Chip Foose Builds A Full Custom 1971 Ford Mustang SportsRoof
Beyond Restomod: Chip Foose melds 1971 and 2011 to create a one-of-a-kind, factory-appearing 1971 SportsRoof for the ages.
Combining old and new to build a high-tech restomod Mustang is not new—this magazine has featured many such builds over the years, including recently. But the car you see here goes above and beyond the typical restomod project, which is no surprise considering who built it.
Chip Foose is a household name, thanks to the magic of television. The star of Overhaulin’, and any number of other automotive-centric TV shows, Chip grew up under the tutelage of his famous customizer father, Sam Foose, known for his customs and an innate knack for chopping a top. Chip learned his amazing metal-crafting ways under Sam but had “the eye” for design that led him to the Art Center College of Design in Southern California, the school that has cranked out many of the world’s leading automotive designers.
Thankfully for us, Chip is a red-blooded American hot rodder, so upon graduation he veered into our lane instead of working for an OE. He went to work for Boyd Coddington (probably the most famous street rod builder of the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s), designing many award-winning rods and also the iconic line of Boyd Coddington Wheels that were on top of every car guy’s wish list in the ’90s. What separates Chip from other designers is that not only can he envision how to improve a car’s look, he also has the chops to pull it off all by himself, using tools as simple as a hammer and dolly to sophisticated machines and techniques. The list of awards that Chip has won boggles the mind.
When we heard he was putting his touches on a Mustang, we knew it was going to be over the top, but in a subtle way—and man, is it ever. The idea for this car came from its mysterious owner known only as “Dr. Honda” in Japan. Honda had two Mustangs in his collection/museum in Japan—a 1971 Mach 1 and a 2011 GT—and he loved them both but wanted to combine the two into a single car that looked like a production car, not a hot rod. There was only one person that he could think of that could masterfully pull that off: Chip Foose. Honda trusted in Chip’s vision enough to turn him loose on the design and build of the car, with the only instructions being to make it look cool and drive like the modern Mustang. From there, Chip shifted his fertile and creative mind into overdrive, broke out his sketchpad and pencils, and got to work ... read more