2020 RaceDeck Salt Lake Nationals Builders Choice Top 10 by Kindig-It Designs
Dave Kindig and Kevin Schiele of Kindig-It Designs have become reality stars the right way – by being talented and passionate about what they do. The duo not only spearhead a team that regularly turns out incredible custom builds, they have also become familiar to millions of enthusiasts via the “Bitchin’ Rides” show on Motortrend TV. We were honored to have Dave, Kevin, and members the Kindig team on hand at the RaceDeck Salt Lake Nationals, and even more excited to let the duo select our Builder’s Choice Top 10. Let’s see what caught their attention.
You probably remember Amadeo Angelo’s ’36 Ford coupe from its Goodguys Tanks Inc. Hot Rod of the Year win last year in Nashville. Crafted by Roseville Rod & Custom, the Montana-based coupe has a subtle 1-inch top chop and custom hood sides covering the blown Ardun-head Flathead engine. The one-off EVOD wheels look like vintage Indy race items and connect to a Roadster Shop chassis. The interior is as classy and subtle as the outside, with yards of tan leather stitched by Dave Putnam and scores of cool details.
Jerry Cover put the “charge” in his ’68 Charger R/T with a monster 528c.i. Hemi force fed by a Procharger supercharger. The Wyoming-based B-body Mopar doesn’t just run hard, it looks great with moss green paint over an exceptionally straight body, complemented by polished Schott aluminum wheels backed by Wilwood disc brakes with drilled rotors. There’s custom upholstery inside, augmented by Auto Meter gauges and a tilt steering column.
The finished look is deceptively simple, but a ton of fabrication work went into creating this one-off ’55 Ford Crown Victoria-style sport wagon belonging to Bob Cummings. The team at Rocket’s Hot Rod Garage did the work, which involved using part of a Crown Victoria top and many scratch-built components. A well-dressed Y-block Ford engine keeps it era-appropriate, as do the Lincoln hubcaps wrapped in wide whites.
Randy Weaver is another Utah-based builder cranking out incredible machines from his shop, Weaver Customs, including this radical ’50 Ford F1 for his brother Mack. A chopped top, suicide doors, and countless body mods update the vintage body, which shines with gray Axalta paint. The custom chassis incorporates an independent front suspension, four-link rear, and an interesting power choice – a twin-turbo 4BT Cummins diesel! With bright red leather upholstery over bucket seats inside, this vintage Ford is definitely one of a kind.
Dan Wathor’s ’37 Ford coupe is still looking great four years after winning the Goodguys America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod title. Built by Kenny’s Rod Shop, it has a custom tube frame with a 427c.i. Ford stroker small block and a slick set of billet aluminum “steelies” that complement the smooth exterior. A Custom grille and hood are just a few mods on the PPG gold body. A cabin full of custom-stitched leather upholstery finishes off this cool coupe in fine style.
Mike Swanson made it two-for-two with his ’61 Impala convertible, winning a Builder’s Choice from the Kindig team two weeks after Roger Burman gave him one in Des Moines. It’s easy to like this House of Kolor-painted beauty with clean and subtle body mods, Schott wheels, an Art Morrison chassis, and LS3 power. Built by Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, the drop-top Chevy has an equally impressive custom leather interior so Mike can cruise in comfort.
The two ’37 Ford coupes in the Builder’s Choice lineup were distinctly different. Dale Miller’s beauty wears many traditional elements, from the chopped top to the chrome trim and wide whitewalls wrapped around red steel wheels. A TCI chassis with a 383c.i. stroker small block backed by a 700R4 transmission updates the underpinnings. There are more modern comforts augmenting the custom interior, including power windows and Classic Instruments gauges.
Built by HS Customs, Alex Short’s ’69 Camaro has earned its share of accolades over the past few years, including winning the 2016 SEMA Battle of the Builders. TCI front and rear suspensions with JRi shocks plant the one-off EVOD wheels, which get rolling courtesy of a 1200hp twin-turbo 427c.i. LS engine. A host of body mods includes a custom hood and grille, custom valence, smoothed quarters, and much more, all bathed in PPG white paint with gold and gray accents. Hydes leather was used on the custom upholstery inside.
There are a lot of cool custom touches on Gerry Fitzpatrick’s ’59 Chevy wagon built by JRW Rods & Customs, from the angled B-pillars to the ’56 Chevy-style side trim. RideTech suspension components allow for an adjustable ride height over the Budnick wheels, with a modern LS3 engine providing more than ample power. The two-tone Sikkens paint looks great on the big bat-wing body, while Mr. Sids custom upholstery adorns the interior.
Shawn Barr is a Salt Lake City local who cruises in this exceptionally clean ’59 Chevy pickup built by Tidwell Customs. A TCI chassis gets it sitting nice and low over the big-inch U.S. Mags wheels, with power coming from an LS3. PPG black paint and bright chrome make for a great exterior combination, while a custom-upholstered bench seat, tilt steering, and air conditioning help make the cabin more comfortable.
Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.