Redesigning the soft lines of the Chevrolet C5 Corvette | Foose on Design – Ep. 2


(mellow upbeat music) – Hey, I’m Chip Foose
here at Foose Design. Today we’re going to discuss
the fifth generation Corvette. If you’re looking for a sports car, the bargain that you can get
a C5 Corvette for is amazing, between $10,000 and $20,000 if you want to get
yourself this sports car and just go out and enjoy it, you can get a real nice car. Now, if you’re a hot rodder and you’re looking for
all the mechanicals, for 10 to 20,000, you can get the state of the art at the time that that was being built and put it in your hot rod. It’s whether you want the car or just the mechanicals. That’s steal. I’m looking at pictures of
this fifth generation Corvette and I’ve never been a huge
fan of the car itself. Fun to drive but aesthetically and as a designer, to me, the car just looks soft. It’s doughy. It’s round and kind of looks lazy in design. Compared to today where you’ve got some sharp edges and some aggressive design, the C5 is a very round
heavy handed looking design. But still a great performer. Like I say, you could
use all the mechanicals and build something really cool or if I were going to
take one of these cars, I would probably use graphics
to try and break it up and so something, two-tone it or something to try and make it look
a little more aggressive. Now, I wouldn’t get a real bold two-tone. I would just do subtle colors and have some fun with it. But a great stance and wheels will make any car look good and it’ll actually help this car a lot. I would probably also
get rid of the mirrors and do something different. That mirror just looks like it’s about three times as
large as it needs to be and maybe do some kind
of a sports mirror on it or just cut it up, get
rid of the door handles and make it into a hot rod. It doesn’t matter what you’ve got. You can change it and play around with it and have some fun but make it your own car. Here I’ll do a little sketch of one and maybe show you what I’m thinking. (mellow upbeat music) While I’m sketching here I’m thinking about the designers that had to build this
car for General Motors back when they first did it. And they’re faced with
a lot of hand holding when they’re designing a car and what I mean by that is back in the ’60s, the designers really had the final say in what the cars looked like, other than the engineers
would come in and say well, that bumper, if we
make it two inches too wide, it’s going to be a lot
easier to put on the car. So, designers have their hands tied where they couldn’t do all the things that they want to do. But you also have to look
at what were the trends and what was happening at that time. So, the round soft shapes, that’s what was happening in the late ’90s when this car was done. Today, it’s sharp edges. It’s aggressive. This is a very soft design but let’s see what we can do with just a couple quick sketches here and try and have some fun with it. I think it was Callaway that did the really cool
windshield and soft door. And I’m going to sketch
that up on this car also but I’m going to play with a couple of roll bars behind that, the seating as well. So, I’m going to design
it as a convertible here. Just for grins. The other thing, I think that that rear end of
the car looks really heavy. So, if I could restyle it a little bit I would probably pull it down in the back and maybe run a small wing into the back or even two wings that kind of play with that double roll
bar that we have here. And then I’m going to get
a little more aggressive with the back end of the car
and bring it up a little bit, lighten it up. One of the benefits of playing
around with this backend, it’s just going to make
the overhang look lighter. It’s still as long as it was but it’s going to look lighter just by bringing it up a little bit and actually giving a little
more shape into the back. Now, I’ll keep that front
opening that they have. But I think I’m going to play around and do something that works
off like a ’63 Corvette, some of the details from that. Yeah, that little gill that
they had in the front of the car really broke up the body side but I think it was a ’64 or ’65 they actually had three angled ones. I’m going to bring that
detail into this car to get a little more aggressive. I’ve just been asked
what I’m drawing with. And this is a Quality Inn Suites pen. (laughs) Would have been in there
when I stayed there, I don’t know when I stayed there but yep. Whatever I can find but I like to sketch in a ballpoint pen. Pencil, you get pencil all over your hand and you end up smearing it. And I’m rubbing my hand
all over this paper, so a ballpoint pen works for me. And then what I’ll end up doing when I get something that
I’m starting to like, I’ll do an overlay and start playing with it there. The other thing I’m
going to play around with is this front bumper and this whole detail here. It looks very simple. I think if we were to
do a stainless wire mesh behind that opening, it might make it look
a little more elegant. (mellow upbeat music) If you’re confused by the
word stance of the vehicle, what I mean by that is the ride height. The reason I say to find
the stance that you like is I’m a huge fan of building
a car where it looks great and that’s where it actually performs. You don’t have to leave a
