Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson
Called the “Alumatub,” this hand-crafted Boyd Coddington creation was built on the popular “American Hot Rod” TV series on the Discovery Channel. It has a hand-formed all-aluminum body by Marcel Delay on a specially constructed Coddington aluminum frame and chassis. It’s powered by an aluminum 350-ci Chevy engine, with Barry Grant Demon Six-Shooter three-deuce carburetion, a TH350 Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission with a Mooneyes electronic shifter, and it has a Winters quick-change rear end, one-off knockoff wheels and lift-off top. It’s been in many magazine features.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1929 Ford Boyd Coddington “Alumatub”
Years Produced:2004
Number Produced:1
Original List Price:N/A
SCM Valuation:Median to date (this car), $167,400
Tune Up Cost:$250 (estimated)
Chassis Number Location:Frame rail on front right hand side
Engine Number Location:Pad ahead of passenger’s side cylinder head
Club Info:Goodguys, National Street Rod Association (NSRA)
Alternatives:Other ’20s to ’30s-era high-end hot rods, preferably Boyd builds
Investment Grade:C

This car, Lot 1434, sold for $132,000, including buyer’s premium, at Barrett-Jackson’s auction in Scottsdale, AZ, on January 22, 2017. It was offered without reserve.

The late Boyd Coddington turned out an extraordinary body of work. Using popular domestic models as a visual inspiration and starting point, his elegant designs — penned by Chip Foose, Larry Erickson, Eric Brockmeyer, Thom Taylor and Larry Wood — were clean and simple, embodying the styling cues of their vintage inspirations, but usually executed in lightweight metal with billet aluminum components.

Some of his shop’s most notable one-off creations included the “Smoothster” for Fred Warren, “CheZoom” for Joe Hrudka and “CadZZilla” for Billy Gibbons. All three remain custom car classics.

Boyd’s La Habra, CA, shop built three all-aluminum cars, beginning with the radical rear-engine “Aluma Coupe” for Mitsubishi Motors, followed two years later by the “Alumatruck,” and finally, the “Alumatub.” (For you sports car and muscle car aficionados, “tub” is hot rod slang for phaeton).

Rush job

The “Alumatub” was reportedly built in just eight weeks — to meet stringent TV show deadlines — by a crew of 15, including Mike Curtis, Duane Mayer, Chad Geary, Charlie Hutton and several more Hot Rods by Boyd shop stars. That’s approximately 4,800 hours without overtime, and if you figure an arbitrary $100 per hour shop rate for a Coddington build, it’s $480,000. Okay, call it $75 an hour and it’s still over $380k for the labor on this car, and that’s not counting design fees, custom parts, bespoke upholstery and exotic materials.

Home-building magnate and Barrett-Jackson regular Ron Pratte paid $167,400 for the “Alumatub” in 2005 — a pretty good deal (ACC #36951). He then sold it in 2015 for $187,000 (ACC# 256758), and it just sold again here for $132,000 — hardly an ROI worth talking about.

It’s not for lack of creativity. An all-star supporting cast at Boyd’s ensured this alloy beauty met the strict time deadlines. Talented Marcel Delay and his sons reportedly built the body and the curvaceous lift-off top to artist Eric Brockmeyer’s design in just 21 days. Gabe Lopez and his son Gabe Jr. executed the silver Naugahyde interior. The all-aluminum “Shivee” motor, to pronounce it Boyd’s way, was topped with a Barry Grant Demon Six-Shooter setup, Vortec alloy heads, billet valve covers, custom BCG headers, a Mallory ignition and more.

Ka-ching! Ka-ching!

The one-off, square-tube, 5052 aluminum frame was custom built. At 106 inches, the Tub’s wheelbase is three inches longer than a stock Model A’s, for better proportions.

The suspension, which includes a Pete & Jake’s oval-drilled and dropped front axle with billet bat­wings and high-styled wishbones, is backed by a billet triangulated four-link suspension setup with an alloy Winters quick-change rear end and Carrera coil-over shocks.

Spindle-mount front BCG disc brakes, coupled with hefty BCG rear calipers and rotors, a Borgeson/Mullins/Vega aluminum steering box, sexy Coddington five-spoke alloy wheels, billet custom knockoffs, and a Powertrain Industries aluminum driveshaft were just a few of the alloy-inspired and custom-built components.

Classic Instruments created a special set of gauges that complement the all-alloy theme. Goodyear supplied the hefty 15-inch and 17-inch RS-A radial tires.

Why so cheap?

Boyd’s cars have won all the major hot rod show awards. This car was extensively featured on television and in the magazines. It cost a small fortune to build. And it’s even drivable. So why isn’t it worth more?

Look, I’m not the only person who thinks Boyd cars will be serious collectibles one day, and “CheZoom” went for $372,600 in 2005 when it came on the market (ACC# 37047). If Billy G. ever sells CadZZilla, I wager it’s a million-dollar car. Major builders like Roy Brizio and Dave Simard agree that even the lesser Boyd builds should be attracting more money. Okay, Figoni et Falaschi they’re not, but the craftsmanship, exclusiveness, notoriety and design excellence should be highly coveted and I think they will be someday.

You couldn’t begin to build this car for its most recent selling price, let alone for the $168k Pratte paid when he bought it. But a more-than-$50k price drop in two years is depressing.

Even though major show opportunities and future magazine features are probably out of the question because this sleek silver bullet has been there and done all that, the ’Tub will attract favorable attention wherever it travels, and with its light overall weight and powerful V8, it should go like stink.

I’d say the buyer stole it; the seller must be disappointed, and we’ll all wait to see when the majority of Boyd’s creations begin to attract really big money. Meanwhile, the Alumatub’s new owner can be content that he has a unique creation from one of the slickest builders ever.

(Introductory description courtesy of Barrett-Jackson.)

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