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Classic Cars Wiki

American Hot Rod was a television programme aired on Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel between 2004 and 2008. It revolved around the crew at Boyd Coddington's custom car shop in La Habra, California and their efforts to build custom cars and hot rods by a very short deadline. The programme continued until the unfortunate death of Boyd Coddington in February 2008 and the shop closed for the last time on June 20th 2008. It was known for the constant turnover of crew members dew to dismissals, walkouts and firings.

Vehicles built include: 1929 Ford 'Alumatub', '61 Impala Bubbletop, '63 Chevy Corvette Sting Ray, '42 Woodie and a '57 Cadillac Elvis tribute car sponsored by Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Repeats are still aired most evenings on Discovery Channel.

Crew Members[]

  • Boyd Coddington: owner, died on February 27th 2008 from complications from recent surgery
  • Jo Coddington: Boyd's wife, co-owner, creator of the collectible store, T.V. builds, consignment store, hot rod events, licensing, trademarks: now works for Green Planet Group.
  • Duane Mayer: projects supervisor, now runs his own shop, American Hot Rods Inc.
  • Dan Sobieski: fabricator/assembler, now runs Poor Boys Hot Rod in Boyd's former body shop.
  • Bernt Karlsson: body shop supervisor. Now working at The 401k Club Hot Rod Shop in Anaheim.
  • Justin Bergsto: Body Shop worker
  • Rafael Garcia: Body Shop worker, now works at American Hot Rods Inc.
  • Lee Hayes: Metal worker
  • Jimmy Pett: Fabricator/Assembler

Departures (in order of exit)[]

  • Sean Dooley: metal worker, fired by Boyd during the "65 Ford Mustang" build for insubordination to Duane.
  • Jimmy "Tig" Krauss: metal worker, also leaves during the "65 Ford Mustang" after multiple bust ups with Chad "Bluebear" Geary.
  • Chad "Bluebear" Geary: junior fabricator/assembler, fired for insubordination during the rat rod build-off. Against Boyd's explicit orders, Bluebear insisted on building the car like an old skool ho without boxed frame rails.
  • Charley Hutton: Bodyshop supervisor, leaves Boyd's company after deciding to do work for competitor Chip Foose during the '42 Woodie build. Despite offering to return after the work was completed, Boyd said it was a gross breach of trust and told him never to come back. Hutton later appeared on the show Rides, it said he worked for Chip Foose and won a Ridler Award. Later Hutton appeared on Overhaulin'. He subsequently opened his own custom paint shop in Idaho.
  • Andrew "Beetle Bailey" Petterson: Bodyshop worker, left at the same as Hutton and went to work for Chip Foose.
  • Al Simon: Chassis builder, quits during the Bud Light build-off though he subsequently returned to the shop. now has his own shop
  • Mike Curtis: Machine Shop Supervisor, fired for designing motor cycle wheels for competitor Chip Foose in his free time. Curtis later appeared on Overhaulin'.
  • Roy Schmidt: Metal worker, died, aged 64, after a long battle with lung cancer.
  • Thomas Loddby: Fabricator/assembler, left to start a shipping business but later returned to work part-time.
  • Louie Biegler: metal worker, sacked after doing hardly any work during his two weeks of employment.
  • Brad Johnston: Fabricator/assembler, left after failing to turn up for work on a Saturday during the "61 Impala Bubbletop" build. Accused Duane of bullying and Boyd of never being around the shop.
  • Scott Parker: Fabricator/Assembler, left to work for himself but ended up working for Chip Foose.
  • Willie Johnstone: Bodyshop painter, returned to New Zealand and opened his own custom paint shop in Tauranga.
  • Liz Miles: fabricator left the company, as claimed by the company's statement, after the show's producer set Liz up to work on Jo’s Hot Rod. But according to Miles's biography, she was asked to leave the company because of issues with Boyd's wife, Jo Coddington. Now a freelance writer.

First Season (2004)[]

Title Original Airdate

'Junkyard Dog' (4 parts)

Boy Coddington and crew resurrect a '56 Chevrolet Bel Air found in a junkyard.


'Alumatub' (5 parts)

The crew build an aluminium '29 Ford Model A hot rod from scratch.


'32 Hi-Boy Roadster

Boyd resurrects a '32 Ford Hi-Boy Roadster.


Second Season (2004-05)[]

Title Original Airdate

'65 Ford Mustang' (3 parts)

The team rebuild a '65 Ford Mustang 2+2 Fastback rescued from a barn. She is nicknamed 'Crazy Horse'. Sean Dooley and Tig Krauss are dismissed.


'Rat Rod' (4 parts)

Boyd and Bluebear compete to build a pair of Ford rat rods. Bluebear is dismissed.


'42 Woodie' (3 parts)

The team rebuild a '42 Woodie. Fed up with the tight deadlines, Charley leaves to join rival Chip Foose.


'63 Chevy Corvette Sting Ray' (3 parts)

The team build a '63 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray to serve as a street car, show car and race car for Sean Dove. Lee joins.


'Bud Light Car' (3 parts)

Boyd builds a car for Budweiser by converting a '36 Ford Coupé into a roadster for the launch of Bud Light. Bernt Karlsson joins but Al leaves.


'Hildebrandt Car' (3 parts)

Vern Hildebrandts father turned his '34 Ford Roadster in to a hot rod in 1954. Now Vern wants it restored. Mike leads the restoration.


'59 Chevy Low Rider' (4 parts)

A '59 Chevrolet Impala is transformed into a California-style low rider. Nicknamed 'Ghetto Princess', it was shown to the U.S. Marines along with a matching motorcycle. Mike is dismissed.


Third Season (2005)[]

Title Original Airdate

'Make-a-Wish Car' (3 parts)

Boyd's Crew build the 'MaxHEMI', a custom car based on the shell of a '63 Dodge Polara with a 472 cu in Hemi engine, designed by 17 year old Max Cohen, who is fighting leukaemia. Thomas leaves. The car was auctioned and raised over $500,000 for charity.


Fourth Season (2006-07)[]

Title Original Airdate

'54 Corvette and 55 Chevy' (3 parts)

The team have to complete a '54 Chevrolet Corvette and a '55 Chevrolet for the SEMA show, as well as helping Boyd's son complete a Honda for the same show. Roy passes away and the 'Vette is dedicated to him.


'56 Chevy Convertible' (3 parts)

The team have to build a '56 Chevrolet convertible. Louie Biegler is fired.


'61 Impala Bubbletop' (4 parts)

The teamhave to build a '61 Chevrolet Impala. Tony is off work after a car accident and Brad and Scott walk out.


'40 Ford'

The team have to build a '40 Ford.


'36 Roadster'

The crew have to build a '36 Roadster.


'44 Woodie'

The crew have to build a '44 Woodie.


'31 Truck'

The crew have to build a '31 Truck.


'57 Chevy'

The team have to build a '57 Chevrolet for the 50th anniversary of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Company. The car was sold and the money given to charity.


Fifth Season (2007)[]

Title Original Airdate

'Hershey' (3 parts)

The crew build a 1957 Cadillac Coupe De Ville as an Elvis tribute car for Reese's.

July 2007

'SoBe' (3 parts)

The team build a 1960 Mercury Woodie for SoBe.

August 2007

'59 Corvette' (3 parts)

The team build a '59 Chevrolet Corvette

August 2007

'Bonneville Racer' (3 parts)

The team works to complete a 1926 Ford Model T for Jo Coddington to use at Bonneville Speed Week

September 2007

External Links[]