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Gene Winfield is Back by Popular Demand

Gene Winfield is Back by Popular Demand


Until the fall of 2006, legendary customizer Gene Winfield was a guy we had only read about in car magazines. Actually, we had read a lot about him, but we had never met him and never thought we would. That’s how things were until this amazing fit-looking fellow a bit older than we were came walking up to our booth at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

As you might have guessed, the visitor was Gene Winfield in the flesh. It seems he had pasted up a book about himself and his history building lead sleds and hot rods. He was looking for someone to publish the book and the company we were working for did that sort of thing at that time.

Our boss was at the show and we quickly brought him over. We told him that Gene Winfield wanted to get his autobiography into print. We felt like we were leading him to a gold mine--was there any doubt he would want to publish a book tracing the life of a legend? In the end, Boss Man passed and Motorbooks published it as The Legendary Custom Cars and Hot Rods of Gene Winfield. David Grant and Spence Murray authored it and it costs around $200 today!

The Legendary Custom Cars and Hot Rods of Gene Winfield turned out to be a great book about a great guy and the really cool thing is that anyone reading this can meet Gene Winfield in the flesh at a car show this year. His Gene Winfield’s Chop Shop will be back by popular demand at 15 different AutoRama or World of Wheels events in 2015 starting in Cincinnati, Ohio in January and running through the Boston venue at the end of March. You can visit or to see the show details. You can also call (248) 373-1700.

The Chop Shop is a replica of Winfield’s historic Custom Shop in Southern California. A façade that looks like the old shop is set up right at the shows so that a team of craftsmen working with Winfield can build a car in front of your eyes. Spectators can watch as the customizer fabs up panels and welds them on a car or torches off a roof to give a hot rod a chop job. It’s a great learning opportunity and, in addition, you can meet a man who was there at the dawn of our hobby.  

Gene Winfield is a true Lead Sled Legend



Winfield chopped a VW at the 2013 Milwaukee “World of Wheels”




Gene wouldn’t let this Hot Rod Hotline free-lancer get away without a photo op