‘Lil’ John Buttera, and Boyd Coddington dead


Boyd Coddington

Boyd Coddington died February 27th in Whittier, Calif., a few miles from his shop where the cable TV reality show “American Hot Rod" was produced, and where he spent much of his adult life. Mr. Coddington lived a life as highly stressed as any of his high-octane creations. On one hand, his vision left a legacy of elevating hot rod design and the use of chrome to high art. On the other, his hard-driving business practices created problems for himself, his employees and even clients.

Though Coddington was a Hot Rod Hall of Fame inductee, he also suffered through bankruptcy and a fraud conviction. He had a keen eye for design, as well as talents who could compete at his lofty, prolific level. His “discoveries" included the likes of Jesse James and Chip Foose, both of whom began their careers with Mr. Coddington before going on to fame, fortune and TV shows of their own in the customizing industry.

John Buttera

03/04/08 John Buttera, who left his stamp upon the drag racing world in the 1970s by building a series of winning Funny Cars and dragsters, created some of hot rodding's most beautiful street rods of the 1980s and 1990s, and built the first billet wheels, died March 2 after a long battle with cancer. He was 67.

He was a fantastic builder of street rods and was the guy that gave Sammy Swindell a ride at the speedway one year. We think it was 1988.

Buttera began his career in his native Kenosha, Wis., when he teamed with Dennis Rollain to form R & B Chassis. They fielded a very light unblown fuel dragster, but a chance meeting with Mickey Thompson in the staging lanes at the U.S. Nationals in the late 1960s led him to move to Southern California, changing his life forever.

Ironically, Buttera died just fours after the passing of his longtime good friend and hot rodding contemporary Boyd Coddington, who died Feb. 27 of liver failure at age 63.

Buttera is survived by his son Chris, daughter Leigh, son in law Ronnie Capps, granddaughter Katie, and grandson Max.

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