If you’re a keen fan of car renovations, then there’s no way you don’t know who Chip Foose is. His show “Overhaulin’” has been on TV for so long that it’s not exaggerating to say it has achieved legendary status in the genre of car flipping shows, and in the reality TV industry in general.
While “Overhaulin’” is impressive enough in catering to people of all ages and tastes, Chip Foose’s career in the car industry is just as successful. With over three decades in the field and a whole lifetime of acquired knowledge, it’s not surprising that the appreciation of Chip’s design work extends far beyond the TV screen.
Seeing how successful he is, it’s no wonder that many people are interested in knowing how rich he actually is. Here we will tell you all details about Chip’s financial status, his net worth, businesses, car collection and so much more, so keep with us!
Is Chip Foose Rich?
Seeing how lengthy his career in the automotive and TV businesses is, it’s not surprising to find out that Chip Foose is indeed doing well money-wise.
With over three decades in the automotive field, but an entire life of experience as a designer and fabricator, Chip’s popularity extends well beyond the US, and so does his business. His career in the entertainment world is just as impressive, counting appearances in several TV shows, and later becoming a producer.
Knowing all of this, Chip Foose’s net worth is estimated at over $18.5 million, which is resulting from his business Foose Design, sponsorships, awards and media appearances.
His Business Nowadays
Most people’s knowledge of Chip Foose’s profession is limited to only what shows such as “Overhaulin’” let us see, unknowingly ignoring that his career off-screen is just as prolific as what he does on air.
Out of all of his accomplishments, his company Foose Design is undoubtedly his most successful creation, allowing him to establish a brand focused on his biggest passion.
Centered in designing, model making and fabrication of trademark auto body parts, Foose Design’s well-deserved worldwide fame attracts a wide variety of customers, starting from those who only want somewhat of an unique car for themselves, ending with those who commission Chip to create and build some of the most gorgeous and understandably expensive auto projects.
Based in California’s Huntington Beach, Foose Design takes pride in fabricating products meant for individuals or big companies without losing its trademark style and high levels of excellence. Unsurprisingly, Foose Design’s contributions to the entertainment world go beyond “Overhaulin’”, building cars featured in films such as “Gone in 60 Seconds” and “Blade Runner”. As if that wasn’t enough, Chip’s company designed some of the auto schemes shown in the “Cars” animated saga.
All of this just confirms why Foose Design has a legendary status in the car industry.
Chip Foose’s first stint in the entertainment world was in 2000, when he became an off-screen consultant for the comedy series “Titus”. Though his job in the series consisted of advising the crew on details related to cars featured in it, he actually made an appearance in the series acting as a car show participant.
In 2003 he made his first reality show appearance in “Rides” for an episode centered on Foose Design. The following year, he finally debuted as the main host and expert in “Overhaulin’”, but having his own show didn’t deter him from appearing in other productions such as the documentary “SEMA: After Hours”, in addition to featuring in talk shows as populars as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”.
Besides “Overhaulin’”, Chip’s long-term appearances on TV include being a judge in the competition show “Ultimate Car Build Off”, as well as the host of “American Icon: The Hot Rod”, which explored the history of the automotive industry in America.
More recently, Chip has been featured in the popular shows “Chasing Classic Cars” and “Ant Anstead Master Mechanic”, proving once again that his popularity as an expert designer and builder is well deserved.
For a man with such a wide knowledge of everything car-related, it’s difficult to guess what’s in his personal collection, stored in Foose Design headquarters in California.
Unsurprisingly, Chip’s collection includes eclectic and daringly designed cars, without leaving aside the most classic and vastly elegant models, as the specialized website HotCars.com reported. Starting with a silver 2006 Ford GT Chip’s wife gifted him for his 50th birthday, we can tell he not only likes race-ready looking cars, but also pairs this taste with a powerful 5.4L V8 engine he designed himself.
Another one of his most memorable autos is the P-32, which was built over a 1932 Ford but redesigned to tribute the B-25 Mitchell and the P-51 Mustang, two legendary World War II aircraft. The olive green Foose Cooper is next on the list, with a design so daring that it distracts you from its price tag of $298,000.
Chip also owns an engine red 1971 Pantera, a classic Italian model manufactured by De Tomaso, the design of which remains the same as the original, except for its custom designed wheels and new engine.
Last but not least, we have the Madam X, which was originally a 1939 Cadillac that Chip fully modified to resemble a concept art by the legendary late auto designer Art Ross. This completes the list of some of the most impressive but unsurprisingly expensive and luxury cars in Chip’s garage.
While sometimes TV tends to hype up its stars’ talent to make them look more impressive for the audiences, that is not the case here.
Chip’s decades-long career is acclaimed and well recognized by the automotive industry.
The first professional recognition awarded to Chip was the Street Rod of the Year by the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association, which he won for the first time in 1990, and continued to do so on six other occasions over the following two decades. Chip Foose Design were also awarded the Most Beautiful Roadster on eight occasions, the first in 1995.
In 2002, Chip won the Ridler Award from America’s Greatest Hot Rod Show for the first time, receiving such honorable recognition again in 2003, 2005 and 2015. In 2011 the Swedish specialized magazine Bilsport awarded Chip their Best Hot Rod prize, followed in 2014 by the award Best Custom Car for his “Cool Air” design, at the NACE Cars Expo.
