Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ultimate Dream: Turning Foose Loose

I picked up on the Internet pretty fast, but other than that I've always been a little behind the curve when it comes to utilizing new technology. Must be because I'm an old school guy at heart. I only recently discovered that I could watch past television episodes through Netflix. And the first thing I did after making this momentous discovery? A search for "Overhaulin," of course. I just finished viewing the entire series, which ran on TLC for five seasons from 2004 through 2008. I had only seen a few of the shows on the first run.

For those not familiar with the premise, each episode (except for a few where they did custom makeovers of new cars) featured an old junker that was "stolen" from its owner with the help of an insider, usually the wife or husband, and completely restored from the ground up in seven days. No small effort, as you might imagine. It required a crew of a dozen or so people, each an expert in their respective field, working around the clock to meet the deadline. The "A Team," as they were known on the show, was led by master designer Chip Foose, whose credentials speak for themselves. The end result was never anything short of amazing, especially when you consider the truly desperate condition most of these vehicles were in when Chip and his crew got their hands on them, and that they got it all done in a week.

I enjoyed every episode, especially the one that featured a '52 GMC truck, which is the same body style as my '49 Chevy. If I had to pick a favorite, however, the hands down winner would be when the crew turned the tables on Chip, "stealing" his own '56 Ford truck (along with the "Foose" sign from the side of the building - to make it look like the work of a crazed fan) and turning it into an absolute masterpiece. The work was done over several months, while filming for Overhaulin' continued simultaneously. Somehow they managed to keep their little side project a secret from Chip, who was genuinely moved when the finished truck was revealed to him at the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas. Anyone who might harbor doubt that the guy is for real needs to see that episode. Here was the great Chip Foose, master designer, known, respected and honored far and wide in the automotive industry before the first episode of Overhaulin' ever hit the air, with tears flowing freely at the sight of the truck he thought was gone forever. That kind of unbridled emotion cannot be faked. It proves that at the heart of all the attention and accomplishment, Chip Foose is really just a regular guy, just like the rest of us, who genuinely loves employing his expertise to help others realize their dreams.

And now hopefully you understand why I would like nothing more than to sit down with Chip, give him a general vision of my truck if it were to be completely restored, and turn him and his crew loose. Of course, it's far more likely that I'll be cruisin' around with six cylinders, three on the tree and a mix of primer and old green paint until my cruisin' days are over. And that's okay, because I know I'll have just as much fun. But I'll keep dreaming, because if nobody did it, nothing great would ever happen.

Chip Foose Biography


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