Thank goodness that Lee Iacocca, upon exiting Ford on less than rosy circumstances, took his vision of a space-efficient people mover with him to Chrysler. In no uncertain terms, the 1984 Dodge Caravan (and Plymouth Voyager) that grew from the kernel of this idea changed the way families made their way across America. The van was no sports car, but Chip Foose nonetheless enjoys the technical challenge of turning an American icon into something unexpected. Very unexpected.

Chip starts with a wood-paneled Caravan in front three-quarters view and traces its simple form with a significant twist: turning it into a roofless, off-road-style vehicle. His overlay uses many of the lines penned by Chrysler designers, but the end result is something more akin to a contemporary Ford Bronco or Chevrolet Blazer.  The pillarless and roofless (he retained the A-pillar, but layed it down lower) Caravan sports a push bar, nerf bar, roll bar with driving lights and a mild lift kit.

Chip renders his design in a white and red body, with a red roll bar, black nerf bars, and white wheels with red center caps.  The end result is a wicked off-road vehicle that is convincingly rugged. Of course, all of this overlooks the fact that the twin vans were originally derived from a front-wheel-drive Chrysler K-car, but Chip’s creation certainly deserves a Jeep Cherokee chassis and its 4.0-liter, six-cylinder powertrain. Jeep hardware underneath would give it performance worthy of the design. What do you think of the end result?

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The C8 Corvette is the realization of decades of mid-engine Corvette concept “teasers” promising to take America’s Sports Car to the next level of performance and style. While Chip Foose has mixed feelings on the new body style, he appreciates the giant leap forward this generation provides. But can he redesign a C8 to have a stronger connection to Corvettes of the past?

Chip starts his new design with a side profile tracing of the current C8, to ensure it fits on the chassis’ hard points underneath. He also was looking at Corvettes of the past for inspiration. Chip starts by integrating the engine intake scoop, yet there isn’t a panel that he didn’t tweak just to make a more integrated package. The completed line drawing looks undeniably like a Corvette, with call outs to everything from the C2 to the C7. Chip finishes the drawing with a rendering in bright red with dark charcoal wheels sporting polished lips. Did Chip do a good job revising the C8, and making it more of a Corvette?

This episode is presented by PEP BOYS: For over 100 years, we’ve been under the hood, finding better ways to care for cars and the communities that drive them. We provide expert service, letting our passion for automobiles take the wheel. Stop by your local Pep Boys Auto Service and Tires store and experience the Pep Boys Difference.

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Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night can stop Chip Foose from reimagining any vehicle design with a pen and paper. This time Chip takes a crack at the Grumman Long Life Vehicle (LLV), more commonly known as the mail truck. This workhorse of the United States Postal Service (USPS) remains in active use, surviving many years after its intended lifespan. So how could it look a little more … timeless?

Chip starts off with a drawing of the mail truck at front three-quarter view, but he takes liberties with the body to make a clean-sheet redesign: There’s the elongated nose, extra room between the front wheel and front door (i.e. dash-to-axle ratio), sloped roof, slant back tail and a stance that suggests only a custom chassis designed for drag racing could help deliver mail this quickly!

Chip says this tribute to the USPS comes via the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association), and the big wheels, open exhaust, roof top spoilers, and wheelie bars are finished off with a white body—wearing the red and blue graphics made famous by the Postal Service—definitely prove the point. Would it be tough to deliver the mail in a drag-prepped mail truck? Yes. Would it be worth it to see a Foose-ified Grumman roar up your street? Absolutely!

This episode is presented by PEP BOYS: For over 100 years, we’ve been under the hood, finding better ways to care for cars and the communities that drive them. We provide expert service, letting our passion for automobiles take the wheel. Stop by your local Pep Boys Auto Service and Tires store and experience the Pep Boys Difference.

