Car-guy Silva hosts design guru Chip Foose

From the Give-A-Guy-$48 Million-and-Here’s-What-He’ll-Do-With-It Dept.:

Mariners pitcher Carlos Silva will be able to drive the car of his dreams in 2 1/2 years. Saturday, he got to see sketches of it from the man who will build it, renowned custom automobile designer Chip Foose.

Silva is a longtime performance car nut and owns a 1967 “Eleanor” Mustang which he said was driven by Nicholas Cage in the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds.” He has known Foose several years and is having him design a custom Ford GT-40 basically from the ground up.

Foose, who has starred in the TV show “Overhaulin’,” came to Seattle on Saturday to have Silva view several sketches of the car and approve some variations of the design. Foose will go back to his shop in Southern California and sketch a final draft of the design, then put together a clay mockup of the car before fabrication begins on the real thing. He plans to have the car completed in time for the annual SEMA automotive show in November, 2011, in Las Vegas, where it will be a centerpiece of the Ford Motor Company exhibit.

What kind of money are we talking here? Nobody was saying, although this is a one-of-a-kind car. I’ve been lucky enough to attend the past three Barrett-Jackson auctions in Scottsdale and see cars like this sell for close to a half-million dollars, maybe more, especially if it’s a Foose design. None of those looked as radical as the sketches I saw of the GT-40.

The car guys in the Mariners’ clubhouse immediately gravitated to Foose and his sketches of Silva’s car. First baseman Russell Branyan took him outside to see his 2009 Saleen Dark Horse Mustang, and several players had their photos taken with Foose on the field.

Foose also took a round of batting practice, needing some extra-slow lobs from Mike Sweeney to make a semblance of contact, and spent the remainder of his time before the game in the outfield talking with players.

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