Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson
  • 533-ci big-block Ford V8, (estimated) 450 hp, modified for E85 fuel
  • FAST ECU fuel injection, Edelbrock intake manifold
  • Ford C6 3-speed automatic transmission, disc brakes
  • Air Ride Technologies 4-link suspension
  • Built by Boyd Coddington and Hot Rods by Boyd
  • Featured on “American Hot Rod” TV Series
Boyd Coddington teamed up with the SoBe (South Beach) beverage company to design and build the first-ever E85-powered hot rod. The project started out as a rather clean, stock 1960 Mercury woodie wagon, now known as “The Lizard King.” It was revealed as part of the ESA East Coast Scholastic Surfing Championships presented by FEW-New Zealand at Bethune Park in New Smyrna Beach, FL. The project aired on later episodes of “American Hot Rod” on TLC. Hot rod designer Todd Emmens combined a surfing-inspired concept, with the Boyd look to give it a hot-rod touch. Channel Island Surfboards founder Al Merrick was a contributor.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1960 Mercury Colony Park “the Lizard King”
Years Produced:1960, 2007
Number Produced:Mercury built 7,411 Colony Park Wagons. This one is unique.
Original List Price:$3,837 in 1960, build cost unknown
SCM Valuation:$90,200 (As this car is unique, sale price is median price)
Tune Up Cost:$500 (estimated)
Chassis Number Location:On data plate riveted to firewall
Engine Number Location:Casting number on side of block
Club Info:Goodguys, National Street Rod Association (NSRA)
Alternatives:Any Boyd-built car from the 1980s through 2008, including the 1963 Dodge Polara “Max Hemi,” “Alumatub,” and Ron Pratte’s 1954 Chevrolet Corvette
Investment Grade:C

This car, Lot 630, sold for $90,200, including buyer’s premium, at Barrett-Jackson’s Inaugural Northeast Auction in Uncasville, CT, on June 23–25, 2016.

Big station wagons are making a comeback in the custom-car and cruiser scene. Once the province of suburban families, and memorialized in period-perfect films such as “The Stepford Wives,” with dutiful spouses awaiting their besotted husbands, pouring into Westport in NY Central Club Cars from Grand Central Station, these heavy haulers are prime fodder for classy tow vehicles and much more. With a few tasteful modifications, Di-Noc-trimmed old “woodie” wagons are the perfect way to transport the entire family to a Friday night cruise-in.

It’s easy to customize one of these “Wurlitzers on Wheels.” Start with a big-block domestic 4-door wagon (many of them were hard tops), don’t remove any of the lavish trim, slam it with cut coils and flattened springs or air suspension, add trick wheels with blackwalls or wide whites, consider a set of Bellflower Tips or lake pipes, trim the interior to the nines with a tuck-and-roll leather fantasy and you’ve nailed it.

It’s not easy being green

When the SoBe Beverage Company of South Florida wanted a primo promotional vehicle, they turned to Boyd Coddington. Who better than the late “Wizard of Whittier, CA” to customize a behemoth like this? No stranger to big iron, “Hot Rods by Boyd” did the landmark CadZZilla Cadillac coupe for Billy Gibbons (designed by Larry Erickson), the CheZoom ’57 Chevy hard top for “Mr. Gasket” Joe Hrudka, the luscious red “Boyd Air” ’57 Chevy convertible (by Chip Foose) for the Hot Rod Power Tour, and even more to the point, a slammed ’50 Packard woodie for Larry Donnellson.

Blessed with a talented crew and some of the best designers in the business, not to mention off-and-on coordination with another twisted genius, “Lil John” Buttera, Boyd Coddington pioneered a clean, minimalist look for rods and customs that took the restyling genre by storm beginning in the 1970s.

In addition to many magazine cover cars, a full line of ever-evolving, sexy and affordable billet aluminum Boyd Wheels and other accessories, Boyd’s high-profile hot rods — he won the Grand National Roadster Show’s AMBR award seven times — attracted the attention of Wall Street. The rapid-rising California car-building company went public, only to eventually crash and burn. Boyd’s untimely death in 2008 from complications from surgery (he was a longtime diabetic) ended his shop’s show-stopping creations.

Bargain billet by Boyd

From its gleaming Di-Noc-trimmed exterior to the luscious interior, complete with console, and custom Boyd steering wheel, this green goddess is as finely finished as a Detroit concept car.

There are no external mirrors, making it even cleaner looking. Lowered tastefully, subtly shaved and oh-so-sleek, with custom five-spoke Boyd billet wheels and a powerful engine transplant with green-hued valve covers, this Merc must have thrilled the SoBe marketing team that paid big money for it.

Over the past few years, Boyd-built “Boydster” roadsters and other customs have crossed the auction block, but they have not achieved truly record results — at least not yet.

Roy Brizio, who builds exquisite coupes and roadsters in South San Francisco, like many of his fellow rodders, liked and respected Boyd. Brizio says he thinks “not enough time has passed yet” for Boyd-built iron to reach crazy prices. Indeed, the more well-known creations to come out of Boyd’s shop have brought higher prices than seen here in the not-too-distant past, including CheZoom, which sold for $379,500 out of the Ron Pratte Collection at Barrett-Jackson’s 2015 Scottsdale event (ACC# 256704). I expect we’ll see prices on cars like that grow in the future, and take the values of cars like this lesser-known Boyd work up with them.

Not much green for a big green car

You couldn’t build this woodie for $90k, and that doesn’t even count the Boyd imprimatur, or the fact that it was featured on “American Hot Rod,” or that it was likely the first show car of its type to run on E85 fuel.

A perfect stocker would be $35k to $40k. So I’d call it a stone bargain, and I predict we’ll see a day when the best Boyd-built customs set pricing records. Meanwhile, the lucky new owner of this Colony Park cruiser can simply have fun with it.

(Introductory description courtesy of Barrett-Jackson.)

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