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Lil' John Buttera Passed away this morning

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Bob Dobolina
    Joined: Jul 27, 2006
    Posts: 332

    Bob Dobolina

    Damn....a true visionary.

    R.I.P. & Godspeed Lil' John :(
  2. haroldd1963
    Joined: Oct 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,154

    from Peru, IL

    I am stunned by the news of "Lil" John's passing.

    RIP and Godspeed John.
  3. Jeem
    Joined: Sep 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,885

    Alliance Vendor

    Talk about an inspiration.

    I'll miss hearing about the "latest" from his capable hands. What a loss.

  4. eddie1
    Joined: Jul 27, 2006
    Posts: 560


    First Boyd, now Lil' John. This is to much in 1 week.
  5. DAMN!! My respects and prayers go out to the family.I was luck enough to spend some time with him last year at del mar and he and I talked often when I was working for Ron Simms .This is a major loss for those who never met the man.I am glad to see the pictures being posted maybe the young guys will see what he did and pick up the torch as it were.The funneist thing he said to me last time I saw him was "hell anybody could build a car like me if they had my phone book!"yeah right..........god speed 'Lil
  6. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,151


    May I add: "to which ALL shall be measured"...........thank-you for sharing your skill's w/ the rest of the Hot Rod world, Mr. Buttera.
  7. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    I found this old Chicago news article in a library database, and I'm posting it here because of the cool way it ties together the two very different rodding masters who just died. Read down about half-way...JB appears suddenly and dramatically!

    Boyd Coddington at a glance:

    - Favorite factory car: 1993 Cadillac Seville. "I like its styling, handling, performance. It's what I drive."

    - Favorite car color: Black.

    - First car: 1934 Chevy pickup.

    - First car love: 1932 Ford coupe. "I liked its style."

    - How many cars he's made: "Too many to count on two hands, probably about 400."

    - Wouldn't be caught dead driving: BMW Isetta. "It's horribly ugly, really bad."

    - Biggest design influence: John Buttera, a machinist who built drag racers and funny cars in the '70s.

    - The art of carmaking: Coddington cars were included in the first exhibit of cars in a California art museum, "Kustom Kulture," Laguna Beach Art Museum, July 17 through Nov. 7, 1993.

    - The year's model: A model company is making toy cars patterned after his original designs. CheZoom and Aluma Coupe kits will be available in April from Testors Corp. Colors By Boyd model-car paints already are out.

    - A dream come true: In 1987, Russell Caldwell, then 16 and suffering from a terminal disease, was put in touch with Coddington through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Coddington invited Caldwell to visit from Pennsylvania and stay a week, hanging around the hot rod shop. A picture of Caldwell, who has sicne died, hangs on Coddington's office wall.
  8. Man, I don't know what to say - sitting here with tears in my eyes, not that I knew the man personally but he sure has influenced what I choose to build and how I choose to build it. My only contact with him was really here on the Hamb - I had posted on a thread about him and his influence and he sent a reply back about how what he did is within the capabilities of everyone, that he was nothing special, just another guy who likes to build stuff. A truly modest man, considering his abilities and accomplishments.

    To his family, I offer my deepest, heart felt condolences - the loss the hot rod community feels is nothing compared to the loss Lil's family feels.

    Take care all,

  9. hot rod pro
    Joined: Jun 1, 2005
    Posts: 2,708

    hot rod pro
    from spring tx.

    ya'll don't know how hollow i feel today.two of my heros are gone.lil'john was a man i allways wanted to meet.this morning,while carving some things out on my machines,it hit me how much they have influenced my car building skills.they will be missed.