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The Toyota J-series can claim its roots in the 1950s, with inspiration from military-grade Jeeps and a recognizable style that’s become popular around the world. Toyota’s most memorable version of this vehicle is the FJ40 Land Cruiser, which harkens back to a time when Toyota’s ultimate off-road vehicle didn’t coddle occupants with luxury and comfort. Much like the Jeep CJs of the era, it was a raw and visceral experience that focused on function. So how will Chip Foose improve on this original design?

Chip starts by drawing the FJ40 in front three-quarters view, effecting very subtle changes: Relocated fender lights, round mirrors, an extra pair of round driving lights, and rear fender flares (to match the front). His finished drawing is rendered in burnt orange with cream-colored accents and a revised logo on the fender.

In the end, Chip kept the FJ40 Land Cruiser’s design clean and simple, which is true to the off-roader’s ethos. What do you think of the final product?

This episode is presented by PEP BOYS: For over 100 years, we’ve been under the hood, finding better ways to care for cars and the communities that drive them. We provide expert service, letting our passion for automobiles take the wheel. Stop by your local Pep Boys Auto Service and Tires store and experience the Pep Boys Difference.

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Few cars put a generation of motorists behind the wheel on a scale rivaling that of the VW Beetle. In Chip Foose’s view, the ubiquitous People’s Car from Germany is much like a 1932 Ford, in that it deserves to be customized to reach its full design potential. Considering the affordable price and widespread availability of Bugs, it makes sense to go a little wild, so Chip doesn’t hesitate to alter large chunks of the Beetle’s iconic body.

Starts with the Beetle’s famous hood form, Chip naturally extends its lines into the center and rear of the body. The roof and fenders disappear but the doors remain, making an overall form not unfamiliar to owners of ’32 Ford roadsters. Wheels are rendered in a classic “big and little” stance, and soon a classic hot rod emerges from the paper. The drawing wraps up in a basic black and white rendering, as it’s more of an ideation sketch outlining one of the many custom possibilities one could pursue with a VW Beetle.

Chip keeps his sketching technique loose and theoretical, letting your eyes imagine where his creative mind will take the iconic Type 1. What do you think of the final vision?

This episode is presented by PEP BOYS: For over 100 years, we’ve been under the hood, finding better ways to care for cars and the communities that drive them. We provide expert service, letting our passion for automobiles take the wheel. Stop by your local Pep Boys Auto Service and Tires store and experience the Pep Boys Difference.

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The Fox-body Mustang was in production from 1979–93, a revolutionary time period in automotive history. By 1987 the 5.0-liter Mustang benefited from technology we now take for granted, including sequential multi-port fuel injection and aerodynamic flush-mount headlights for lower drag. On top of that, revised emissions controls finally allowed impressive performance.

The Fox-body Mustang was available as a convertible or as a hatchback, but the notchback, the third body style available, was the cheapest, lightest, and stiffest variant. The notchback is now one of the most popular and desirable versions of the Fox-body generation. Let’s see how it takes the subtle tweaks from Chip Foose’s pen.

Chip starts by drawing a Fox-body notch from a roughly front-three-quarter perspective, adding a modest spoiler, a revised quarter window, and a mild ground-effects kit. Before the Fox-body Mustang’s heyday, Lee Iacocca left Ford for Chrysler and took his relationship with Carroll Shelby with him: Chip imagines what could have been if Shelby stuck around to enhance factory Mustangs instead of turbo Chryslers. The proposed Shelby Fox-body Mustang includes wheels that are similar to the 1967–68 Shelby aluminum alloys but are larger and yield a better stance. Foose decks out the Mustang with racing stripes, a more aggressive front bumper, a hood scoop, and graphics befitting the Shelby brand.

It’s a shame that Carroll Shelby couldn’t make a Fox-body Mustang. Did Chip make one worthy of the legendary name?

This episode is presented by PEP BOYS: For over 100 years, we’ve been under the hood, finding better ways to care for cars and the communities that drive them. We provide expert service, letting our passion for automobiles take the wheel. Stop by your local Pep Boys Auto Service and Tires store and experience the Pep Boys Difference.

