2008.[1]

Hot Rod Shop[edit]

  • Boyd Coddington. Died suddenly February 27, 2008 due to complications from surgery.
  • Jo Coddington: Boyd's wife. Now works for Champion Brands as a spokesperson and JOCO racing
  • Diane Coddington: Accounts. Boyd's ex-wife appears in Season 1,2,3 and 4 before leaving the wheel shop.
  • Duane Mayer: Foreman. Appears in all five seasons. Now runs his own shop, American Hot Rods Inc.[2]
  • Dan Sobieski. "Chicago" appears in all five seasons. Now runs Poor Boys Hot Rod in Boyd's former body shop.[3]
  • Lee Hayes: Metal worker and Roy's assistant. Appeared in Season 2.
  • Greg Morrell: Body Man/Painter.
  • Chad "Bluebear" Geary. The assembler appeared in Season 1 and was fired during the Rat Rod Build-Off.
  • Bernt Karlsson. Worked at West Coast Customs and is now working at The 401k Club Hot Rod Shop in Anaheim.
  • Jimmy Pett: Fabricator/Assembler. Appeared in Season 1,2,3.
  • Chris Smith: Fabricator/Assembler. Appeared in Season 4.

Body Shop[edit]

  • Justin Bergsto: Body Man.
  • Rafael Garcia: Body Man. Now works with Duane at American Hot Rods Inc.[2]
  • Robert Taylor. Featured on Discovery Channels Motorcycle Mania 3. Now owns Fast Fab and works in La Habra.
  • Charley Hutton: Bodyshop supervisor. Leaves for competitor Chip Foose and appears on Rides, Overhaulin' and wins a Ridler Award. Now owns his own custom paint shop in Idaho.
  • Andrew "Beetle Bailey" Petterson: Body Man. The Idaho native leaves with Charley Hutton to work for Chip Foose.
  • Scott Parker. Appears in Season 3,and 4. Leaves to work for himself but ends up working for Chip Foose.
  • Mike Curtis: Machine Shop Supervisor. Fired for working with Chip Foose. Later appeared with Charley on Overhaulin'. Now lends his name to a custom wheel business in California.
  • Roy Schmidt: Metal worker. Dies of lung cancer at age 64. Appeared in Season 1,2,3.
  • Thomas Loddby. The popular Swede left to start a shipping business but later returns to Boyd's.
  • Al Simon: Chassis builder. Quits during the Bud Light build and leaves again during the "59 Corvette". Now has his own shop in Riverside, California.
  • Chris Coddington. Boyd's son appears briefly in Season 1,2,3 and 4 before leaving to work for American Racing Inc.
  • "Speedy" MacDonald. Appears briefly in Season 4 before returning to Connecticut.
  • Jon Rockwell: metal fabricator.
  • Sean Dooley: metal worker. Fired during the "65 Ford Mustang" build.
  • Jimmy Hudson. The temperamental fabricator appears during the '44 Woodie build in Season 4.
  • Brad Johnston. Quits during Season 1. Re-hired and leaves during the "61 Impala Bubbletop" build in Season 4.
  • Liz Miles. According to Miles's biography, was dismissed due to issues with Boyd's wife, Jo.[4] Now a freelance writer.
  • Tony Piro: Intern. Appears in Season 4 before being laid-off.
  • Jon Mayo: Machinist. Appears in Season 2 during the Rat Rod Build-off.
  • Kevin Christianson: CNC machinist. Appears in Season 4,5.
  • Chris Campbell: Driver. Fired during the Hildebrant build.
  • Ben Vasquez: Fabricator/assembler. Appears during Season 4.
  • Ken Whitney: Assembler. Appears in Season 4 and is usually performing the wiring tasks.