    Joined: Apr 12, 2007
    Posts: 59

    from england

    Rip A Ture Master Of His Craft Wil Be Sadly Misst By All
    Joined: Apr 12, 2007
    Posts: 59

    from england

    Rip A Ture Master Of His Craft Wil Be Sadly Misst By All
  12. Another sad day in the hot rodding community. :(

    R.I.P. John
  13. Very sad,may he rest in peace and with any luck our generation will supply people at least half as talented as he was and be able able to leave a mark like he did in this motor world of ours.
  14. 53burb
    Joined: Jun 25, 2004
    Posts: 2,822


    2 greats that have passed on (Boyd & Lil'John) that I wish I could have met. R.I.P. to them both...KNUX!
  15. Lost1
    Joined: Oct 26, 2006
    Posts: 121


    RIP Lil' John
  16. Skotz
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 1,473


    Hell of a designer/builder...R.I.P
  17. Lil' John was everything I've ever wanted to be as a hot rod bulder. I met him when I was about 12.
    He was driving his burgundy 3 window at a rod run in Denver, CO. I felt like I was in the presence of God. I mean, here was this hot rod idol that I had read about in all the mags right in front of me! I'll never forget that day.

    He was truly a master of the art. Here is a shot of his aluminum track roadster in LA this past summer.
    Lil John-1.JPG

    Rest in peace Lil' John.
  18. super plus
    Joined: Dec 14, 2006
    Posts: 566

    super plus

  19. 972toolmaker
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 216

    from Garland Tx

    Lil John , Showed me by his work and articles if I needed something I couldnt afford,whittle it out of Al.e.t.c. Because of him a I made billet parts for myself before BILLET was cool. SAD DAY. BYE John.
  20. wetatt4u
    Joined: Nov 4, 2006
    Posts: 2,146


    I learned something today, I did not know he did so many funny cars ,I loved the wonderwagon .....
  21. Thirdyfivepickup
    Joined: Nov 5, 2002
    Posts: 6,093


  22. hotrodpodo
    Joined: Jun 28, 2006
    Posts: 1,300


    Bad week. I met Boyd in '96, but never got to meet Lil' John. Would have loved to though as he reminds me very much of my personal hot rod mentor. Small in stature but BIG on knowledge and attitude. R.I.P.:(
    Joined: Aug 21, 2006
    Posts: 335


    One of my all time favs.
    I am so bummed.
    I wish I could turn back the clock & have a chance to work with him.

    In a post on the hamb, he was commenting on how many people were backing him up when he fell ill -how blown away he was by how his craft touched so many people.
    He said you should judge how well you did in life by how many people were your friends - how many people were conected to you through your life works - not by money.
    He considered him self a very lucky & weathly man because of this.
    I thought that was just to cool.
    As long as im making chips & sparks - Lil John will alway be a gage I judge my work by.
  24. Nomadness
    Joined: Oct 26, 2007
    Posts: 462


    Thanks John for the inspiration, you will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers for your family and friends. Rest in Peace
  25. hotrod fozzie
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 175

    hotrod fozzie

    What a truly sad day one of the all time greats in our hobby has left us with the smell of burnt rubber &one last pipe shot heard all the way to heaven !!! GOD SPEED TO YA " LIL JOHN" R. I. P. !!!!:(
  26. redlinetoys
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,301

    from Midwest

    Very unfortunate. I remember just laying on the ground under one of his first cars many years ago and marveling at all of the hand built parts. It was a moment I will not forget.

    God Speed.
    Joined: Aug 15, 2006
    Posts: 339



    ....I'm really at a loss for words.....I have the gauntlet of emotions in me right now....

    ....My ears keep ringing with all the wit and wisdom that John gave me over the years......

    It only seems right to leave it with a couple of the last things he told me...

    In reference to not working so much and spending time with my wife he said....

    "Jesse Don't forget to watch the sunset"

    ...and when arguing about putting a smallblock or a Flatty in my 32' he said....

    "Don't take all that car shit so serious, Its all just an alternitive to walking"

    This pic to me is "Lil'John"


  28. hiboy32
    Joined: Nov 7, 2001
    Posts: 2,777

    from Omaha, NE

    he will be missed
  29. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,350


    I never met him and I see all these recent pics but to me he'll always look like the guy on the cover of the model boxes.

    I've seen that Lil John so many times that it's how I always picture him when the name is mentioned.

    Young and full of life is likely a good way to be remembered.
  30. That is great advice to anyone struggling to build their own cars. Thank you for sharing the picture and some of his words of wisdom. My heart goes out to the family and friends who knew him well.


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