« Back to all Posts

Member Feature: Charley Hutton

posted in: hub news crew garage, news on July 11, 2009 at 01:21 AM

Charley Hutton of Hutton Color Studio

Charley Hutton of Hutton Color Studio

Some affectionately refer to Charley Hutton as the ‘Where’s Waldo’ of the custom car world – because you never know where he’ll pop up next! While he’s always up for a good laugh, Charley’s work is no joke. We bumped into the renowned painter this past winter at Troy Trepanier’s shop in Manteno, IL and later at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, CA. Man this guy does get around!

We recently tracked him down in Huntington Beach, CA where he is working on a project with Chip Foose. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: How old are you now and how did you get your start?

A: I’m 36. I started my custom car career as a kid by repainting and flaming my Hot Wheels with my sister’s fingernail polish! Actually I opened my own shop while I was still in HS. When I was 24, Boyd Coddington saw a 1933-3 window coupe that I had done and he contacted me about doing some work for him. He sent 2 cars to Idaho for me to do and to double check my capabilities. After I completed those he brought me to CA to do the Led Zepher, which was Boyd’s come back car. I was with Boyd for several years when the TV program American Hot Rod started at the shop. I left Boyd’s to join Chip and his gang at Foose Design.

It is here that I feel my skill level really excelled – working alongside true craftsmen with no egos . . . just the love of hot rods. They took me in and I consider them my second family. It is with Foose Design that I was able to experience being a part of my first Ridler car – Impression.

I have had the opportunity to work with several other premier shops in the industry. You learn so much working with other craftsmen and the friendships you make are priceless. One of those shops is Rad Rides by Troy. Troy and his gang have given me the opportunity to be a part of their team on a couple of occasions. The first time was the 1936 Ford called First Love which won the Ridler. Then again with the 1956 Chrysler for Roger and Nancy Ritzow. I consider Troy and his family very dear friends even outside the hot rod world.

Q: You’re obviously known for your paint work, but also are involved in many other aspects of a build, right?

A: Most people think of me as a painter, but I have always joked that you can teach a monkey to paint. It’s the prep before and work after that make the difference. I really enjoy the fab and sheet metal work. I had a lot of fun working with “old man Roy” at Boyd’s. I really consider myself an all around guy. Painting is just a small part of what I love to do!

Q: You recently moved into a new shop in your home state of Idaho. Can you tell us a little about what you’ve got going on there?

A: We moved into our new facility in February of 2009, which was very exciting! As far as projects, we just finished up a 1940 Chevy Tin Woody for Nick Barron and a 1970 Trans Am for Gil Losi. Currently in the shop we have a really fun project a 1937 ford Slant Back Sedan for John Coenen which I actually started when I was at Boyd’s. We also have a Henry J which we are doing with Super Rides by Jordan, a couple of 1955 Chevy Convertibles for the Coleson Family, and a 1932 Roadster for Jerry Magnuson that we are doing with Chip Foose.

Q: When you’re not traveling the country working on cars, what do you enjoy doing?

A: When I am not working on cars or traveling to other shops (you are right…ha ha ha!) I enjoy being at home and spending time with my family.

Thanks to Charley Hutton, and wife Teri, for taking the time to set-up and do this interview. All the best!

- Hub Crew



MeanStang08 Garage
July 10, 2009 at 03:11 PM

great interview, awesome personallity, me an my wife have always followed Charley’s career on the tube.. he’s skillful and a seems like such a cool guy.

DUKE'S Garage
July 10, 2009 at 06:13 PM

A real cool dude!

jhar Garage
July 10, 2009 at 06:35 PM

Charley you are by far a class act all the way around and I would like to Thank your family for sharing you with us. I do feel honored. Your personality and talent are endless, we learn so much from you as a builder and as a human being. Thank you
Shelley & Jeff Harbaugh

Firewisinger's Garage
July 10, 2009 at 10:24 PM

i would love to meet this man :)

Keyes Performance Rod & Restoration Garage
July 10, 2009 at 10:56 PM

Top bloke, excellent attitude to life and his work.

PACC Garage
July 10, 2009 at 10:56 PM

Charlie Hutton is the perfect example of what Hotroddin is supposed to be,Fun and a constant growing talent.

July 11, 2009 at 12:29 AM

Charlie Hutton is one of my idols! Love his work! A true craftsman!

Rat Nest Garage
July 11, 2009 at 12:38 AM

Charley appears to be a real “Stand Up” guy. I can admire that in a person more than what they do. I’d like to meet Charley.

ray,s radical mind Garage
July 11, 2009 at 01:21 AM

Thank you,Hub garage for making this interview and in site possible. Thanks for being such an inspiration CHARLEY!

Big G's Aussie 57 Garage
July 11, 2009 at 08:58 AM

What else would you expect when you have guys like Chip and Troy asking you to their work,that only tells me that you have the passion to do the job right and when you surround your self with guys with the same passion man you guys build great cars,Keep up the good work

Hadley's Hot Rod Garage
July 11, 2009 at 11:03 AM

As a follower of Foose and Boyd, it was Charley that kept me watching American Hot Rod as HE was the guy that kept things together in my mind. No ego, all hear and not a whiner… It is great to have examples like Charley, Chip and Troy to highlight the industry and guys with a true passion! I can’t wait to see that 37 as my wife seems to think hers should go a similar direction…

Keep up the good work Charley we are watching!

Tarantino Garage
July 11, 2009 at 03:51 PM

Charley is an excellent example of humility and skill blended. He displays deep charater that shines through on tv. I would love an opportunity to meet him someday.

Strange Motion Garage
July 13, 2009 at 06:50 PM

Charlie is a cool dude!

Charley Hutton's Color Studio Garage
July 13, 2009 at 10:23 PM

Charley here…I want to thank everyone for your responses! I am just a car nut following a dream and I appreciate all of your support! I am sorry that I am not good at responding to many posts, I am not much of a computer person. If I can not beat it with a hammer and dolly or sand it I am out of my comfort zone! Thanks again every one…peace! Charley

Strange Motion Garage
July 13, 2009 at 10:50 PM

thanks man, doing better, back to sanding….I need to come out…and bring a resume…

willie's Garage
August 10, 2009 at 01:26 PM

hey charley , thanks for making me feel welcome at the NSRA NATS. IN LOUISVILLE , your a hero of mine and you really are a ” real ’ person ” no hype just a hard working pro ! much continued sucess !! Thanks Willie

super rides Garage
November 17, 2009 at 04:41 PM

Having met Charley Hutton a couple years ago, and contracted him to do a car for me, i found him to be one of the most considerate individuals i had ever met. His honesty and genuine concern for your project is unlike any other. His workmanship and attention to detail is what makes him the best at what he does. His quality will be long remembered after the price has been forgotten. You get what you pay for and with Charley you get the absolute best.

Sweds Car Garage
July 19, 2010 at 08:05 PM

Hi Charlie.
I think you do some amazing work.
And i had the fortune to meet you at Foose design in 2006, i think that you and Chip are two very nice and down to earth people that take time to talk to us that love cars and design.
So a BIG thanks Charlie for a great memory.

Nascarnbroncosfans Garage
August 04, 2010 at 01:52 PM

Still looking for a contact info for Charlie.


Leave a Comment

Signup or log in to post comments.