Automotive & Aftermarket News / News & Car Culture

Hot Rodding Legend Pete Chapouris Passes Away at Age 76


Pete Chapouris

Pete Chapouris wasn’t one of the original hot rod pioneers.

But he did take the torch from those early legends of the dry lakes and helped keep it burning from the 1960s through today.

Chapouris passed away on January 6 at the age of 76.

Pete Chapouris was active in the Southern California hot rodding scene for a half-century beginning in the 1950s. He created incredible hot rods and eventually designed and built high profile cars for movies and entertainers, too. He was also an industry leader, serving as vice president of marketing for SEMA and helping to create the Street Rod Market Alliance. Later, he helped revive the iconic So-Cal Speed Shop by licensing its name and garnering contracts to build record-setting land speed cars for GM Performance. Chapouris was inducted into numerous halls of fames, including the SEMA Hall of Fame in 1999.

You can read more about Chapouris in this Hemmings tribute.


One Comment

  1. Scott Swisher says:

    I got to know Pete last year via E mail when he helped up on getting paint and graphics right on our Recreation of the So Cal Belly tank car on my sons Soap Box Derby car. We traded e mails for about a year and he was a real big help on this project as was his paint shop.

    He was a very creative, kind and humble guy and he will be missed as well as his work.

    Sad, I had hope to meet him in person on my next trip to LA.

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