First Season: (2004)[edit]

Image Title Original Airdate
"Junkyard Dog Pt 1" January 10, 2004
On this episode of American Hot Rod, Boyd Coddington and his crew resurrect a classic '56 Chevy. Rescued from a rust bucket graveyard, but turning this Junkyard Dog into a high end Hot Rod, pushes tensions to breaking point and puts the Coddington crew's mettle to the test. The talents and the tempers, the drama and the drive.
"Junkyard Dog Pt 2" January 24, 2004
Episode number 2 of the series finds the team dealing with extensive metal work problems particular to a car brought forth from the junkyard for resurrection into a hot rod.
"Junkyard Dog Pt 3" February 6, 2004
The "Junkyard Dog" has taken shape. The body is nearly finished and for once it looks like the team is ahead of schedule. Charlie starts to paint the car but because his Dad becomes ill and passes away he has to leave. The team celebrate Tommy's birthday with a party at Boyd's house.
"Junkyard Dog Pt 4" February 13, 2004
The paintwork is finished, the body remounted and the car is off to Gabes to have the interior done. Gabes pulls out all the stops and finish the car early. The car gets back to Boyd's for the final touches and Charlie returns.
"Alumatub" (5 Parts) February 20, 2004
The team uses the help of Marcel's Custom Metal to build an aluminium hot rod from scratch.
"32 Hi-Boy Roadster" (4 Parts) February 27, 2004
Boyd resurrects a 32 Coupe 'the Coupester' as an educational exercise for the crew.

Second Season: (2004)[edit]

Image Title Original Airdate
"65 Ford Mustang" (3 Parts) April 21, 2004
The team rebuild a classic Mustang 2+2 fastback rescued from a barn. Boyd names it Crazy Horse. It was to be a birthday present for Scotty Gray's wife Nancy. The crew judge a bikini contest at Hooters bar and help with "Paint Your Heart Out, Anaheim". New members of the crew Sean Dooley and Jimy "Tig" Krauss are both dismissed during the build.
"Rat Rod Build-Off" (4 Parts) April 28, 2004
Bluebear and Boyd compete in a contest to build Rat Rods. During the build, Bluebear is dismissed for refusing to follow Boyd's instruction to box the frame rails on safety grounds. With the remainder of Bluebear's team, Mike Curtis decides to revive the build and puts together a car in 8 days (and 8 nights) to race Boyd to Louisville, Kentucky.
"42 Woodie" (3 Parts) May 11, 2004
The team rebuild a 42 Woodie. Fed up of the tight deadlines, Charley leaves to join Chip Foose. Boyd views this as unforgivable disloyalty.
"63 Chevy Corvette Stingray" (3 Parts) May 18, 2004
Customer Sean Dove asks Boyd to build a Stingray that will serve as a street car, a show car and a race car. With no one to run the body shop, Duane must supervise both shops while Boyd paints the car himself. Lee joins the team as Roy's assistant. One of Coddington's best builds with Scott Parker supervising this unpopular build.
"Bud Light Car" (3 Parts) May 25, 2004
Boyd builds a car for the Budweiser beer company for the launch of the new Bud Light product. He converts a 36 Coupe into a Roadster. Bernt Karlsson joins the crew as manager of the body shop. Al leaves to pursue his own projects.
"Hildebrandt Car" (3 Parts) June 15, 2004
Vern Hildebrandt asks Boyd to restore his father's, Dennis "the Menace" Hildebrandt's '34 Roadster back to its 1954 race days. Mike Curtis is given the frustrating task of project manager.
"59 Chevy Low Rider" (4 Parts) June 22, 2004
Boyd buys a 1959 Chevrolet Impala Bel Air and helps the crew to transform it into a California-style speedster along with matching custom motorcycle. Rocky Walker intends to present the "Ghetto Princess" and its matching motorcycle at Camp Pendleton to the US Marines heading for a tour of Iraq. Mike is dismissed during the build.