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Italian carmaker DeTomaso is well known for its Pantera sports car, but the Mangusta both predates the Pantera and bears the name of an animal that’s a natural predator to snakes like the king cobra. While this Italian sports car may or may not be a “cobra killer” in real life, there’s no doubt that Chip Foose appreciates its sleek, elegant design. Let’s see what he can do for this forgotten piece of Italian history.

Chip starts by replicating the Mangusta’s side profile on paper. Aside from relocating the side marker light to move it closer to the wheel arch, he does very little to alter Giorgetto Giugiaro‘s original design. He renders the Mangusta in a vintage olive green, equips it with enlarged wheels, and lowers the suspension to give the body a leaner, meaner stance.

True, this was not a major transformation. Do you think Chip was right for not messing with a car he thinks is close to perfection?

This episode is presented by PEP BOYS: For over 100 years, we’ve been under the hood, finding better ways to care for cars and the communities that drive them. We provide expert service, letting our passion for automobiles take the wheel. Stop by your local Pep Boys Auto Service and Tires store and experience the Pep Boys Difference.

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Very few cars define their era quite like the DeLorean, and its remarkable stainless steel aerodynamic wedge shape with gullwing doors turns heads everywhere it goes. While the body was penned by none other than Giorgetto Giugiaro, it’s clear that the DeLorean was a product of its time and originally designed with safety in mind: the DSV-1 prototype even got its name for being the DeLorean Safety Vehicle. So how can Chip Foose take this stylistic success from another era and make it even better?

Overall, Chip admires Giugiaro’s fine design but sees opportunity to improve the front and rear fascias. He starts with drawing the DeLorean in profile, shortening the front clip’s overhang by extending the front wheel forward. He then takes his sketch to a whole new level by rendering both the front and rear three-quarter views against the same side view.

Chip’s changes include softening the harsh angles of the door’s cutline, replacing the black body perimeter strip with a red one, shortened the rear fascia with a taillamp treatment akin to the original Oldsmobile Toronado and a front fascia with a sleeker bumper and a slight amount of contouring to match the rest of the body.

All the changes make the Delorean a significantly different car, while remaining true to the dramatic, futuristic effect of the original. What do you think of the finished product? Is this reboot worthy of Mr. Fusion and the flux capacitor?

This episode is presented by PEP BOYS: For over 100 years, we’ve been under the hood, finding better ways to care for cars and the communities that drive them. We provide expert service, letting our passion for automobiles take the wheel. Stop by your local Pep Boys Auto Service and Tires store and experience the Pep Boys Difference.

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Dave and Cheri Garvin’s 1929 Ford Model A wagon is more than just metal, wood, tires, wires, and an engine. It’s a daily reminder of Cheri’s dad, Bob Mathers. Not only was the car Bob’s favorite classic vehicle, working on it together strengthened the family bond. Now the Garvins are sharing the automotive passion.

“We always had antique cars,” Cheri says in our latest Why I Drive video. “My dad would buy them in bushel baskets and put them together… [He] was always buying and selling… When you see pictures of us as kids, we’re always standing next to an old car. We used to joke that if the price was high enough, he’d sell us too.”

“He always wanted a woody wagon, and he eventually bought one from a guy who was in an antique automobile club in Boyne City [Michigan],” Dave says. “We worked on it together whenever we’d come up [from Traverse City] for the weekend.”

1929 Ford Model A Woodie
1929 Ford Model A Woodie

1929 Ford Model A Woodie

It was during those many months that the Model A also became Dave’s favorite. After Cheri’s parents passed away within three years of each other, there was no question which one of Bob’s 11 classic vehicles they wanted to hang onto.

“Knowing that I helped with it and knowing that [we’ll] keep it in the family, I think that’s the most fun [thing] about it,” Dave says.

There’s more to operating a Model A than simply jumping inside, turning the key, and driving away. As Cheri explains, “You have to turn on the gas, and then you have to do the spark and mess with the levers and pull out the choke… so [there’s] quite a bit of action getting everything going to get it started. But it starts right up.”

