May 17, 2011|By JAIMEE LYNN FLETCHER
The owner of a Huntington Beach hot rod shop hopes to gain national attention this year as he and his crew document building a 1941 classic coupe from the ground up.
The Speed Channel is featuring CW Hot Rods & Restoration Shop on its eighth season of Chop Cut Rebuild, a national show that gives an inside look into the hours and creativity it takes to build a custom car, in this case, a 1941 Willys Coupe.
Crews were on scene at the Huntington Beach garage on Tuesday as owner Chris Womack and employee Jason Jones worked with show host Dan Woods to install the front suspension and rotors of the coupe.
By the end of 13 episodes, the empty black shell will transform into a bright red replica of the classic coupe.
Womack, a retired detective from Aspen, Colo., bought the shop in September with a vision to put the garage on the map for its restoration and custom work. The shop has been around for about 10 years but Womack wanted to change its focus.
“My idea is to venture out of just body and paint,” he said. “I had the correct people in place that had the potential to do more than what they were doing. I knew the shop had a lot of potential.”
Womack said he reached out to Woods to land his garage a place in the national spotlight.
“I emailed them but I never thought I’d hear back,” he said. “Within two hours they called me back and said, ‘what do you got?’”
Director and producer Edward Peghin and his four-person crew are filming this week to capture the details of building the 1941 Willys. The episodes are expected to air in late September.
Womack, 48, of Huntington Beach, started building cars when he was a kid and continued to take classes on restoration during his 18-year law enforcement career.
CW’s is currently working on a handful of unique cars, including a ’66 Mustang, a ’57 Air box Corvette and a ’57 Cameo pickup, among others.
The Willys, which belongs to a 63-year-old woman who is restoring the car to honor her husband who died, will get a GM E-Rod package engine, which means the replica will pass state emissions tests and be cleared to ride the road with 430 horsepower under the hood.
Womack said when the work is done he hopes to enter the car in November’s Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas, which is likened to the Academy Awards for custom car enthusiasts.
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