Third Season: (2005)[edit]

Image Title Original Airdate
"Make-A-Wish Car" (3 Parts) October 31, 2005
Boyd's crew build the “MaxHEMI”, a street rod designed by 17 year old Max Cohen, who is fighting leukaemia. The car is based on a 1963 Dodge Polara shell with a 472 CID Hemi crate motor. During the build, Duane gets a tattoo dedicated to Max. Thomas takes part in a gravity race at Monterey in a soapbox racer built by the crew in their spare time. Thomas leaves to concentrate on his shipping business. After the show, the car was auctioned raising $500,000 from the sale for charity.[5]

Fourth Season: (2006)[edit]

Image Title Original Airdate
"54 Corvette and 55 Chevy" (3 Parts) February 1, 2006
The team struggle to complete not one, but two cars for the annual SEMA show, a 1954 Corvette and a 1955 Chevrolet. On top of that, they have to help Boyd's son Chris to complete a Honda for the same show. Thomas returns to help Boyd as he is short on men. Roy passes away during this build and Boyd dedicates the '54 Corvette to him.
"56 Chevy Convertible" (3 Parts) February 8, 2006
Boyd hires three new employees to work on the car. Tony Piro, a green but eager-to-learn intern, begins to annoy Duane. But "Screwie-Louie" Biegler, the new sheetmetal man, barely does any work in two weeks and gets fired. The work gets done but it's mostly thanks to Gabe at the custom interiors shop.
"61 Impala Bubbletop" (4 Parts) February 15, 2006
Work begins well even though the shop has fewer skilled labor. But Chris Coddington begins using Scott on a truck side project. Then Tony goes off work with a brain contusion after a car accident. Brad stops showing up for work and walks out after a massive bust up with Boyd and Duane. Scott, who is disillusioned with the lack of creativity demanded by the tight deadlines, also decides to quit and go freelance.
"40 Ford" (3 Parts) February 22, 2006
The 40 Ford proves to be a tough build as more work is needed than was expected and a lack of employees jeopardise the progress of the car. It's left down to Duane to pull the team together.
"36 Roadster" (3 Parts) March 12, 2006
"44 Woodie" (3 Parts) March 19, 2006
Tony gets moved around the shop as Duane tries to find him work and Jimmy gets increasingly frustrated. Tensions in the shop mount when the list of problems with the build stack up, turning the crew against each other.
"31 Truck" (3 Parts) March 26, 2006
"57 Chevy" (3 Parts) April 16, 2006
A 1957 Chevrolet is turned into a Hot Rod by Boyd and his crew for the 50th anniversary of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Company. The car was sold at the anniversary and all the money was given to charity.

Fifth Season: (2007)[edit]

Image Title Original Airdate
"Hershey" (3 Parts) July 23, 2007
Build of a 1957 Cadillac Coupe de Ville as an Elvis tribute car for Reese's
"Sobe" (3 Parts) August 3, 2007
"59 Corvette" (3 Parts) August 10, 2007
New employee Liz Miles is welcomed to help on the build but the promising young assembler is fired during a rift with Jo Coddington. Greg Morrell leads the body work. Boyd and Jo take a vacation to meet with longtime customer Gary Casteel. Rocky Walker gets to help in the shop. Engine guy Harvey Stimary appears. Robert and the crew bicker about Duane's management style, while Duane questions the crew's initiative. Al Simon, chassis builder quits during the build.
"Bonneville Racer" (3 Parts) September 14, 2007
The team works to complete a 1926 Ford Model T project for Boyd's wife, Jo, to race at Bonneville Speed Week. Duane sacks the shop's parts driver for doing other work.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Boyd Coddington Wheels is Still Rolling On
  2. ^ a b "American Hot Rods Inc.". American Hot Rods Inc. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  3. ^ "A Piece of American Automotive History". 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  4. ^ MilesSpeed bio
  5. ^ "35th Anniversary Barrett-Jackson Auction Donates Record-Breaking Amount to Charity". AllBusiness. 2006-02-13. Retrieved 2010-04-08. 

External links[edit]