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Home/News and Feature Articles/Car History - Car Stories/ **Boyd Coddington's Garage/


The project started out as a fairly clean, stock 1960 Mercury Woody wagon - not so now!

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Slick, sexy, and stunning! Is this really a 1960 Mercury?

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SoBe "Lizard King" 1960 Mercury Woody Wagon
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By Society Staff – reprint with permission only

The first ever E85 powered hot rod

Boyds teamed up with SoBe Tea and Drink Company to design the first ever Ethanol powered hot rod. The project started out as a fairly clean, stock 1960 Mercury Woody wagon, now known as the "Lizard King". It was unveiled on March 31st as part of the ESA, East Coast Scholastic Surfing Championships presented by FEW-New Zealand, at Bethune Park in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

The project aired on subsequent episodes of AMERICAN HOT ROD on TLC. We had automotive and Hot Rod designer, Eric Brockmeyer put pen to paper to incorporate a surf inspired concept with the “Boyd Look” and give it a hot rod touch. Initially, Eric rendered concepts of a custom panel truck, but the woody would be a new marketing tool and a new addition to the SoBe garage. Because this hot rod is all surf inspired, it only made sense to team up with shaping legend and Channel Island Surfboards founder Al Merrick.

The AMERICAN HOT ROD crew met up with Al at his Santa Barbara, California shop and shaped a custom surfboard, which was part of the SoBe creation. For those not familiar with SoBe’s creations, they already have a literal arsenal of cool transports that include: a '49 Divco milk truck, a short hot-rodded bus called "the Stump", a bread truck, an armored car, a 4x4 van called the "Lizinator", and six vintage school buses. These vehicles can be spotted at concerts and other events featuring their signature black or dark-green paint schemes with radical light-green flames. Boyd’s contribution to the stable is also now part of SoBe’s arsenal.

At the heart of this hot rod is a Ford 460 V8, bored and stroked to a massive 533 cubic inches. Engine management comes courtesy of a F.A.S.T. engineered ECU unit, throttle body and fuel injectors. Other additions to the Ethanol hot rod motor are an MSD ignition system and Edelbrock intake. The dyno numbers this eco-sensitive motor puts down are extraordinary: 677hp and 651 lb./torque.

Transferring the power is a beefed-up C6 three speed auto transmission. Holding it all together is a Currie Enterprise Ford 9 inch rear, held in place by the brand new 4-link control arm suspension system by Air Ride Technologies, which replaces the traditional leaf spring set-up.

E85 is an alternative fuel as defined by the U.S. Department of Energy and is intended for use in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). Besides its superior performance characteristics, ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline; it is a completely renewable, domestic, environmentally friendly fuel.

The Lizard King was fitted with Goodyear tires wrapped around a set of Boyds Wheelsâ„¢. This wheel design is currently available in two-piece forged construction, or better known as the as "the Duel" wheel to provide an updated twist to the traditional hot rod look.

SoBe was looking for a new marketing tool that would attract a lot of attention to their product. The Lizard King drew flocks of people that gathered around this amazing vehicle and it was an absolute success for Sobe and Boyd Coddingtonâ„¢.

Boyd's rendering is amazingly close to the finished product.

Clean and crisp; significant in this car is that it is a '60 hardtop wagon - really adding to the "sports" look of the vehicle.

This 3/4 view really picks up how well Boyd used the existing lines of the wagon to accent the "woodie" look.

This truck concept is said to have inspired the Lizard King wagon.