I have written a little about my association with the legendary Boyd Coddington in the past but thought I would tell you how I met him and became quite involved with him over my years with General Motors. I first arrived in LA in 1984 on a transfer from MN, where I was the Zone Manager. This new assignment was to run our GMC Truck Center and build a new plant on our GM Parts property in Santa Fe Springs. During the new experience, I became involved with several people in the Hot Rod building business.
We had several large trucks on loan to some of these builders but not Boyd. I actually met Boyd at Chuck Lombardo’s California Street Rods who had purchased an Astro from one of our sponsorships. Boyd and I eventually hooked up when I started to customize our new 1988 pickups. I was amazed at Boyd’s ability to predict trends and promote them through his shop in Stanton. Our new plant was complete. And we started to capitalize on the new truck and potential buyers across the US. Boyd built most of them but others also were used to keep up with the demand.
Boyd, soon became a supplier of his famous Billet wheels for trucks. And we became a stocking dealer in our GM Pro Shop, the first in LA. The wheels sold exceptionally well and we could finance them through our sale of the new truck. Boyd and I worked together on building vehicles for the SEMA Show and other major Hot Rod events.
He was also growing and went public with his wheels business. I moved on to a Staff position in the field but our friendship lasted until his passing. I owe a lot of my success in GM to using his marketing and vision. The market was ready for his ideas to use in my marketing skills. He was the mover and shaker in the 80 and 90’s and his smooth look prevailed for many years. He is probably most remembered for his TV show, American Hot Rod, which he filmed at his new shop.
While some people did not like him due to his success, he was a very good person inside and helped people in need on many occasions. He was approachable and you just had to get to know him to understand the brilliance he possesed for building and promoting his business. I am fortunate enough to be the caretaker of one of his creations which he built a clone for me. I will be forever grateful for all he did for me and General Motors.