This month's cover car is significant in a number of ways. First of all, you've probably figured out by now that this wild custom Shoebox Chevy is owned by Christopher Titus, who is known as an actor, comedian, and one of Hollywood's few true diehard hot rodders. Another interesting note is that Titus has owned this car since he was a teenager. Most importantly, however, is the fact that the highly modified coupe-turned-roadster was built by father-and-son team Chip and Sam Foose-and it's one of the most expensive and far-out custom Chevys we've yet to lay eyes on. Virtually every panel on the car has been massaged to match the original concept sketches Chip penned at the start of the ambitious transformation, and a thoroughly modern undercarriage helps the sleek roadster drive as good as it looks.
The story behind the car sounds like a hot rod fairy tale. Anyone who has ever listened to the man's standup routine or seen his TV show knows that Titus came from an interesting family, and that his main passion in life is a love of cars, especially '56 Chevys. Originally purchased as a nice old two-door coupe when he was 19 years old, Titus began to slowly rebuild his dream ride, which he repeated a few years later when his comedy career began to take off. After signing up with a network to do a sitcom centered around a hot rod shop owner who has problems dealing his family (the main character drove a '56 Chevy, see the sidebar), he decided it was time to step up to the big league and commission famed designer Chip Foose to transform his trusty old ride into the ultimate rolling work of art.
Chip channeled his considerable talents into morphing the clean but boxy lines of a mid-'50s Chevy into a sleek and stylish cruiser. The top needed to come off, the windshield could be raked back, a few bodylines altered, different trim mounted to the sides, and modern underpinnings packed with technology would round out the package. Giant custom wheels would look appropriate, and a super-sano leather-lined cockpit was a must. Once the details were nailed down, it came time to execute the ideas, so Chip called in reinforcements in the form of his father Sam, a well-known custom builder in his own right. A custom tube frame was fitted with C5 Corvette suspension, while a fuel-injected crate motor and overdrive transmission took care of driving duties. What's wrong...the motor in the picture doesn't look like an injected, small-block Chevy? That's because it's camouflaged by a one-off cover that blends the lines of the engine compartment with the rest of the car. Sam cut and shaped every panel on the car to match his son's drawings, then everything was slathered in BMW Silver and GMC Yukon Blue. In the cockpit, a custom dash and console lend the car a jet fight feel, while cut-down Cobra seats were covered in leather by Gabe's Upholstery. Finishing touches include a custom aluminum tonneau cover and removable roof, as well as 20-inch one-off billet wheels by Foose.
So how much green did Titus shell out to achieve his dream? Let's just say that you could buy a pretty nice house and have enough change leftover to throw a moving-in party with a few dozen friends. Was it worth it? He certainly thinks so, as evidenced by the man's ear-to-ear grin when he pulled up at the photo shoot location after cruising across L.A. with the wind in his hair and the purr of a 360-horse V-8 in his ears. That's right, boys and girls, Titus DROVE this car in over two hours of freeway traffic to get where he had to go, with no trailers or car haulers in sight-the sign of a true hot rodder indeed...