show and lift your vehicle so you can actually drive home and completely change the look. Build it where it looks cool and it works right. I just did a couple of loose sketches. Now I’m going to overlay this and have a little fun with it. What I’m doing right now
is indicating the wheels. And then I’m going to make sure that the body fits the wheels because the loose sketch that I did, we’re just big ovals and the wheels that I
had sketched were huge. So, I’m going to now proportion
them so that they look right with what I’m dong with
the rest of the car. (mellow upbeat music) Now, if I were to build this vehicle, we’re working with a
composite body already. So, what I would do is I
would add clay model to this, cut away what you don’t need, add clay to it and model
exactly what I would want, pull some molds off of that and build a new fiberglass body. That’s the simplest way to build it. It actually would be a lot of fun. But the one thing with a Corvette is it’s accepted to be a fiberglass car because that’s what they have all been. So, you wouldn’t have to go
through all the effort to build a complete steel body and spend all of that money. Fiberglass is much more cost effective to build a really cool custom. Now, I was just asked if
cars always look better when they’re chopped. And I would have to say no. I have seen a lot of
cars that been chopped that have actually destroyed the car. It’s how they’re chopped. They can either make them
look better or worse. And a lot of people think
if you’re going to chop it, more is better. I don’t necessarily think so. It’s how you proportion it. Because a lot of times you
can cut the top of a car where you think, oh,
that looks really cool. You get it all finished, you walk back. Now the body just looks
really, really heavy and the top looks small. You need to proportion it so it doesn’t have that feeling. There’s a lot of Mercs out
there are really cut really low and the bodies just look heavy. Look at Sam Barris who
chopped the very first one. That car is beautifully proportioned. It’s the green one that was restored by
Roy Brizio Street Rods up in San Francisco. But Sam Barris, the
brother of George Barris, he’s the one that originally did that. Sam unfortunately, passed away and George was the remaining one that stayed in the family
and ran the business and he’s the one that
most people remember. It’s interesting, I was just asked if
there’s certainly rules that I would follow or that
I’ve learned in design work that I would follow when I’m
developing something like this. And the only rule that I like to follow is don’t set any rules because that might stop you from looking at something that might work and I like to just play around. I’ll do 40 sketches like this before I’ll settle on something. Right now, because of time, I’m just doing one quick sketch and we’re going to live with it. But if I were designing
this for a customer, I would tell them let me get about, I’ll have a handful of
sketches that I’ll bring back and we’ll get together
and start figuring out what we’re going to build for somebody. But the greatest thing about it is there are no rules
in customizing a car. You get to build what you want. I’m going to throw a little color in this. Typically when I throw color on something, I start with a real pale blue because it’s reflecting all the sky tone, if this car were outside. So, I’ll start with a pale blue and just kind of indicate
where we’re reflecting sky tone onto all of the reflective surfaces, anything that’s shiny. When you ask if I have a color in mind whenever I design or build a car, I don’t necessarily have
a color right off the bat. As we’re designing and as I’m building, I start to see the car in different colors and before we actually finish the car, I’ll know exactly what
that car wants to be. I’m going to do this car in a
warm champaign silver color. It’s just a color that I really like and it always works to me for a concept type car look. And that’s basically what we’re doing here is trying to come up with a
concept for a C4 or C5 Corvette. So, I’m going to play
around with something that I think almost always works. (mellow upbeat music) Now, this will be a fairly loose sketch because we don’t have a whole lot of time but at least you’ll get the
idea of what I’m thinking. As I told you, I start with the blues to indicate the reflection of the sky tone under those reflective surfaces. Then I go with a warm
color to reflect anything that’s coming from the ground. So, things will look shiny but being that this is
also a champaign color, I went ahead and brought a
lot of that reflective color all the way up through the body. And I’m going to put some of
that color down in the ground to indicate that that’s
where it’s coming from. And I’ll do the same
thing with the sky tone. (mellow upbeat music) That one’s not working. This. Need that quality ink pen. This is where I’m doing the two-tone. I’m making the top of the car darker. So, what I’m doing right now is I’m indicating where I would
actually two-tone this body. Like I said, this body is really a round. By putting this two-tone color in, I’m trying to get a little
more aggressive design and keep one really beautiful flowing line through the top of that body but breaking up, I’m not going black but I would have this
beautiful champaign color and then something that’s in a warm kind of charcoally color next to it. Where’s that cool gray one? Right there. As I’m sketching, I’m using the marker as the tool to design. And maybe I want it a lighter color but I’m bringing this in and I’m making that two-tone
