Thursday, 22 September 2011 15:51

Chip Foose on Bringing it to SEMA

Written by Chip Foose

The SEMA show (Specialty Equipment Marketing Association) has always been a big part of Foose Design. I have personally been attending for well over 25 years. Some of our guys at Foose Design first attended more than 25 years ago. One of them even went to the very first SEMA show when it was under the bleachers at Dodger Stadium! For the past ten years Foose Design has featured or unveiled specialty vehicles at SEMA. For three years in a row we built cars live in front of the SEMA audience for TLC’s TV Show Overhaulin’. We were proud in 2005 when Foose Design featured total of 32 Foose Vehicles at SEMA, a record for any designer/fabricator and more than any of the OEM’s that year. So, needless to say, we have history at SEMA.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

For SEMA 2011 Foose design will be featuring three vehicles. We are currently working feverishly like all of the other shops to make the deadline. This year we will be proudly displaying the following Foose Design vehicles:

1957 Mercedes 300SL “Gullwing”
Built on behalf of BASF Corporation the Gullwing was delivered to the Foose Design shop in Huntington Beach, California. This pristine German wonder car is going through a subtle, but significant customization process. Most noticeable, the front and rear bumpers were removed and stored, being replaced by newly custom fabricated units which have been artfully re-designed into slimmer and more elegant versions. The new bumpers fit neatly up against the body for a seamless integrated look. A slight modification to the signature rear bulge above the rear wheel house brings it in line with the front wheel house bulge. Minor modification to the grille and grille shell will still focus on the elegant opening of the stock version. The nose emblem has been removed along with the rear markers with all bodywork being smoothed. New side trim, hand crafted from brass stock has been machined, milled, filed and polished before the final chrome plating. New headlight bezels have been machined out of billet aluminum and carefully fit to the front fenders, which were massaged for a seamless blend of fender to chrome ring. New headlights are being installed for a clean European look. A two tone paint job featuring BASF Waterborne material will combine an upper charcoal silver and a lower bright silver separated by an interior matching red accent line. The separation line is still in the design phase as I want to focus on the elegant body lines of this classic vehicle. We will be installing a custom made set of springs to bring to Gullwing to just the right ride height. A custom set of Foose Wheels shod in Pirelli P Zero Nero tires will finish off the design. If you plan on attending SEMA, make sure to drop by the BASF Booth were we will unveil and feature the BASF Foose Gullwing Project.

SEMA Cares WD40 Feature Vehicle
I can’t tell you much about this car, because it will be a complete surprise and will be unveiled to a live audience at SEMA. For the past couple of years, WD40 Corporation has sponsored the design, fabrication and auction of a vehicle on behalf of SEMA Cars; the Children’s Charity and the Richard Petty supported Victory Junction Camp. Previous vehicles have included a Camaro, and a Mustang, so it’s your guess what this year’s vehicle will be! All I can say is that it will be awesome and All American Muscle!! I am designing the paint scheme and coordinating the efforts on the build which is scheduled to include a full Hotchkis Suspension, Street Scene body modifications, Magnacharger, Pirelli Tires, MHT/Foose Wheels, MagnaFlow Exhaust, Katzkin Leather Interior, and of course BASF Paint. Make sure to stop by the WD40 Booth for the unveiling of this car and stay tuned to the Barrett Jackson Auction in January, Pebble Beach, Florida as this cool car goes across the blocks for the benefit of Children’s Charities. I am thrilled to be involved in such a important project with great partners.

1932 MUROC Roadster “Magnatude”
Based on a design I developed some years back for Jerry Kugel, ten fenderless, and ten fendered versions of this basic design were produced. The elegant roadster body was my design and hand-formed by Marcel De Lay. The result is a custom body that is longer, lower and sleeker than a stock ’32 Ford, but one that retains the all of the character of that iconic roadster.

When Jerry and Maureen Magnuson of Magnusun Supercharger fame purchased theirs, they asked if I would be interested in working with them. When finished mechanically, essentially a blank canvas, it was turned over to us at Foose Design for the all-important paint, interior design and the Foose one-off signature billet wheels. We selected a two-tone BASF Waterborne butterscotch pearl paint with champagne metallic overtones. The buckskin tone leather interior was fabricated by Jim Griffin Upholstery and provides the perfect contrast to the paint. The subtle but artful details such as the hand-form moldings around the Carson top and body, a Duval-style split windshield and the copious amounts of plated and polished components set this ’32 Ford roadster apart from all others. It features an LS-1 Chevy with an intercooled Magnacharger (not surprising, being that Jerry Magnuson is the owner and CEO of Magnuson Products!) Magnitude runs on custom one-off Foose Design wheels 17×7 in front and 20×10 in back and huge Pirelli Scorpion P-Zero tires all around.

Many of the mechanical systems were designed and fabricated by Jerry Magnuson at his supercharger company, Magna Charger that builds superchargers for cars and trucks like Corvettes, Camaros, Hemi Challengers and Hemi Rams. Magnuson’s early background included working on Dan Gurney’s Eagle Indy cars, so his ability to design, fabricate and integrate mechanical systems is second nature. Unique items like the remote actuated hideaway headlights give the Magnatude sleekness and function. The innovative air inlet scoop feeds the Magna Charger supercharged engine that is monitored by a custom billet dashboard. All were engineered and fabricated at Magna Charger. We finished it at Foose Design and debuted it at SEMA 2009.

After SEMA, the Magnatude toured the country hitting the Good Guys car show circuit where it won every competion it entered and garnered the Street Rod d’Elegance Crown at the Goodguys Del Mar Nationals. Jerry Magnuson and his wife Maureen accepted a challenge from the editors of HOT ROD magazine who dared them to drive the Magnatude on the 2010 Hot Rod Power Tour, a 1370-mile cruise that encompassed eight days and seven impromptu car shows. The Magnatude, fresh off the California indoor show circuit, made the trip without incident. HOT ROD readers were thrilled to see this Foose creation in person.

After the Power Tour, the Magnatude was taken to the Good Guys event in Columbus, Ohio where it was critically judged and won the prestigious Good Guys Street Rod of the Year. I am proud of our work at Foose combined with the great skills of Magnuson, and especially with how well it performed on Power Tour.

Hopefully the above details on the above will whet your appetite for more and you will join us at SEMA 2011. It’s bound to be another standout year. If you make it, stop by the Foose Booth out in the front and say hello.

See you at SEMA 2011!!

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