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Customizer Chip Foose among latest SEMA Hall of Fame class

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Photos courtesy, Hooker Headers, SEMA.

Chip Foose’s ubiquity in hot rodding and customizing is no mere fluke of reality television. Instead, the custom car designer’s more than 25 years in the hobby have not only helped to shape its aesthetic but also turned many a casual observer of cars into a full-fledged hobbyist, two reasons why the Specialty Equipment Market Association decided to induct Foose into its hall of fame.

The son of another customizing legend, Sam Foose, Chip Foose began drawing cars and working alongside his father at age 7 and, at the urging of designer Alex Tremulis, enrolled in the Art Center College of Design. By the time he graduated from the college with a major in automotive design in 1990, he already had several years of experience under his belt designing cars for supplier ASHA Corporation and had struck up a business relationship with Boyd Coddington.

The latter kept the native Southern Californian in the land of hot rodding, both literally and figuratively. Following graduation, he accepted a job offer with Ford, but Coddington made a better offer and Foose stuck with drawing hot rods for a living from then on out. Foose eventually founded his own design firm in 1998, and while his fame built over the years through television shows such as Overhaulin’ and Rides, he’s also designed seven America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Award winners and four Ridler Award winners.

Along with Foose, SEMA has selected Gary Hooker and Matt Agosta for its hall of fame’s class of 2016. Hooker, founder of Hooker Headers, now owned by Holley, only set out to create the company after building a set of headers for his own drag racing efforts and soon found himself supplying the likes of Grumpy Jenkins and Bob Glidden. Agosta, according to SEMA’s press release, is “among the most active members in SEMA history” due to his time as a SEMA board member, council chairman and a member of SEMA’s Political Action Committee in addition to serving as the president of Steele Rubber.

SEMA’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place July 29 at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center in Pomona, California. For more information, visit