Vinyl wraps are all becoming more common in our corner of the custom car world. Personally I think they’re better left to the commercial sector, but hey, I’m old school. Dave Kindig, proprietor of Kindig-It Designs in Salt Lake City, isn’t perhaps as old school as I am, but is infinitely more talented, so a finely executed paint job and polished metal are calling cards for his shop. Behold the warm-toned 1960 Cadillac; it’s been refinished every which way, with paint, chrome, leather, and most notably, copper
When the land yacht landed at their shop, the lid had already been lowered four inches by the peerless Gene Winfield. Nothing they could do would improve the chop, so they called upon AM Hot Rod Glass for some 21st century windows. Looking lower, the door handles were tossed in favor of Kindig’s own flush-mount handles, and the wheel openings were reshaped for a sweeping look, on par with a ’54 Riviera. The larger wheelwells lend a ‘50s showcar look to the Cad, while the copper panels inside really draw your eye in. Up front, the grill was massaged into perfection, with copper plating on the bullets standing in contrast to the chromed egg-crate behind. It looks full custom, and was a bear to assemble, but it’s actually quite stock. The aft section received the same treatment and copper accents around the taillights. Twin bulges with matching grills were built for the hood, looking like part of a ‘sport’ package had there been one available.
Rolling stock consists of one-off 20” wheels featuring Kindig-It Designs’ special pseudo whitewalls; the wheel has a white band at the bead, and with a sanded-smooth tire mounted, all but the best trained eyes miss it. The drop-top was tubbed front and rear to make room for the 20x13 rollers and sits low over a custom-built Art Morrison chassis, so you know it handles as well as it looks. Motorvation comes by way of a GM Performance ZL1 crate engine #133. Yes, ZL1 as in the all-aluminum Hemi killer from 1969; a few years back, GM dug out the original tooling and popped out 427 new engines. This one is probably one of the prettiest of the bunch, fully smoothed, painted and topped with polished aluminum pieces, not to mention the wild egg-crate induction scoops. A 4L85E backs up the Rat.
JS Custom Interiors has been the go-to shop for Kindig-It cars for years, but Cadillacs were the plushest cars when new, so a custom one has to be all that and a bag of chips. After securing a herd’s worth of copper-tinted leather, JS began by covering all four bucket seats, and then moved to the door panels, and finally the wicked center console. The console by the way, features even more chrome egg crate adorned with copper bullets, and there’s a shifter nestled in there as well. The steering wheel is a stock ’60 Cad piece, but has been cut down from school bus dimensions to something a little more usable; its perched upon an ididit column. The dash received a mild shave, dressing up what Harley Earl gave us. The stock gauge cluster remains, though it’s been worked over and fitted with a one-off VHX analog instrument system, complete with red-hued overlay to coordinate with the paint. Some of the best parts are out of sight, such as the Vintage Air climate control system and substantial Kicker audio package.
While the rest of the industry is slowly ditching chrome in favor of mono-chromatic themes, full wraps and brushed-finish trim, Dave Kindig the innovator has taken three big steps past that. Copper and chrome not only sound cool together, they look downright bitchin’ too.