They say some of the best ideas begin as doodles on a napkin. Well, the first concept sketches of the Impression were no different. During a dinner with Ken Reister, armed with only a pen and without his trusty sketchpad, Chip reached for the closest item available, his dinner napkin.

Owner & Vehicle

  • Ken Reister
  • 1936 Ford Roadster


  • Make: Chevrolet LS1
  • Displacement: 5.7 Liters

Build Specifications

  • Owner: Ken Reister
  • Vehicle: 1936 Ford Roadster


  • Frame / Manufacturer: Custom / Foose Design (Huntington Beach, CA)
  • Wheelbase: 118″
  • Rearend / Ratio: Corvette centersection & uprights / 3.73:1 (Posi)
  • Rear Suspension: C4 Corvette geometry, custom components by Foose Design
  • Rear Brakes: Baer/PBR Corvette-style, rotor one-off from Baer
  • Rear Shocks: Bilstein coilover, one-of-a-kind
  • Front Suspension: C4 Corvette geometry, custom components by Foose Design
  • Front Brakes: Baer/PBR C4-style
  • Front Shocks: Bilstein coilover, one-of-a-kind
  • Master Cylinder: Kugel Komponents (LaHabra, CA) Corvette-style w/ small-diameter booster underdash-mounted
  • Steering: Fiat Rack & Pinion
  • Front Wheel Make, Size: Foose Design Impression 10-spoke, 18×8
  • Rear Wheel Make, Size: Foose Design Impression 10-spoke, 20×10
  • Front Tire Make, Size: BFGoodrich one-of-a-kind, 225/40R18
  • Rear Tire Make, Size BFGoodrich one-of-a-kind, 295/40R20
  • Gas Tank: Custom, 16-gal


  • Make: Chevrolet LS1
  • Displacement: 5.7L
  • Other Engine Facts: A “Flatisphere”: modern engine appointed to loosely resemble a Flathead; no exposed engine wires; engine covered w/ custom shields; black chrome headers mounted to stainless steel flanges.


  • Make: Chevrolet 4L60E
  • Shifter: Camaro w/ custom shift lever


  • Body Style / Material: 1936 Ford roadster one-of-a-kind / steel
  • Body Manufacturer: Marcel’s Custom Metal (Corona, CA)
  • Body Mods: Hand Shaped steel & aluminum panels formed over custom wooden buck
  • Hood: Aluminum
  • Grille: Stainless steel w/ Dan Fink Metalworks (Huntington Beach, CA) Insert
  • Bodywork: Foose Design/Impression Team (Charley Hutton, Jason Martinson, Tom Marcotte, Dennis Graff, Andrew Petterson, Brian Ward)
  • Paint type / Color: BASF / “Chipewter”
  • Painter: Foose Design/Impression Team
  • Headlights / Taillights: PIAA H.I.D. (4) / ’37 Ford buckets, handmade 13 LED bulbs, handmade lens
  • Bumpers: One-of-a-kind Foose Design, chromed steel
  • Other Body Items: Taillights “float” held in position by rear bumper, no visible wiring. All brightwork is chrome (except wheels/polished) handled by Artistic Silver Plating (Signal Hill, CA), block-sanding before chrome handled at Foose Design. One-quarter scale clay model followed by fullsize wooden buck before body was built.


  • Dashboard: Steel, Custom one-of-a-kind, Foose Design
  • Insert / Gauges: Custom one-of-a-kind steel / ’35 Chevy gauges w/ ’34 Chevy graphics
  • Stereo / Speakers: Arc Audio / Clarion
  • Air Conditioning: Vintage Air (San Antonio, TX)
  • Wiring: Peter Morrell, custom
  • Steering wheel: Foose Design, custom
  • Steering column: Modified ididit (Tecumseh, MI)
  • Seats: Cobra Buckets (w/ heaters), narrowed & shortened
  • Upholsterer: Jim Griffin Interiors
  • Material / Color: Leather / Pebble (Canvas Inserts)
  • Carpet: Aircraft Style, Wheat (Tan)
  • Other interior items: Door panels are carbon-fiber wrapped in leather & canvas

Impression Team

Greg Cox, Marcel Delay, Luc Delay, Mark Delay, Dan Fink, Tim Fitzpatrick, Chip Foose, Lynne Foose, Bryan Fuller, Dennis Graff, Steve Greninger, James Griffin, Jim Griffin, Erik Hanson, Jason Hoeft, Charley Hutton, Karl Jonasson, Steve Jones, Tom Marcotte, Jack Mattson, Leonard McGlaughlin, Don Miller, Peter Morrell, Jason Mortenson, Rafael Navarro, Doug Petterson, Leila Reister, Scandinavian Hot Rods, Mike Schott, Lynne Stout, Matt Sullivan, Chuck Svatos, Trent Trimble, Andy Wallin, Brian Ward, John West, Kathy White, Sid White, Dave Willey, Roger Willis, Aaron Youngerman

Impression Foose Design

They say some of the best ideas begin as doodles on a napkin. Well, the first concept sketches of the Impression were no different. During a dinner with Ken Reister, armed with only a pen and without his trusty sketchpad, Chip reached for the closest item available, his dinner napkin. So began a 7 year odyssey that would lead to the creation of perhaps the finest vehicle to come out of Foose Design.

The objective was to create the perfect styling for a mid-30’s roadster. The result was a unique Foose design, a sleeker and longer version of the stock 1936 & 1937 Fords. Impression became one of the rare winners of both America’s Most Beautiful Roadster and the Detroit Autorama Ridler Award, two of the highest forms of praise for any custom automobile.

After their dinner meeting, Chip refined the sketch and sculpted a 1/4 scale model of the design out of clay. Shortly thereafter, work began on the custom chassis, as the wheel base, ride height and suspension components were all established. Next, a mold was pulled from the clay model, which served as the template for the fabrication of a full-size wooden buck to shape the metal over. As assembly and metal forming continued, the timely fabrication process of the parts and components was started.

Impression was not meant to be your average show car, it contains over 4,000 individual hand built parts that were machined and fabricated. Brackets, covers, suspension pieces, trim, mirror, door handles and pedals were just some of the pieces that received the highest level of attention. In fact, only 3 OEM parts can be found on the vehicle; the engine, the transmission and the center section of the rear end. Everything else is handmade, even the tires were custom molded as blanks with a handcut custom tread pattern.

More time was spent on the underside of the vehicle than on the top exterior. The 1/8″ gap between panels was maintained throughout the undercarriage. Brake lines, components and wiring were all hidden underneath. All mechanical fastners have been covered our shrouded, even the shock mounts on the A-arms have custom caps.

Some of the more impressive design elements are also the most subtle. A repeating theme found throughout is the presence of soft-sided triangles. That shape can be found on the pattern of the pedals, the cross-section of the A-arms, the windshield posts, the rear exhaust, the interior accents, the wheels and the side trim, to name a few. Also, you will find the iconic Ford V8 logo not only above the grille and on the center cap of the wheels, but as an illusion created by the headlights custom lens and metalwork.

Truly a masterpiece of hot rod design and elegance, Impression still appears at various car shows across the country. It serves as a benchmark of success for all the hard work done at Foose Design.

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