HOT ROD KING By Orange County Business Journal Monday, March 6, 2006 Using a plain blue pen, Chip

Foose makes swift, sweeping strokes, outlining the body of what will be a drawing of a modified 1932 Ford Roadster. The drawing is set to yield a car that will be used to raise money for Cruisin' For a Cure. "If I'm not building, I'm sketching something," says Foose, one of Southern California's most popular hot rod designers. Foose is founder of Foose Design in Huntington Beach, which designs and builds milliondollar hot rods, mostly for rich executives. He also plays himself on TLC's "Overhaulin'",a car enthusiast's mix of "Pimp My Ride" and "Punk'd." Car lovers herald Foose because he has artistic and mechanical skills. Some of his original designs include "Grandmaster," a tricked out 1935 Chevrolet Master Sedan, "Impression," a 1936 Ford Roadster, and "Stallion," a 1934 Ford Coupe. "The way Chip Foose puts the parts together transcends mere mechanics," said Leslie Kendall, curator at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. "Grandmaster" sketch: a tricked out 1935 Chevrolet Master Sedan An exhibit of Foose's work, "From Pen to Pavement," is on display there later this month. Foose, who's done this for 35 years, said he sees his work as hobby and passion. "I call it a lifestyle," he said. "Not a career." Money in Licensing There isn't much profit building hot rods. The money is in the Foose name, which he has been able to leverage to sell all kinds of products, from wheels and snowboards to TV shows and Hot Wheels. A line of tools for Stanley Works' Mac Tools and a line of books are in the works. One of his key licensing deals is with toy company RC2 Corp. of Oak Brook, Ill. RC2 turns Foose's designs into miniature collectible cars. Foose's paint design for Jeff Gordon's racecar recently was seen at California Speedway in Fontana. Motorsports Authentics LLC of Arizona turned Foose's design for Gordon into collectibles, which were sold to fans at the racetrack. Niche carmaker Unique Performance of Texas is building and selling a limited number of real

cars, based on Foose's designs. One, Foose's 1969 Camaro, starts at $124,000. Carson Lev, Foose's licensing agent, is working on a dozen licensing deals for Foose, who collects royalties. "I get a small percent of what he does," Lev said. The two are business partners and longtime friends, bonded by their love of cars. "It's fun to work with your buddy," Lev said. The pair built two hot rods together,a full size Twin Mill and Deora II for Mattel Inc.'s Hot Wheels. Lev worked for Mattel. "My job was to take the toy brand and make it relevant to men," he said. Another of Foose's projects: designing for the Motor City Casino in Detroit. "They want an authentic car vibe," Lev said. "The guy ought to be in the carnival for all the plates he spins." "Overhaulin'" is one of those plates. The show, in its third season, films near his shop, producing three episodes a month. The concept: The show steals someone's beloved car, usually an heirloom in sorry shape. Then Foose designs the makeover. "We come and steal the car," Foose said. "Then we'll mess with them all week." Usually, it's an average Joe whose car gets swiped and redone. Sometimes celebrities get in on the action. Sheryl Crow set up former fianc & #233; Lance Armstrong, who had his GTO made over. Car buff Jay Leno also was on the show, pranking a friend. Foose is set to be on an upcoming "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," according to Lev. At the Shop Back at the shop, Foose lays down another piece of paper and starts sketching again. He's got a noon deadline. Squeezed at the edge of a desk he's sharing with his assistant, he's drawing and taking phone calls. An earsplitting noise is coming from the garage, where builders are making new ramps for the shop. His office is small. There's a large engine sitting on the floor and a gigantic America's Most Beautiful Roadster trophy on the shelf.

Foose has won seven of those, along with two Don Ridler Memorial awards, one of the most prestigious awards in the hot rod world. Foose has plenty of other accolades, too many to mention here. His merchandise is strewn around the office,hats in chairs, T-shirts on the desk. An upright chopper bike sits in the corner. Foose likes bikes, too,several hang from the ceiling of the garage. He designed some of the frames for Fountain Valley-based Nirve Sports Ltd., a bicycle maker. At this point, Foose is detailing the grille of the Roadster drawing. He says he gets inspiration for his designs from everything. "Being a relatively new father, I look at some baby equipment," he said. Foose owns several cars,a black 1969 Camaro, a 2005 Ford 150, a Cadillac SRX and a Thunderbird. They've all been modified. Foose is working on about eight different cars, from subtle modifications to complete rebuilds. Sometimes his customers come in with an idea. Sometimes they just say, "I want a cool hot rod." Foose then sketches the design and builds a scale model. He charges for time and materials. He does about one concept car a year. A metal shell on the floor and a sketch on the wall is one he's working on for himself. It is modeled after a World War II fighter jet. Soldiers coming home from the war started hot rodding, he said. Foose said he likes both parts of the operation, designing and building. "I love being part of a build," he said. The only things he doesn't do is sew interiors or work on transmissions. Started Young At age 3, Foose started drawing with his father, Sam Foose, a well-known car guy. He would draw whatever his father happened to be working on at his auto body and hot rod shop, Project Design in Santa Barbara. At 7, Foose began working in his dad's shop. "My father had great patience," he said. Foose said he's sold cars to pay for things.

He sold his "0032" to the Petersen Automotive Museum for the down payment on the building he's in. He sold a 1971 Pontiac Firebird to go to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, one of the premier schools for automotive and other designers. Going to school wasn't a priority, Foose said. Until he met his wife, Lynne Foose. She wouldn't marry him until he finished college. Education was important to her, he said. Lynne Foose, an attorney, handles the books for the company. Foose said he stays out of the finances. "I don't even know what we did last year," he said. "I'm having fun. I know that." Before Foose started his own shop in the late 1990s, he worked for another well-known name in Southern California, Boyd Coddington. "Chip's responsible for the Boyd look," Lev said. Coddington also has a show, "American Hot Rod" on Discovery Channel, and a shop in La Habra. Foose winds down on his Roadster sketch, which now has been digitally colored and is on the Cruisin' For a Cure Web site. It's set to appear in various magazines to promote the September event, which raises money for prostate cancer research. Next up for Foose,finding a bigger building, about 20,000 square feet. "We need more space to do work," he said. "I'm giving things away of value that we don't have room for." The building he buys also will have a store front for selling some of his licensed products.