Overhaulin' (2004–2008) was an automotive reality TV show that ran for five seasons on TLC. The show remains available via re-runs and syndication.

Format Reality TV
Created by Bud W. Brutsman
Starring Host: Adrienne Janic, Chris Jacobs
Automobile Designer: Chip Foose
Country of origin a United States
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 77 [1]
Executive producer(s) Bud W. Brutsman
Susan B. Flanagan
Running time 1 Hour
Original channel TLC
Original run 2004 – 2008
External links Official website


The show's hosts were automobile designer Chip Foose and co-host Chris Jacobs; the creator and producer is Bud Brutsman. Former co-host Courtney Hansen decided not to return for Season 3 and was replaced by Adrienne Janic.

The show's premise is that an unknowing "victim" (the mark, in the show's language) is nominated to be "Overhauled" by their family or friends (the Insiders). Their car, usually an old and tired antique car is obtained through some ruse. Such ruses include, but are not limited to:

  • Stolen (the most common way Overhaulin' separates the car from the mark)
  • Impounded or towed away
  • "Misplaced" at a dealership or mechanics shop

While the two co-hosts play games with the unsuspecting mark (sometimes acting in roles of insurance adjusters or law enforcement agents, other times helping the Insider), Chip Foose and a team of top mechanics (dubbed "The A-Team") have a week to remake the car into a custom masterpiece. Each show ends with the surprise reuniting of owner and newly made-over car.

Show history

To date, Overhaulin' has stayed in California, only venturing out of state a few times; once to Wyotech, once to overhaul a Pontiac GTO owned by Lance Armstrong in Texas, and three times in one show to find a candidate for "The Worst Beater in the US." The application form for Overhaulin' does state that they will accept any application from the fifty states. Fans on the east coast have asked Overhaulin' to expand past California and try to do a build in an east coast shop, but reportedly there are no plans in the works to do a build outside of California in the near future. However on 30 August 2006 in a live interview at CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, the show's hosts announced that they will overhaul the Humvee used by CNN's war correspondents during the Iraq War.

Recently, the show has overhauled more modern models, expanding beyond the trend of the initial season of overhauling only classic cars. In addition to a late-model Ford F150, the recently-redesigned Ford Mustang and Dodge Magnum were chosen to be overhauled. Some fans have criticised this move, asserting that Foose works best with older cars. However, the shift to the inclusion of more modern vehicles may have served as a tie-in to one of Foose's other projects - the design of a production-model "custom" Ford Mustang, the Ford Stallion.

Courtney Hansen was the co-host of the show until 2005, when she left the show to pursue other interests. She eventually landed hosting duties on Spike TV's Powerblock (which includes rival shows Horsepower TV and MuscleCar). She was replaced by Executive Producer Brutsman's wife Adrienne Janic (AJ on the show). However, AJ typically does not take as active a role in the "dirty work" as Courtney did. Courtney frequently participated in the initial deconstruction of the featured automobile. In one episode, she removed the car's rear windshield with a sledgehammer.


Fans of the show have reacted negatively to "celebrity" builds, where celebrities seem to get preferred treatment in favor of applicants that truly deserve a build. The most notable mark was Ian Ziering, who had his 1968 Chevrolet Camaro overhauled courtesy of "insider" and good friend Jason Priestley. This created a lot of negative backlash, since at the time, Priestly was the host and narrator of the TLC show Rides (which was also produced by Bud Brutsman's BCII Productions). Due to this connection, it appeared to fans that Priestley used his position as a host on another TLC show to get special treatment in getting Ziering's Camaro overhauled.

Other builds that have raised such criticism include overhauling a 1969 Buick GS for a personal friend of Mötley Crüe's Vince Neil and a 1967 Ford F100 for the younger brother of Nick Lachey.

Many non-celebrity fans have stated an opinion that the celebrity marks and/or insiders could easily afford to have the exact car that Chip Foose designed and built on the show be designed and built for the celebrity any time. Many prefer to see builds of cars for "average" people that couldn't normally arrange to have a Foose-designed car built for themselves for various reasons- largely, the lack of money needed to have a custom car designed and built by Chip Foose.


Group shot cars

Group shot families

Group shot owners

2008 Overhaulin Reuion

The 2008 Overhaulin Reunion at the annual Wings, Wheels, Rotors, and Expo held at the Los Alamitos Army Airfield on the Joint Forces Training Base. The Overhaulin Reunion is the biggest single gathering of Chip Foose creations anywhere.

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Chip and the Bank Americar FED

Adding to the list of celebs getting seat time in the BankAmericar was Chip Foose, star of the hit TV show "Overhaulin" took some time out from filming an expsode at Paint N Place to get his first taste of nitro up close and personal.