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Overhaulin' is an American automotive reality TV show that ran for five seasons on TLC between 2004–2009. The show remains available via re-runs and syndication.


The show's hosts were automobile designer Chip Foose
Chip Foose
Chip Foose is a hot rod shop owner, automotive designer and fabricator, and former star of the reality TV series Overhaulin on TLC.-Life and career:...

 and co-host Chris Jacobs; the creator and producer was Bud Brutsman
Bud Brutsman
Bud W. Brutsman is a television show creator, executive producer, and the President of Brentwood Communications International....

. Courtney Hansen
Courtney Hansen
Courtney Hansen is a television host/personality, syndicated columnist, author, and actress.-Biography:Courtney is the daughter of Jerry Hansen, once owner of the Brainerd International Raceway and winner of 27 SCCA national racing championships. She grew up in Orono, Minnesota and spent lots of...

 was the co-host of the show until 2005, when she left the show to pursue other interests. She was replaced by Executive Producer Brutsman's wife Adrienne Janic
Adrienne Janic
Adrienne Janic , , sometimes credited simply as AJ, is an American actress and television host of Serbian and Mexican descent.-Career:...

 ("AJ"). However, AJ typically did not take as active a role in the "dirty work" as Courtney did. Courtney frequently participated in the initial deconstruction of the featured automobile.


The show's premise was that an unknowing "victim" – the mark, in the show's language — is nominated to be "Overhauled" by his or her family or friends, the insiders. The mark's car, usually an old and tired antique car
Antique car
In the United States, an antique car is generally defined as a car over 45 years of age, this being the definition used by the Antique Automobile Club of America. However, the legal definition for the purpose of antique vehicle registration varies widely. The antique car era includes the veteran...

, was obtained through some ruse. Some common examples included the car being "stolen" by Chris and Chip, a car being misplaced or lost at a mechanic's shop, or the car being towed away by "police."

An integral part of the show was when the two co-hosts play tricks on the unsuspecting mark, sometimes acting in roles of insurance adjusters or law enforcement agents, other times helping the insider, while Chip Foose
Chip Foose
Chip Foose is a hot rod shop owner, automotive designer and fabricator, and former star of the reality TV series Overhaulin on TLC.-Life and career:...

 and a team of mechanics – dubbed "The A-Team" – have a week to remake the car into a custom
Custom car
A custom car is a passenger vehicle that has been modified in either of the following two ways. First, a custom car may be altered to improve its performance, often by altering or replacing the engine and transmission. Second, a custom car may be a personal "styling" statement, making the car look...

 masterpiece. Each show ended with the surprise reuniting of owner and newly made-over car.


Each episode would take a significant amount of planning, starting with the producers reviewing the thousands of submissions from those wanting to have a friend's or family member's vehicle overhauled, selecting a deserving person, and setting everything in motion. Most builds would take place in Southern California
Southern California
Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...

, and true to the show's premise, the team would have only eight days to complete the build. Up to sixty people could be involved at any one time with the show. According to Associate Producer Jim Holloway, the show would assemble a team of seven or eight "A-Team" volunteer builders about four to five days before taping would start. The builders, who were usually masters of their craft, "work[ed] together... [with] a sense of camaraderie amongst them." Sometimes builders would leave the build, causing Chip Foose to request help from a friend or cohort to help the team finish. Holloway noted that "we couldn't do the show without the builders or our sponsors." The set would have the names and logos of various sponsors, many of whom often helped with the build.

Once the project was chosen and scheduled, the show's major sponsors would ship parts to the build facility in advance of the show, while other sponsors would maintain a small on-site inventory. This would allow such items as air-filter housings, tire sizes, and so on to be test fit without having to wait for shipments.

According to Holloway, each completed vehicle is worth around $150,000, but "in reality, they're priceless... Chip's so busy that it's almost impossible to get a car from the Foose shop, no matter how much money you've got." In an interview, Foose said that "for me, seeing the look on the owner's face is the most rewarding part of the show. It's almost overwhelming to see their response, and it's the whole reason I do it. We worked hard to make their dream come true."

Warrior One

In 2006, the show remodeled one of the Humvees that CNN used to cover the war in Iraq. Over a one-week period, the Overhaulin crew replaced the engine, raised the vehicle's body and air brushed images of correspondents and troops onto the Hummer. They also added a DVD player, four televisions and a state-of-the-art sound system. TLC unveiled the revamped Hummer, named "Warrior One," in front of a swarm of fans, media and CNN employees. According to co-host Chris Jacobs, "we wanted to commemorate the journalists who risked their lives, and in some cases, gave their lives to tell the story of the war."

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