a little more subtle color, so I’m bringing in a little
bit darker body color into it. And then that same
two-tone color from the top will come down and I’m going to do the bottom graphic or the bottom almost like a ground effect in that same tone again. But I have an idea in my
head of what I want to design and as I’m drawing, sometimes
it grows and starts to change. This isn’t going off too far from what I had originally thought. But if I were to draw it again, I have ideas in my head now of what I would change. Now, I get asked all the time whether I’m a Ford or
Chevy or Chrysler guy and my answer is yes. I’m all of them. In life I have chosen one woman to spend the rest of my life with but I want to get my
hands on every car I can. It’s interesting to me that I’ve been asked
to build copies of cars that I built for other customers before and once I’ve built it once, I’m not interested in building it again. If somebody wants a car, let’s build your car not somebody else’s
that you want to drive. Let’s build something
that when they see it, they know it’s yours. I’ve done cars for movies and it’s interesting, I was involved with “Gon In 60 Seconds” and we built Eleanor
just to be a movie car. And there have been
thousands of them copied It’s very flattering that guys want that car but in my mind, if I were going to build a car, I want to build something that is mine, not something that I saw in a movie. Let’s build something better than that. I’ve been asked what I
thought of GM coming out with the mid-engine Corvette. They’ve been talking bout it forever. And I think it’s great
that they’re doing it because Ford’s doing it with the GT and they need something that’s going to be competitive with that and the Corvette is that
high performance brand that they can use to make that car and I’m excited to see it. It’s going to be
interesting how they do it and how it’s accepted but I personally think
it’ll be accepted well because it’s already being
accepted well in other brands. As I’m doing this sketch, I’m not thinking about what is
the history of the Corvette. I’m just trying to simply build something that I think would be a cool custom without looking like it is a custom. Everything I design I
try to make look like this could have been built at the factory. You could buy one of these cars and put some giant flares on it and a big hood scoop that you would typically see
as a hot rod or a custom, some really cool big wide wheels underneath these big fenders, but everybody looks at that car says, wow look at the fender flares
and look at the hood scoop. They know exactly what you did to it. When I build a car, I don’t want people to know
exactly what I did to it. I want them to discover it. So, as they’re looking at it, they start to discover, oh look, they did this and they did this. The simplest way for that to happen is if it were parked next to a stock one. That doesn’t always happen. They’re just gonna walk up and think, wow, what is this? And then they’ll figure it out. (mellow upbeat music) Yeah, when it comes to the wheels on this, I’m just indicating them as if what they would look like
if the car was moving because that’s not the
focal point right now. I’m focusing on the body. If I were designing
the wheels for this car I might spend six hours just playing
around with different ideas until I get something that I’m happy with. So, I’m just, like I say,
just indicating here. So, it’s just something
that’s inspirational and kind of fun. I have an idea of what I would do, some type of a almost mesh looking wheel, so it looked a little more performancey and almost European. Come back in with some different colors and some highlights here. I want this to look like we
have polished lip on the wheel, so I’m going to make
that look a little bluer. (mellow upbeat music) Throw some highlights on here and I think we’ve about go it. Let me grab and orange. Got driving lights. (mellow upbeat music) This is just going to indicate
where the sun might hit it. (mellow upbeat music) That’s basically it. All right. Starting out with the soft,
round bodied Corvette, what I wanted to do was try and give it a little angular design, so by giving it a two-tone and having some type of not
a real bold color change but a subtle color change with a graphic, I actually tightened up
the form of the body there but then brought in some retro Corvette, the three scoops in the front fender, but also tied it into the rear fender added a little bit of, shall we say ground effects to the car, cool set of wheels, more of a sport mirror and then I know Callaway
actually did kind of a wrap around windshield back in the day. I did the same thing
on my 2002 Thunderbird, called the Speedbird. I thought it would be
neat to add that detail with the headrest and then because there’s two headrests also the rear, double up the rear wing and just have some fun with it. But for about $10,000 to $20,000 you can buy something that you can modify and make something really fun and something that’s not recognizable as, people aren’t going to walk up and know exactly what you did. They’re just going to say,
wow, that’s a cool car. But the mechanicals are all there. You’ve just got to have
some fun with the body. (mellow upbeat music)

