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Legandary Hot Rod Builder Boyd Coddington Enjoys Being Part of the AMSOIL Family

Innovation and a Passion for Cars

He was born in rural Idaho, but you'd never know it by his trademark Hawaiian shirts and the California lifestyle he exhibits today. His older brothers and their friends were into the early Deuce Roadsters and '32 Coupes, his first introduction to hot rods. From his earliest memories car have been his passion, and through cars he has expressed his genius. Even after a lifetime of designing cars, building cars and driving cars, Boyd Coddington still goes to swap meets and car shows when he has time off. He loves being around both cars and the people who love cars.

This year his business, Boyd Coddington Hot Rods and Collectibles, will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Producing 12 to 15 cars a year in the $100,000-$500,000 price range, Coddington's company in La Habra, California employs 26. High profile owners of a Boyd Coddington original include Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Van Halen's Michael Anthony.

In early summer 2007 AMSOIL and Boyd Coddington formed a relationship that united two pioneers and their groundbreaking companies. Coddington's unique approach to building hot rods had a major impact on the hot rod scene, and A.J. Amatuzio's innovative efforts created the synthetic motor oil market for passenger cars.

It had been Coddington's dream to move to Southern California when he grew up. After serving an apprenticeship for a machinist in Salt Lake City, Utah, the door opened for him to make the move. His machinist experience enabled him to acquire a position at Disneyland, where he learned welding skills and good machining skills. "I actually worked on cars when I got off the graveyard shift," Coddington said. "It worked out very well."

In 1978 he left Disney to start his own business, Hot Rods By Boyd. "I never dreamed it would be like it is today. We couldn't ever find a set of wheels that we liked for the car, so in 1982 we made our first set of billet wheels."

Boyd and contemporary L'il John Buttera, who made his fame building drag-racing funny cars before getting into street rods, were both master machinists who developed new aesthetics for rods. Rather than buy a reproduction of a vintage Ford rearview mirror like the other restoration gear heads, Coddington and Buttera would use a lathe and mill to carve away at a block of aluminum to give it the look of a mirror. Thus was borne the billet phenomenon. Creating and customizing parts from scratch, Coddington gained a reputation and established his name.

Like ripples in a pond, others emulated the new concept but missed the point of what they were doing. By using predesigned programs they became mass production houses, losing the sense of art behind the personalized craftman approach. Coddington's style was to never mass produce anything.

His high standards led to magazine coverage, which in turn resulted in enough fame to attract wealthy customers from other states who made their pilgrimages to Coddington's garage to obtain one-of-a-kind cars that made a statement. Vern Luce's so-red '33 coupe and Jamie Musselman's roadster became touring hits in the show circuit, increasing his visibility and the appreciation for his talents. His red cars were so eye-smashing that Dupont created "Boyd Red" as a production color, followed by "Boyd Hot Hue," Boyd Yellow Mellow" and "Boyd Black in Black."

Coddington avoided the loud ultra-flashy graphics that were making their appearance in the effusive 1980s. Coddington's cars had an attitude that set them apart from the herd. His personalized cars were unique without being weird, stopping people in their tracks by their beauty and style, not freakishness. Flawless metalwork and paint were givens. Coddington had the ability to take an inner vision and transform it into contours that subtly bring the original design to a new harmonious line.

Cars built at Coddington's garage have won the prestigious "America's Most Beautiful Roadster" an unprecedented seven times and the Daimler-Chrysler Design Excellence Award twice. Coddington has been inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame, the Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame. In 1988 he was voted Hot Rod magazine's "Man of the Year."

A lot has changed since those earlier times. "What's happened with the car culture today is that it has become a lifestyle. A lot of people like that lifestyle and that's what they do. They get up and live their whole lives around their automobiles." he explained.

Though Coddington says he hasn't really changed, he admitted there can be a downside to fame. "You're going through the airport and you're really late and a guy is standing there with his two boys. You're late, you've got to catch a plane and the guy says, 'We watch your show every week. Our boys love you and we want to get a picture. What are you going to say?" Coddington stops for the photo.

