M(ech)anic Monday - R.I.P Pete Chapouris

No good strart for 2017 ;-( January 6 Hot Rodder & industry icon Pete Chapouris passed away due to complications from a stroke. 
He died at the age of 76.

In 1974 Pete was co-founder of Pete & Jake’s Hot Rod Parts, www.peteandjakes.com

Chapouris’ build a bunch of really cool hot rods in his career.
I think the most famous one is the flamed black 1934 Ford Coupe which became the star of the 1974 “The California Kid,”featuring a young Martin Sheen as the outsider getting revenge on a corrupt sheriff.  (See this weeks Midweek Movie )

Pete Chaporis & Martin Sheen with 'The California Kid' 1934 Ford Coupe

The Movie but also the car made Chapouris some sort of a celebrity and also played a big roll for the return of hot rodding as a popular culture.

Chapouris continued to build cars through until 1997, when he struck a deal with hot rod hero Alex Xydias who founded the So-Cal Speed Shop ( www.est1946.com ) in 1946.

Chapouris wanted to bring back that legendary shop, which had closed its doors in 1961. The two struck a deal and ever since Chapouris’s name has been connected  to the shop, which is still going strong in Pomona, California.

After the "California Kid", Chapouris is also known for creating ZZ Top's guitarist Billy Gibbons’ Kopperhed Ford Shoebox and for rebuilding and restoring the Doane Spencer hot rod that won its class at Pebble when Pebble finally acknowledged hot rodding as an art form.

Billy Gibbons Kopperhed

Doane Spencer’s 1932 Ford roadster

So you can say...  Pete had a great influence on the history of Hot Rodding and will always be a big inspiration to others. 

Thanks Pete Chapouris, R.I.P


  1. He sure did Skip. Nice write up for the man. Thank you for sharing.

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