100 comments

This guy is great thanks to you i;m making and designing my own car and Rims I Designed the million dollar rims! thanks!

He turned it into a 90's Camaro.
I also disagree with him about the lines. Look at a C5.R. That is how it should look. Foose's car lost the Corvette look in his design.
IMHO.

Really cool! First time I've seen someone set down some cool ideas for the "doughy" looking C5, lol. Chip just coined a nickname for the lowly C5 Corvette. I would be interested in getting an idea of the cost to upgrade the design of a C5.

I thoroughly enjoyed this video. I smiled all the way through it. Chip is one of the guys you are lucky to meet. What an artist. I'm a Vette nut and I had a supercharged C5. I totaled it. Car guys can see what they want usually, but the concept of building your own body mods? Leave it to Mr Foose.

Corvette should pay you a million, for the next Corvette body style, heck the whole car…1 time …
The chip Corvette.
2022… i think it would be the biggest wait for a car design in history…foose colors too.
Like 50 different ways to design your personal one.
From colors, interiors, windshields, bars, bumpers,

Can I get you to build this off of a 99 or 2000 FRC… Instead of a speedster? Serious about a build this would be awesome for me with some minor revisions

Hello cheep ! How would you redesign a 1987 Buick turbo t , I would love to hear and see your opinion and ideas 💡 love your work since I first saw your work instantly became a fan!!! Please please please reply !.

The c7 is the best looking vette ever built. It looks frightening sitting still. It looks like the spaceship we were promised when we were kids

Can you please start selling these prints!? Might be a great opportunity to raise some money for a charity that both Hagerty and Chip find important.

Remember in the 60s and 70s when Corvettes used to look like Corvettes rather than the Ferrari wannabes they are today?

In the Fine Art World, Chip Foose would be called a specialized draftsman. It does not mean that he practices a craft. It is art. There are levels of draftsmanship, both in quality and style. I've not seen what he can do other than cars, but in my opinion, in that capacity, he is comparable to another draftsman whose capabilities are comparable to Chip's except his work was broader in subjects: Leonardo DaVinci.

Chip you are amazing your art is incredible and the way you are like a really simple person no like others have a show like this they look crazy ..but you are a good guy ..when I use to see in cable tv your show ( OVERHAULIN) and you guys steal the cars for transformation it was so incredibe amazing , always wish you do it to my car ,but I'm in NJ and I guess is to far for you ..anyway I sell my 74 Ventura no because I wanted but I was forced to do it ..now I have a 87 Montecarlo LS nothing exited , but when I bought it was to help someone in need of the money .anyway ,i have some Ideas to fix it but it will never happen because working and fixing the house there is not time to play whit toys anymore ..but just to see you are doing is a nice thing keep doing your art and always be you a great person

Annnnd… Chip manages to infuse more elemental Corvetteness into a simple sketch than roomfulls of designers in C4 through C7.

I agree completely that the C5 needs some updated design. I think you (Chip) should make your own body kit to get a more modern design on a great mechanical design.

I think chip is a great designer but the original C5 looks better than both his drawing and the callaway version, also two toning everything is played out.

Chip, thank you for keeping old school sketching alive and well. I've watched your techniques for decades and thought of Syd Mead as I was watching this. I went to the dark side and became a better sketcher on a Wacom, not a better designer, just a better sketcher…..LOL. Thank you sir for all you do for the design industry.