Nonetheless, probably the biggest reward in Chip’s career was to be inducted into the Hot Rod Hall of Fame in 1997, the youngest person so honored.
To count a few of the other halls of fame to induct Chip, we can mention the Darryl Starbird Rod & Custom Car Museum, the Grand National Roadster Show, and the Detroit Autorama “Circle of Champions”.
For a man so successful and accomplished as Chip Foose is, it doesn’t come as a surprise that he’s a dedicated philanthropist. He currently serves as the Vice Chairman for the Progeria Research Foundation, focused on developing a treatment and possibly cure for Progeria syndrome, a disease known for causing cardiovascular complications along with rapid aging.
Chip’s involvement with this cause comes from his personal experience, as his younger sister Amy Michelle died of Progeria at only 16 years of age. Nonetheless, Chip has also shown his support for other children-focused charity organizations.
By collaborating with the Cares Committee of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), Chip has served as a temporary Grand Marshal in charity funds events such as the Show N’ Shine gala, proudly considering it a way to give back to his industry: ‘I can’t think of a better way to support these two great children’s charities’.
All in all, it’s evident that besides being talented and having other-worldly creativity, Chip’s heart is quite generous too.
Despite his natural talent in it, Chip Foose didn’t join the car industry by coincidence. His father Sam Foose was the owner of Project Design, a company dedicated to conceptualizing automobiles. It’s unknown when exactly Chip became enamored by autos, but his first experience behind the wheel dates back to when he was 12 years old, and crashed his father’s 1956 Chevrolet 3100 against a Rolls Royce which belonged to a customer.
Though that first experience didn’t turn out well, it wasn’t enough to deter him, as that same year Chip painted his first car, a Porsche 356 gifted to him by his father. Interestingly enough, Chip discovered his love for design when stubbornly refusing to obnoxiously paint one of his father’s custom cars: ‘I think that’s when I really knew that design was something that I was passionate about’, he told Petrolicious.com in 2016.
Chip’s first and biggest inspiration in the car industry was Undoubtedly his father, who became independent at 14 years old, actually founding his own garage on his own, while also working for successful local auto design companies such as Mini Cars and Lift and Aluminum Model Toys. However, Chip’s call into the field came after meeting the acclaimed industrial designer Alex Tremulis, being impressed by the man’s artwork for Ford Motor Company.
Chip Foose first attended the Art Center College of Design in 1982, thanks to a reference Alex Tremulus wrote for him.
However, his stay in college didn’t last long, as financial difficulties made him drop out halfway through his course.
Going back to Santa Barbara, Chip spent the following years working for a variety of customers and auto companies until 1986, when he felt compelled to resume his studies, thanks to his now-wife. As he affirmed in a 2016 interview, his then-girlfriend Lynne refused to marry him unless he completed his education: ‘She says ’I want to marry my intellectual equal. I would like my husband to have a college degree’. I knew I needed to get back to Art Center.’
Leaving marriage as an untouched subject for a couple of years, Chip’s studies were funded by Alain Clenet, who made the young man promise to work for his company Clenet Coachworks once he graduated. His already acquired experience and the time he had previously spent in the Art Center saw Chip advance a couple of terms and graduate faster than usual – his last project was a concept design for Chrysler that he named the “Hemisfear”. Following his return to Santa Barbara, Chip married Lynne.
Although Chip Foose’s first work was in his father’s company Project Design, his real path to independence started in the early 1980s, when he first dropped out of college. By managing his time working for a variety of shops in Santa Barbara, and his own garage, Chip made a name for himself in the local California hot rod industry, eventually having his designs featured in magazines, and even designing a helmet car for the National Football League which caught the attention of Alain Clenet.
A job offer from Clenet wasn’t long coming, but Chip refused, being busy working on other projects for his father. At that time Chip had also already worked for Gene Wildfield, who commissioned him and his father to illustrate the artwork of films such as “Robocop”. However, Clenet didn’t give up easily and continued calling Chip month after month until he agreed to work for him.
Following his return to Santa Barbara after his graduation, Chip worked for Clenet for three years, but also collaborated with Boyd Coddington for free, until he was officially hired by them in 1992.
Eventually Chip became Boyd Coddington Hot Rod Shop’s president until the company filed for bankruptcy in 1998.
How Did “Overhaulin’” Get Started?
Having already founded Foose Design, winning several awards in the field and becoming some sort of a celebrity in the industry, Chip was on the top of his career in the late 1990s.
Given his fame, Chip was contacted by the popular bike builder Jesse James, to co-host the documentary series “Motorcycle Mania”, an offer Chip refused for considering it unfitting for his creative goals: ‘I’m trying to build the most beautiful pieces of rolling art that I can build, and you want to put me on television building these monsters’, he told Petrolicious.com.
Thinking that he didn’t want to build cars that no one would ever drive, Chip continued working by himself, and occasionally featuring in TV shows for a couple of years until 2004, when he recorded a pilot episode building a car for SEMA, which Discovery loved. Right afterwards, “Overhaulin’” was ordered by the network, and the rest is history.
All in all, it’s more than clear that for Chip Foose, becoming a reality star goes far beyond money or luxuries, as his compelling story is much more about inspiring and making dreams come true.