Boyd Coddington, SEMA Hall of Famer and longtime hot-rod industry icon, died February 27 at the age of 63.
Recognized worldwide as an automotive designer, builder and fabricator of innovative hot rods, Coddington is credited with being the winningest custom-car builder of all time. His accolades include the prestigious Grand National Roadster Show’s America’s Most Beautiful Roadster trophyan honor he claimed on seven separate occasions.
“Boyd was a great innovator and entrepreneur. His passion for cars has touched thousands of people and inspired what has grown into a classic American pastime,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “He is among the individuals who helped shape and influence SEMA. His amazing talent will continue to inspire us for many years to come.”
Coddington’s illustrious career began in his backyard garage in 1976 and flourished to include such milestones as having the only hot rod to ever be displayed in the Smithsonian Institution and having a DuPont production paint, “Boyd Red,” named in his honor. Coddington worked with other top designers, including Larry Erickson, Thom Taylor and Chip Foose who, along with Jesse James, worked in Coddington’s shop for a number of years.
A longtime contributor to charitable organizations, Coddington and his wife Jo founded the Coddington Foundation, a non-profit corporation in 2005. The Coddingtons formed the organization exclusively for charitable and educational purposes to provide terminally ill children with a chance to realize their dream of building a hot rod, which was, in turn, auctioned for charity.
In addition to his induction into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 1995, Coddington was also welcomed into the Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame, the Route 66 Wall of Fame and the National Rod & Custom Museum Hall of Fame, to name but a few. Hot Rod magazine voted him its “Man of the Year’ in 1988.