During the interview, a father and his three sons from Oklahoma came over and asked, "Are you Boyd Coddington?" To their delight it was so. A few minutes later they returned with a camera and had their photos taken together. They said they never missed a show. "What we want to do is get back to people like this," Coddington said after they left. "You don't have to spend a lot of money to get back to people like that. We're going to have a car contest called America's Most Beautiful Home-Built Car. Guys like this, not professionals. These are the guys who will never have one of those cars that we build on TV. We can influence them."

AMSOIL began its Coddington sponsorship with the Tulsarama, Oklahoma's 100th anniversary celebration in mid-June of 2007. Coddington and his crew were called upon to bring a '57 Belvedere to life after 50 years preserved in an underground vault. The intention was to install AMSOIL lubricants and filters in the classic hardtop. Unfortunately, decades of water seepage resulted in the Belvedere being unsalvageable. The relationship with Coddington soon evolved and his next AMSOIL undertaking was a Bonneville build. The aim would be to set a new record for the fastest pre-1934 roadster, 3 liter/blown gas/modified with Jo Coddington at the wheel. The building of the AMSOIL/Coddington roadster, dubbed "Salt Fever," would be filmed and shown on TLC's American Hot Rod.

Coddington was well-acquainted with AMSOIL products before partnering with the company. "I had heard about how good AMSOIL (synthetic oil) was. We actually tried some for a break-in on a couple of cars. We were told you can't break-in motors with synthetic, but with AMSOIL you can," he said.

"I'm working on a couple jobs for the government right now, and AMSOIL made all the difference in the world. AMSOIL makes great products. It's very exciting to see when I talk people into using it as a break-in oil how fast the rings seated," he added, declaring, "That's what I like. When you're talking about something and you believe in it, you know it's good."

Coddington, who has been inpressed at how knowledgeable AMSOIL Dealers are, had the following advice for Action News readers: "Be really honest, give good service and just believe in your products. With those things you can't go wrong."

So, what is the Boydster like up close and personal? He's serious but also warm. His mind is ever-active, and he still has an undying passion for cars.



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Premium AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils offer the longest drain intervals on the market, unsurpassed protection and performance that effectively extends equipment life and improved fuel economy, saving customers money at the pump and reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

"AMSOIL INC. warrants that the use of its lubricants will not cause mechanical damage to any mechanically sound equipment when AMSOIL INC. products are used in full compliance with the company's recommendations and instructions."


AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are formulated to surpass engine test specifications, offering protection far greater than competing motor oils for extended drain intervals. Most synthetic oil manufacturers make no claim to extended drain intervals, deferring to the maintenance schedule provided by the vehicle manufacturer. With its unparalleled oil and warranty program, AMSOIL offers consumers unprecedented protection and economics.

Another AMSOIL First

More than 20 years ago, AMSOIL began using the NOACK volatility test as a comparison tool and measurement of quality. Back then, nearly every oil tested side-by-side with AMSOIL synthetic motor oils failed, and those that passed barely squeaked by. Other oil companies paid no attention to NOACK results until Ford Motor Company made it a requirement for service fill oils, validating what AMSOIL had said all along.

THE NOACK Volatility Test
The NOACK Volatility Test determines the evaporation loss of lubricants in high temperature service. The more motor oils vaporize, the thicker and heavier they become, contributing to poor circulation, reduced fuel economy and increased oil consumption, wear and emissions. AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil resists high temperature volatization better than other motor oils. AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil maintains peak fuel efficiency and reduces oil consumption and emissions.

AMSOIL Now An ISO Certified Manufacturer
AMSOIL recently received ISO 9001:2000 certification of our Quality Management System (QMS). NSF International Strategic Registrations is the registrar that has verified our QMS meets the requirements of the ISO 9001:2000 standard, the most widely utilized quality standard throughout the world for quality management systems. ISO standards are used by over 300,000 companies worldwide setting rigorous standards for businesses, government and industry.

ISO 9001:2000 is applicable to any manufacturing and service organization providing a framework for system development that focuses on the customer, quality system performance and ongoing improvement. AMSOIL received ISO 9001:2000 registration under the scope: synthetic lubricants blending, packaging, and other fulfillment directly associated with lubricant product.

The ISO certification puts AMSOIL in line with some of the most efficient companies in the world. It is further assurance that the products and services AMSOIL provides will continue to maintain the high level of quality the company always demanded.

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