Once on the road, Dave warns that the Model A doesn’t have hydraulic brakes—it has standard mechanical brakes. “You don’t follow too close, because you can push as hard as you can [on the pedal] and it doesn’t stop right away. So we kind of stay back.” Top speed is about 50 mph… downhill.

1929 Ford Model A Woodie

Of course, driving the car isn’t about comfort or speed.

“It’s fun to watch people as you drive by,” Cheri says. “And just the history is so cool—that you get to drive something that’s 90 years old.”

“You’d be surprised how many people wave at ya, beep the horn at ya,” Dave says. “Little kids wave at ya.”

The Garvins drove the Model A to visit Dave’s mother in assisted living, and it turned into an event that the other residents also enjoyed. “They all came out, [and we] gave them a ride,” Dave says. “They were all excited because they remember that kind of car and how it starts, or they remember the ooga horn. That’s why the door is always open, because we want people to enjoy the car, young or old.”

Just as Bob Mathers would have wanted.

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Pickup trucks were designed to get work done. Bare-bones and sturdy, a pickup like Kacy Smith’s green 1972 Chevrolet C10 has years of service in its wake, but now it is in semi-retirement and gets to relax—and help Kacy relax at the same time.

More than pure happenstance, there’s a reason that Kacy and I share the same last name. She is my sister. You might even recognize this pickup from a few of our Hagerty DIY videos. It’s a pickup that has been a part of Kacy’s life for more than a decade now, and her history with it is a story some might recognize.

“I was looking for a project car to work on during my time studying for my Automotive Restoration degree at McPherson College,” Kacy says about the hunt for a fun project. “We had a blue ’59 GMC for years when I was growing up [in Kansas], but it had been sold before any of us were old enough to fix it up.”

That blue GMC might have been the start of Kacy’s love for the utilitarian beauty of pickups. This particular Chevrolet, however, was not a beauty when Kacy exchanged $500 for it and drove it home. It required careful entry and exit to keep from catching either skin or pants on the rotten rocker panels, and the paint was in pretty terrible shape. It was reliable though, starting each time the ignition was turned.

Kacy Smith's 1972 Chevy C10
Kacy Smith's 1972 Chevy C10

Kacy Smith's 1972 Chevy C10
Kacy Smith's 1972 Chevy C10

Kacy drove the Chevy a lot in those first years of ownership, back and forth to summer jobs while doing the necessary maintenance to keep it roadworthy. Even while studying at McPherson, the truck got anything it needed, but a restoration was not yet in the cards. Until…

“I was taking sheet metal fabrication as an interterm class in January 2008, and the professor gave me the option to replace the rocker panels and cab corners,” Kacy says in Hagerty’s latest Why I Drive video. “The only problem was it spiraled out of control from there.”

The ensuing restoration kept the truck in some state of disassembly for almost 10 years. A classmate’s restoration shop in Kansas kept working on the pickup after Kacy moved north to Michigan to work on Hagerty’s claims team in 2009.

“It is rewarding to use my restoration experience to help fellow owners through tough times as they repair their beloved rides,” she says. “It used to wear me down a bit though to talk about classics all day but not be able to enjoy my own.”

Kacy Smith's 1972 Chevy C10

That all changed when she had the truck shipped from Kansas in 2016. While there were still some finishing touches that needed to be done, it was ready to cruise. And cruise it has. A lot.

“Getting out for a drive in this truck is just relaxing for me,” kacy says. “It’s not fast, so I just have to take it easy and relax for a bit whenever I take it out. It might be a lot shinier than it used to be, but I still feel like those days when I was using it on the Kansas backroads.”

Who would have thought a big green pickup would be the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of life? It might be a bit unconventional, but that’s fine by Kacy. The enjoyment of driving her vintage Chevy is a lifelong passion now.

Kacy Smith's 1972 Chevy C10
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