Classy as always Chip!….WOWWWWWWWWW,,,Dopest video yet.. To let the public see how my man gets down, and what he's thinking!!! To see a legend doing his thing is priceless fam! Humble, talented, and loved, continued success to Chip Foose! The editing and back ground music very tasteful! Thanku4sharing

Round & slippery areodynamic was the goal. Hard lines are for F22 raptors used to avoid radar. Hard lines, thick profiles disportionate front & rear newer trends are no longer cool & sexy but bulky & Transformers-like. Foose's design is unrealistic. His drawing is not the realistic dimensions of the car. There is no chop top with A pillars at that angle or wrap-around windshield like that. His proportions are way off. There is not a slope like those on any of the fenders. Go back to the drawing board Chip. The designer of wheels and that's what he came up with? Lazy for America's most famous sportscar.

So enjoyable. I draw in front of clients quite often but not sure if I would do it on the internet. Hahaha. A master. A free mind and bold strokes. Thank you for sharing!

What I want to know is whose idea was it to have such large out of proportion, dangerous, ridiculous wheels with a 1/4" of rubber between your rim and the thousands of potholes on our public roads? Not only do these wheels look foolish, just like a necktie that drags on the ground, but they eliminate any chance of not injuring your spine if you drive over a small pebble. Seriously, they don't look good and when you paint them black, they don't look at all unless you're within 20 feet. The sidewalls on tires are there for a reason. Comfort and safety probably the best reasons of all for "regular" tires and wheels. I try to get with the program and imagine these gigantic discs look good, but they don't. If you wear a size 10 shoe and suddenly show up in a size 18, a la Shaquile O'Neal, you'll understand what I'm trying to say. Yes, the car goes around corners flatter. Big whoop! Who cares?

You completely missed the point of the C5 design. It's not soft and bloated as you mistakenly think. It's a wholey organic design, natural and curvilinear. Giving it sharp edges does make it better. Do you think the designers couldn't have done that if that's what they wanted? I've a degree in graphic design and product design. You need to expand your narrow vision of design to accept more concepts. The proof is in your C5 sketch, which looks worse, not better, than the original. I usually like your work. This was a major disappointment.

sorry chip, you made it look worse. the c5 is my 3rd favorite corvette, the c2, the new mid engine one and then the c5 in that order. also don't like how you always wanna two tone everything. sorry chip stick to making wheels.

May I correct you it's mechanics, not mechanicals,C5 Vettes are not the most attractive iteration, but that sketch is awesome!

As a huge corvette fan, I do not like your design. I prefer the C6 refresh over yours. Your design looks like it came out of the late 80's or early 90's.

Chip Foose is a "National Treasure" and should be treated as such! He has the imagination of kid with killer drawing precision & a uncanny attention for details. Thank you Sir!

Most designers today never get their hands dirty but go straight from university into the design department and that is why we are faced with banal money driven design without the courage to be different. Chip has a great eye for aesthetics and functionality gleaned from years of experience and you don’t learn that at uni!

Foose ain’t no joke! He’s bad as bleep. To draw while talking and being watched and get his results is nothing short of brilliant. Very impressive.

Chip, you started by doing what many said couldn't be done- the Alien, a '40 Ford Panel Sedan, a design derived from Edsel Ford's International Design Award winning '40 Ford Sedan, was the first project that took you out of just being Sam Foose's son, and being Chip Foose in your own right. Your dad builded well in you- it shows in every design since. I was a kid in short pants reading Rod& Custom in a little paper back book size magazine, usually in black and white, following Sam Foose, Sam and the Barris Bros (remember El Matador?). Your didn't leave a single panel untouched on the Alien- angle chopped the top, peaked the fenders, blended the '37 Ford headlights into the front fenders- and at first glance it wasn't obvious at all- but you had built a car that Edsel would have recognized and very likely would have approved of. That's because you are Chip Foose. You keep drawing and dreaming and I'll keep watching. Thanks,FR

The fixed roof aka Z06 is a nicer design, I like the notch back look more. But I do agree that it's lazy design for the back-half of the C5. It's is too big and under-styled. The C7 is way over-styled period.

Looking like a light scale of a koenigsegg beautiful custom work love chip and his work very inspirational vibes and attitude and the love for cars

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