SEMA News - May 2010 

By Drew Hardin

Photo Courtesy Source Interlink Media Archives

The cool dude in the hat and shades driving Jamie Musselman’s ’33 roadster is Boyd Coddington. Rolling alongside is Lee Kelley, then editor of Hot Rod magazine, in a Contemporary Classics Cobra replica. This photo was taken for the magazine’s July 1982 cover, the first of many to feature Boyd and his custom creations.

Boyd moved to Southern California in the ’60s to follow his dream of being a hot-rod builder, and for years he worked on car projects in his garage while holding down a job as a machinist at Disneyland. He opened Hot Rods by Boyd in the late ’70s, received national recognition for the ’33 coupe he built for Verne Luce in 1981 and earned his first of seven America’s Most Beautiful Roadster trophies for Musselman’s roadster in 1982.

By then he was refining the smooth, detail-rich styling that would become a hallmark of a hot rod by Boyd, aided by fellow craftsman Lil John Buttera, designer Thom Taylor and others. The Musselman car also wore four handcrafted wheels with centers milled from aluminum billet, another Boyd trademark that would become not just a major styling trend, but its own niche in the automotive aftermarket.

Writing about “The Roadster” for the July ’82 issue, Gray Baskerville said, “To call Musselman’s roadster a hot rod isn’t quite fair. It probably belongs in the Louvre—not on the move. Still, who wouldn’t like to cruise Burger Lane or stroke the main in this epitome of slickness.”  

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