Like so many projects in the Hot Rod industry the Smoodster saw it’s conception in a different garage. It was Larry Erickson of ZZ Tops CadZZilla and his sheet metal man Craig Naff who teamed up again for something equally high standard and from scratch! They would use the inspiration form a 37 cabriolet. They used a GM frame , 92 Corvette engine and Corvette front and rear suspension. All tested to do a good job when someone likes to drive fast. A wooden shell was made the get the right proportions and everything was hand fabricated the old fashion way. But some time later that run out of energy and road to do all this and Boyd with his very talented designer Chip Foose took over. They retained the overall shape of the original Erickson /Naff car they they was calling “Thirty something”. The original wheels were 14”, but Boyd changed that to 16” up front and 18” in the back. All wheels was made from big blocks of aluminum.. The car was low and lots of work and care went into fabricating the exhaust system, running under the running boards. And they were looking for a very comfortable driving position, paying lots of attention to seats and pedals.
The art deco nose was all hand made by George Gould and Chip at Boyd’s shop, one piece at the time. You can ask how much art and how much mechanical skill?? All this are made by big stamping machines with normal cars, here they make it all by hand and end up with a equal tight fit. I admire such mechanical and creative brain so much, and that is why I promise them when we are on my location after maybe years of constructions, that I now will do an equal good job photographing the car. Boyd was looking for a true roadster and not at all a trailer queen. To prove this he and famous hot rod writer Gray Baskerville drove the car to Lincoln Nebraska on that years Rod and Customs Americruise. We have lost both such heavyweights in the Hot Rod Industry; Gray always had time for me when I was visiting his Petersen Publishing office. I a very much a junior photographer was giver lots of advice and pointers to my photographer. Boyd’ wife, Jo keeps his memory alive at all social Medias. He always asked me what he could do for me at his Stanton shop where his doors were open for me to walk any place. It is a good feeling to place a few of his cars in this book..