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The Impostor

We all have certain vehicles that we’re emotionally attached to, whether it’s that first car you owned or the sports car you always wanted.  At Foose Design, we’re lucky enough to work on projects that have emotional value for our customers and that means a lot to us.  The story behind the Impostor is such a build.

Customer Don Voth and his wife Elma drove a 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS on their honeymoon and they wanted to recreate that memory.  The idea was to pay tribute to that car with a ground-up custom, but also have it handle like a modern machine.  Once complete, they’ll be able to relive the early days of their marriage as they cruise.

The original concept was to use Corvette suspension components, but Chip scrapped that idea.  He wanted this Impala to have ALL the features of a Corvette.  After giving it some thought, Chip decided the Impala body must be dropped onto a modern Corvette chassis.  So, he drove two blocks to DeLillo Chevrolet in Huntington Beach and purchased a brand new 2009 Corvette.  He brought it back to the shop and immediately stripped it to the frame.  Not a single wire was cut from the Corvette and will ultimately be rewired.  The Corvette dashboard will remain intact, including the stock GPS navigation system and OnStar.  With the safety and control of a Corvette this ride will handle like no Impala before it.

Before the frame and body would be connected, there were a number of modifications that were made.  The Corvette frame was stretched 8” in the center to accommodate the lengthy Impala body.  Subsequently, the body was shortened 14” overall with about 8” removed from the top roof panel and roughly 6” taken out of the rear quarters and deck lid.

The new proportions of this "Impostor” will give it more of a muscle car look.  Metal closeouts around the inner fender wheel wells have been added and a new 2-seat interior was clay modeled around theexisting dash.   

To pay respect to its modern undercarriage, a number of Corvette elements made their way into the exterior.  The vehicle features pocketed door handles, shark gill front fenders flairs, signature circular 3-taillight design and fuel filler on the deck lid.

A number of mods are still planned.  New front and rear valances are in process, as is a new roll pan.  Color is still being determined, but ideas have ranged from greens to creams to maroons.  As of March 2012, the vehicle is about one year from completion. 



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Foose Woody

This 1939 Lincoln Zephyr based project promises to be unlike any Foose vehicle yet.  It will be the first time Chip and his team works their magic on a woody. When one of his customers brought up the idea of a woody, Chip excitedly generated multiple concept drawings, there was even a sportsman version.  They ultimately settled on the station wagon model.  Now Lincoln never made a station wagon and they definitely never made a woody.  But, the ’39 Zephyr form was the basis for Chip’s original drawings.

After the concept was approved, Chip created a full-scale engineering drawing, which serves as the template for the chassis rails.  Since woodies typically lack structural integrity because of their light and flexible wood panels, thick steel was necessary on the frame rails.  The rails were actually fabricated by a company that makes rollercoaster tubing, as they were the only business that could bend the steel while still maintaining its smoothness. Once the rails arrived, Dennis fabricated a rear kick-up support.  Ultimately, an independent front and rear suspension, with pocketed A-arms, will be based off Corvette components.

In true Zephyr fashion, the vehicle will sport a V-12 motor, but this engine is unlike anyone you’ve everseen.  It's a 12 cylinder Falconer Engine, built by Ryan Falconer. It's a pretty rare engine, originally designed for 7/8 scale P51 Mustangs, the kind used in air races. Basically it's a big block Chevy on steroids.  Even the oil pan is custom. It was fabricated in stainless steel by Dan Woods and is a thing ofbeauty itself. This beast puts out 811 horsepower!

Two native Hawaiian woods will be used on the outer and inner frames.  The wood for these side panels has already been procured, they came straight from the owners Hawaiian estate!

This vehicle is still a good 3 years from completion and is shaping up to worthy competitor for all the major automotive customization awards.  Follow its progress through our build photo gallery.



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33 Ford Coupe

This ’33 Ford Coupe will ultimately be completely rebuilt and customized.  At Foose Design we receive vehicles in many different stages of development before we begin our work.  When we took on this project some initial work had already been completed at another shop.  Originally a roadster body by Speed 33, it came with an existing custom chassis.  A number of modifications to the body (adding a roof among them) are taking place and Chip is finalizing the perfect design elements.

After taking delivery, the first step in the project was sending the car to longtime collaborator Marcel’s Custom Metal where they shaped the running boards and fenders.  They also fabricated a new hood and new grille shell.  Back at Foose Design, Chip designed a new custom roof line which was completed, shaped and added to the car by Marcel.

This ‘33 Ford Coupe has a LS3 Corvette motor built by Street & Performance and will feature the custom Foose touch throughout.  Brand new interior, paint and one-off Foose wheels are all planned.  Existing will all be fine tuned by the Foose team.  The chassis details will be refined with reshaped and reworked rails, new suspension mounts, new engine mounts and added filler panels.

Once complete, this vehicle will be a beautifully remodeled ’33 Ford Coupe featuring a custom chassis and body.



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73 Ford Bronco

Movie and TV star Kiefer Sutherland brought his beloved Bronco to Chip for some minor modifications. He initially only wanted to have some body, engine and transmission work done. Once in the shop, this project expanded to much more!

At Foose Design we did a complete frame-off, powder-coating the frame. The suspension was rebuilt and we the front drums were converted to disc brakes. The rear wheel wells were opened up to match the front. The body was stripped, primed and painted a beautiful charcoal grey in BASF Refinish North America 90-Line Glasurit. A new custom leather interior in caramel was installed by Bill Dunn. The roll cage was modified to extend upwards and match the windshield line. A custom canvas top was designed, created, redesigned and then recreated. The stock 302 Ford engine was rebuilt. Magnaflow fabricated a custom stainless steel exhaust and muffler kit and Wheel Vintiques provided us some steelies, which we chromed and wrapped in Pirelli North America Scorpions.

Kiefer personally came down to take delivery of the vehicle and he was a pleasure to work with.