SEMA: American Hot Rods rebuilds a Boyd Coddington Ford Roadster

SEMA: American Hot Rods rebuilds a Boyd Coddington Ford Roadster
(Bret Hartman/ For The Times)

LAS VEGAS– The 1931 Ford Roadster was familiar to Duane Mayer.

He originally oversaw the construction of the brilliant red pickup truck in 2006 back when he was project manager for legendary Southern California hot rod designer Boyd Coddington.   

But in the years that have passed, Coddington died and the Ford fell in disrepair. It was an emotional event when the truck’s owners came to Mayer and asked him to refurbish it.

Photos: Highlights from the 2012 SEMA Show

“There’s a lot of memories tied up in Boyd’s cars,” Mayer said. “This truck, in particular, was great to work on again.”

The refurbished Ford Roadster was featured at the Specialty Equipment Market Assn. trade show in Las Vegas.

The truck was built La Habra-based Boyd Coddington Hot Rod Shop for White Cap Construction Supply as a promotional vehicle to appear at the company’s 250 stores across the nation. The Ford’s build was featured on the third season of the Discovery Channel’s TV series “American Hot Rod.”

But along the truck’s travels, it took a beating getting loaded and unloaded from tractor-trailers. So when White Cap decided to sell the truck, company officials came to Mayer and his company American Hot Rods in Anaheim.

Powered by a small block Chevrolet 350 engine with fuel injection, the Roadster is painted “Boyd Red” with clear coat and decked out with red leather interior installed by Gabe’s Custom Interiors in San Bernardino.

“It looks just as good, if not better than it did originally,” Mayer said of the 5-month restoration, estimating White Cap’s total investment in the Roadster has been around $100,000.

After the SEMA show, White Cap plans on putting the truck on auction.

Coddington, a diabetic, died in 2008 at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier of complications stemming from surgery. But his cars continue to be showcased at auto events each year, and when they need to be restored, the owners often come to Mayer.

“I get a lot of Boyd cars in our shop,” Mayer said. “I always welcome them. After spending more than 20 years with Boyd, I got to know his cars pretty well.”


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