Six Questions with Chip Foose, Designer of the Chrysler Foose Velocity 300

Six Questions with Chip Foose, Designer of the Chrysler Foose Velocity 300Chip Foose hand-rendering a sketch of the Overhaulin’ design.

Car fans visiting Las Vegas in late October 2012 were treated to a car show within a car show. More precisely, the Overhaulin’ crew filmed an episode of their hit TV program in front of a live audience and right from the floor of SEMA, one of the largest auto shows in the world.

This special on-site episode features the overhauling of a new 2012 Chrysler 300S. Chrysler fans can enter for a chance to win this car by visiting the 300 Overhauled contest tab on the official Chrysler Facebook page. Just don’t click away before reading our interview with Chip Foose, the man behind it all, who you can see along with the entire Overhaulin’ team by tuning in Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. to Velocity.

Forward Look: Why did you choose a Chrysler 300S to overhaul at the 2012 SEMA show in Las Vegas?

Chip Foose: I chose the 300S for its great design, knowing it was perfect to create the Chrysler Foose Velocity 300. I wanted the car to be elegant and sporty and appeal to a large crowd.

FL: Did this particular vehicle present any unique design challenges? Were there any features or design elements you wanted to be sure to preserve?

CF: The largest challenge was splitting the car for the two-tone paint job. The layout needed to enhance the design without crossing any body lines. I brought the line up in back to avoid going through the tail lamps and also gave the illusion of a rear wing. I followed the reflective Z pattern at the back of the front wheel-arch to cradle the Velocity “V” and paralleled the shape of the headlamps to enhance the wide stance and accent the Mopar Accessories chrome-and-black grille. And I want to thank Chrysler for all their generosity providing the Chrysler 300S for our SEMA build.

FL: For much of the build at the SEMA show, you had a live audience watching the process. How did that affect the energy of the event, if at all? Did it make things more exciting or more difficult?

CF: I’ve always enjoyed the live audience. The interaction between the crowd and the A-Team is energizing, plus no one can relax. It’s like having a boss watch over you. You have to perform.

FL: What challenges come with overhauling a car at a remote location? Do you have to scale back the operation, or do you just figure out how to overcome the challenges?

CF: The largest challenges are the fact that we can’t weld or paint inside SEMA. An older car with rust or damage won’t work out, so the new Chrysler 300S worked out perfect, with plenty of upgrades from Mopar Performance and Mopar Accessories, and then the off-site body shop, Exoticar Paintworks, added a great field trip, and MHT’s one-off 300 wheels helped deliver one very cool ride.

FL: What do you think of the SEMA show in general? Did being there inspire you?

CF: I’ve been going to the SEMA show now since 1985 and have never missed one. It’s the show of shows for any automotive enthusiast. I’m always inspired by the innovative products and vehicles on display. This is the ultimate car guy show. And I want to thank SEMA for all their help throughout the week.

FL: Were you happy with the way the SEMA car turned out?

CF: I am very pleased and proud of with the way the Chrysler Foose Velocity 300 turned out. This car looks like it could tear up the streets with its powerful stance and Hemi® power, and it can roll up and turn heads at a red carpet event as one of Hollywood’s elite exits the two-tone elegant cruzer.

*Please note that first prize in the Chrysler “300 Overhauled” sweepstakes is the actual vehicle featured in the SEMA episode. A replica 300S to be produced at a later date was awarded to the winner of the raffle at the end of the episode.

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