Chip Foose turns an 80 year old sketch into a work of art on wheels.

Published August 21, 2016

This year, award-winning automotive designer Chip Foose celebrates 30 years in the industry. To cap off the celebration, Foose will debut his latest creation, the 1939 Cadillac Custom “Madame X” Coupe. The car’s origins stem from an 80 year old sketch by Art Ross. The “Madame X” moniker is to honor what GM design chief Harley Earl called his one-off projects.


In 1935, General Motors designer Art Ross worked up a sketch of a custom Cadillac for a client. Ross reimagined the ‘35 Cadillac 60 Special Sedan as a low and lean coupe with a removable hard top. This coupe was to join a line of custom sedans built  by Earl’s Art and Colour Studio , but Cadillac never put the design into production.


Car dealer Wes Rydell and his wife Vivian commissioned the custom Cadillac coupe. Working with a 1939 Cadillac Series 60 Sedan, Foose and crew will turn the four-door into a two-door. Then they’ll chop the roof off to create a removable hardtop. Using his own signature style, Foose and his fabrication team are sure to bring Ross’s original idea to life.


While not as far out there as some of his contemporaries, Foose has sometimes ventured out on the wild side. This design appears a bit more subdued than his typical work.  The “Madam X” Coupe’s design looks like a clean, pre-war style classic.


Chip Foose has collaborated with Wes Rydell before, on a 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air and a Grand National Roadster Show winning 1935 Chevrolet Phaeton. Foose has won some of America’s top custom car awards, such as four Detroit Autorama Ridler Awards and eight America’s Most Beautiful Roadster trophies. He has designed vehicles for the TV show Overhaulin’ as well as films like Gone in 60 Seconds.


Foose said, “The ‘Madame X’ Cadillac is turning out to be one of the most stylish cars I’ve ever built. It’s a great combination of modern technology and old-school coachbuilding tradition. I can’t wait to reveal it.”



Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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