Kindig-It Design is known around the world for their superior craftsmanship of custom cars. A venture that started in June 1999 in owner Dave Kindig’s garage, Kindig-It now employs 34 men and women, offering the entire gamut of one-of-a-kind car builds. From Dave’s design and renderings, to prototyping, metal fabrication, bodywork, paint and polish, rewiring, assembly, audio systems and upholstery, the team is truly passionate about building cars.
The team’s passion and work at Kindig-It can be seen in episodes of the Motor Trend Network’s “Bitchin’ Rides” and at their custom car fabrication shop in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since moving from Dave’s garage in September 1999, Kindig-It has grown from leasing a 4,500-square-foot space to owning the entire, 27,000-square-foot building, complete with state-of-the-art metal fabrication and paint facilities. Dave saw the investment in the building as a business opportunity and permanent spot to begin improving his layout and shop processes.
Before owning the building, the Kindig-It paint team operated with an inexpensive crossdraft paint booth and a SprayTech downdraft booth with a 1-foot basement. Since many of Kindig-It’s cars ride very low to the ground, they used a wooden ramp that extended into valuable floor space to move vehicles in and out of the booth. Once Dave purchased the building, the opportunity arose to upgrade their shop and building amenities, so he reached out to one of his business partners, AkzoNobel.
Kindig-It’s partnership with AzkoNobel started a couple years back when they began developing a custom, solvent-based paint color line — Modern Classikk by Kindig — which recently launched. Developing the colors in solvent, as opposed to waterborne, posed a challenge for Kindig-It and required Dave to look at new paint equipment options.
“As I was speaking with my good friends at AkzoNobel, they mentioned that Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) was truly the way to go,” Dave said. “That was the company I was actually leaning toward anyway. I’m very much clean and classic in the style of all things that I do, and I like that GFS equipment provides a very clean, open, bright work area.”
To combat the release of vapors and particles into the air from solvent-based paints, GFS engineered a custom carbon filtration chamber for Kindig-It’s main paint booth that they use for all of their show painting. The new GFS Ultra® XD Paint Booth — one of two at Kindig-It — captures solvent vapors and particles before they are released into the atmosphere. The two downdraft GFS paint booths also feature in-ground pits, eliminating the need for a basement or ramp, freeing up valuable floor space and allowing technicians to operate on the ground level for easier working conditions.
“What I really love about the booths is that they look very neat, clean and presentable, and they’re easy to take care of. When I ask a client to come in and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a car, I want them to feel comfortable that they have their vehicle at the right place. A lot of times, just the appearance of the body shop says, ‘This is a nice place, and they have the right equipment.’ If you have the right equipment, you’re going to get the job done right.”
“We have a very large, state-of-the-art paint mix room which houses our solvent-based and waterborne paints. It’s like we have the ultimate gourmet kitchen when it comes to the paint mixing room. We can mix up anything we imagine and quickly spray it. It’s quite cool. The prep station, in conjunction with the two spray booths, was also custom built for us. It allows us to expand our work area by being able to use the full workspace as one prep area, or we can separate it with the divider curtains into three workstations. We now have all of these KILLER aspects for the spray systems we use.”
When working on custom, one-of-a-kind car builds, using top-of-the-line equipment is key. A typical car show build can take between nine and 14 months for the team at Kindig-It Design, and they can work on between six and 22 cars at the same time. The paint job itself is done within a week, but getting a car prepared for the paint job can take between 1,500 and 2,000 hours. This includes prep and body work to get it ready and make it perfect in the paint booth.
“Since we upgraded to GFS paint booths, we’ve noticed a huge difference. The consistency in heating and the curing times have been awesome. We have also noticed a huge difference in our ability to keep it a lot cleaner. And the fact that we can shoot more experimental coatings because of the carbon filtration system has been really cool for us. We are able to develop colors in solvent, as opposed to just waterborne. We let the chemists at AkzoNobel take our solvent designs, stabilize it and convert them to water.”
As for the future of Kindig-It Design and Bitchin’ Rides, the sky’s the limit. Motor Trend Network is there to watch them do their thing, and as long as everyone continues to have fun while producing the show and building impressive custom cars, there’s no stopping them. It is very apparent that they are all great friends and work very hard. Dave makes sure to take care of them and their families, and in turn, they take care of the business and Dave’s family. This is one of the biggest secrets to their success.
In addition to having the right people, Dave believes that having the right partners — whether that is providers of paint, parts or equipment — is critical to the company’s success, and he carefully chooses these partnerships for that reason.
“This has been Dave Kindig and I swear to God everything I’ve said is true.”