Boyd Coddington, legendary hot rod designer, Feb. 27 Boyd Coddington, a renowned Southern California hot rod and custom car designer and builder who starred in the cable reality-TV series American Hot Rod, died Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008, in Whittier, Calif. He was 63. Once described by Hot Rod magazine's Gray Baskerville as "the Stradivarius of car building," Coddington was a onetime maintenance repairman and machinist at Disneyland who customized cars and built hot rods at home in his off-hours before opening Hot Rods by Boyd in Stanton in 1978. "His cars set the standards for custom automotive design because rather than just take a selection of parts from other vehicles, he would design and manufacture virtually every part for the cars that he built," said publicist Brad Fanshaw. Among the iconic cars to come out of the Boyd shop are CheZoom, which Fanshaw described as "an extreme reinterpretation" of the classic 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air; and the Aluma-Coupe, Boyd's reinterpretation of a 1933 Ford coupe that was hand-fabricated from aluminum. Then there's the sleek CadZZilla, a radically re-powered and re-stylized 1948 Cadillac coupe designed by ZZ Top band member Billy Gibbons and automotive designer Larry Erickson.