Legendary Hot Rodder Pete Chapouris Has Passed

The legendary car builder, Pete Chapouris, unexpectedly passed away this afternoon, January 6, 2017. Information on the cause of Mr. Chapouris’ death have not been released and out of respect for his wife Carol and their family, we will not speculate on the cause.

Pete Chapouris accolades include induction in the Route 66 Hall of Fame, the SEMA Hall of Fame, the SREA Hall of Fame and SRMA Service Award, the National Rod & Custom Hall of Fame, the Hot Rod Hall of Fame and the Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame.

He was awarded the Detroit Autorama Builder of the Year, the Grand National Roadster Show Builder of the Year, the Legends of Speed Lifetime Achievement Award and received the NSRA (UK) Hot Rod of the Century Award for his chopped 1934 3 window coupe, known as “The California Kid”.

Chapouris was instrumental in the formation of the Street Rod Equipment Association (SREA), and his work propelled the group, and helped transform the SREA into the Street Rod Market Alliance (SRMA), a council of SEMA.

Chapouris worked with some of the most respected shops in California from an early age. From Blair’s Speed to Alex Xydias’ So-Cal Emporium. An early member of the Tin Hot Rod Club, Chapouris never lost his passion for hot rods. His own shops, Pete and Jake’s Hot Rod Shop, and the legendary So-Cal Speed shop helped bring rodding out of the dark alleys and into the mainstream automotive world.

Chapouris never slowed down, never let himself be desk-bound, and was always looking for the next custom build. Rod Authority sends our warmest thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Pete Chapouris.

About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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