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TLC's OVERHAULIN' Transforms Junk Cars Into Works of Art With a New Twist.

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This entry was posted on 6/12/2006 6:56 PM and is filed under Automotive.

By David Maillie

With the recent publicity of automotive reality shows like Orange County Choppers, Monster Garage, and MTV’s Pimp My Ride TLC (The Learning Channel) has launched their own version.  Overhaulin’ is similar to Pimp My Ride, but they don’t have a huge music celebrity like Exzibit.  They instead use a legendary automotive designer named Chip Foose and give it a twist – they keep the beneficiary of the newly remade car completely in the dark about what is happening to their car. 

As quoted in the New York Times, “OVERHAULIN' revs the makeover-
genre engine with an automotive twist.”  In the show, Chip Foose leads a team of top mechanics and automotive professionals whom completely redesign and rebuild the automobile into a work of art.  This qualifies as a frame off restoration in automotive circles – the highest level.  The difficulty is that the project car has to be completed in less than 1 week and various tactics are used to keep the unsuspecting automobile owner in the dark.  Most of the time they resort to impersonating the police, private detectives, repo men, etc…all the while, using the automobile owner’s closest friends to make the stories more believable.

Chip designs each project car before the team starts.  Basically the car is recreated.  Top of the line equipment is installed (Power windows, performance brakes, top-of-the-line engines, and of course unbelievable sound systems).   According to industry professionals a rebuild like this would normally run $100,000 plus.  So, it is no wonder the overhauled recipients cry tears of joy when their new autos are revealed. This completely rebuilt automobile is something they could never afford to do. Every redesign takes the owners likes, interests, and relatives input along with Chip Foose’s amazing ideas to make sure the owners are more than pleasantly surprised.
“In each episode, Chip Foose and his team watch the videotape of the car's
owner as he or she talks about the car and his or her dreams for it.”

Some shows have used celebrities for the Overhaulin’ victim.  Every show has been extremely exciting and this is a show worth watching for anyone that has automotive inclinations and one day dreams of having a fantasy overhaul.  Some of the stories of loyalty and acts of kindness and benevolence by the selected owners can really humble you and bring tears to your eyes.  Overhaulin’ is a great show and definitely worth your time – if nothing else, it will give you great ideas to dream about!
David Maillie is an alumni of Cornell University and specializes in automotive safety products and information. He holds numerous patents and awards for his patented headlight cleaner and restorer. For more information please visit:


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