Goodguys award winner credits success to Hot Wheels, Legos

Goodguys 30th West Coast Nationals set Aug 26-28 at Pleasanton fairgrounds

Dave Kindig, a car builder and designer, will be a featured attraction at the Goodguys 30th West Coast Nationals when the show opens Aug. 26 for a three-day weekend run at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

Kindig's business was catapulted into the car TV scene a few years ago with its wildly popular show "Bitchin' Rides" on the Velocity Channel. Kindig, a die-hard car guy, along with his wife, Charity, created their business Kindig-It Designs and built a one-stop, complete custom shop where autos are turned into spectacular works of art.

Kindig, whose "engineering degree" comes from Hot Wheels and Legos, as well as the creative experts on his team, turns out some of the most unique and creative designs in the field. He began designing cars at the age of 5, and he has spent his life designing and creating some incredible rides. His first build, a custom Volkswagen, was the beginning of his career for sure.

Before opening his own business, Kindig worked for High Performance Coatings in Salt Lake City, where he was able to travel the U.S. and meet car builders and designers. His first design job was for Arizona Speed and Marine, designing that firm's 1999 Chevrolet Silverado ASM/SS, which was featured in Truckin' Magazine. From there, his design career took off and he began designing for custom car builders and magazines.

Soon after, he departed High Performance Coatings and, with only $4,700 in savings, a dream and a lot of determination, started Kindig-It Design. It now fills a 27,000-square-foot shop with state-of-the-art metal fabrication/paint facilities and in-house upholstery.

Kindig-It's crew has won Utah's "Finest" seven times at the Salt Lake City Autorama and numerous awards at Goodguys events. Most recently, Kindig-It won the GM Design award with a '37 Chevy Coupe at the SEMA Show. Their projects have been featured in numerous magazines and have received worldwide notoriety.

Kindig is a self-made, hard-working guy who wakes up each day knowing that he's going to help build someone's dreams through work in his shop on Hill Avenue in south Salt Lake City. Dawn House of The Salt Lake Tribune, who recently interviewed Kindig, found the shop as distinctive as its owner. "It is one of the few shops in which virtually all work is done in-house," she wrote.

At a recent Goodguys show in Pleasanton, fans marveled at one of his newer creations, a four-door model that was named America's Most Beautiful Street Rod.

"Guys don't make hot rods out of four-doors; they're kind of the ugly ducklings in the industry," Goodguys spokesman John Drummond told House. "To take a four-door and make it beautiful is quite a feat. The car won because of its superior fit and finish work, and its unique design. Dave able was able to pull together a lot of simple details that made the overall package stellar."

According to the Tribune story, Kindig is self-taught. He dropped out of high school in his senior year to support himself, but returned to earn a GED. He didn't go to college, has no art education, and other than tinkering with Hot Wheels and Legos, has no formal engineering experience.

He's a guy to meet next weekend during the Goodguys show. Be sure to stop by the Kindig-It display and see some of his accomplishments.

The Goodguys 30th West Coast Nationals presented by Flowmaster gates are open next Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 28, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. General admission is $20, kids 7-12 $6. Alameda County Fairgrounds parking is $10.

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