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Chip Foose’s Ridler Award: Building Impression


Well now when it comes to impression, that’s
a whole new animal because both the Grandmaster and the
stallion we’re starting with an original car. An impression started with just napkin
sketch where I went to dinner with Ken Reister.
We were talking about building another car for Ken and he said he wanted to build like a 36 to 44 so I did several sketches and we picked on
this one where I kinda picked a 34 style body with 36 fenders mid-thirties European influences and then we actually built a quarter
scale model, sectioned that, built a wooden buck. We built
the frame we build all the suspension we actually hand shaped the entire body
and every single component on that car is hand-built other than starting with
the ls1 motor 700r4 transmission and the center section from a Corvette
in the rear end. I used 34 Chevy gauges in changing colors on them but every component
is handmade for that car. The best part of impression is the
fact that we weren’t having to work around
existing lines. I got to design what I wanted to build.
There is no place on that car that you’ll find a piece of sheet metal
or bracket that is bolted to another surface. If
there was something that needed to be bolted to a surface that surface was sunken and that piece
was bolted in radius to fit and every single line on
that car inside outside underside everywhere is treated like a door gap on a car.
There is nothing that isn’t flush with just a line through it. I
chose a color that was very muted I did not want the color to be the statement
the car I wanted the car to be the statement. The
other reason for this is it’s timeless. It’s just a beautiful color and when someone is going to spend this kind of
money on a car I don’t want them looking at the car five years from now saying wow that color really dated the car, I
need to change it. And the other thing is I also studied Ken Reister’s wife Leila. I looked at the
color of clothing that she wore. I looked at the way
she decorated her house and I knew that she would like this
color I’m building it for Ken, but he’s got a wife
and you gotta make the wife happy to and she absolutely loved the colors on this
car. I chose that real deep green kind of an olive almost gray canvas top and we
used that color even in the seats and I really tested Jim Griffin on that
one because I want to use these little v8 logos and
out of the v8 logo comes a French seam. In front of the v8 logo is the same piece
of material but there’s no seam in it and when I asked him if he could bring a
French seam out of a piece of material starting from a logo, he says oh I’ve
never seen that done because usually you’re cutting the materials sewing it
together and then stitching on both sides of it. This is
something where we had to cut the material, cut a v out of it be able to
wrap it then sew it together put the v8 logo
and stitch around it and it was a real test but we are able
to do it and there are seven pieces of that example through the car. You know I’ve never done
the research I don’t know if there’s ever been another complete
concept car that has won the river but would be nice
if this was the only one

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