Kindig-It 1952 Pontiac
Kindig-It Designs does their thing to a ’52 Pontiac
By now you may have noticed that there is a distinct theme, common to nearly all of the ground-up cars that come from Kindig-It Designs in Salt Lake City, Utah. They’re all kind of smooth with elements of the stock trim and styling intact, and more often than not you’ll see a disguised LS-based engine cradled by an Art Morrison chassis. To think that these stats could ever become passé is hard to fathom, but I urge you to retrain from saying “oh look another super-slick LS-powered stock-but-not car” and take this Pontiac for what it is. A marvel.
To see the up-out-of-the-chair-arms-waving excitement fade over time is human nature; it’s the reason marriages dissolve, why there isn’t a line around the block at the local Krispy Kreme (if you still have one in town) and frankly, I’m sick of our short attention span. People are always looking for the next big thing; it seems like they’re so fixed on “changing the game” that they don’t even notice how good the game is right now. Take a second to reflect on how high the bar is for custom cars today, compared to 10 and certainly 20 years ago. We’re in the golden years in the industry; cars are nicer, more refined, faster and more dependable than ever before, yet many people will gloss over this car because it’s “just like the rest” of the Kindig repertoire.
This ’52 Pontiac Chieftain is quite the deal; the fact that someone not only found a convertible, but also sourced or made the parts to put it together is remarkable, let alone have the stones to take it this far. A custom built chassis from Art Morrison is under the sheetmetal and makes this old timer handle as well, if not better, than a new car. Not only that, the Poncho sits right and has room for the custom wheels that have become a Kindig-It signature; they’re big-inch billets machined by EVOD Wheels with a phony whitewall built in. The Michelin Pilots are your standard blackwalls. Huge Wilwood brakes can be seen through the wheels, making 60-0 just as fun as 0-60.
Which is pretty fun, considering the LS3 topped by a Magnuson supercharger underhood with a 4L80E bolted to the backside. The powerplant looks as good as it runs, thanks to adapters for Gen-I small Chevy covers to go atop the unsightly coil packs. A great deal of time was spent in the engine bay creating smooth panels and making certain each component fits like a piece of jewelry. The Morrison chassis boasts an independent rear suspension situation, which is flanked by custom built exhaust with Borla mufflers.
Inside the cabin you’ll find some of the best stuff the industry has to offer. JS Custom Interiors took a pair of ’64 T-Bird seats and customized them, which is neat because they have chrome trim and a vintage look that modern take-out or aftermarket seats just can’t match. Mercedes leather covers the seats and door panels, while Dynamat sound and heat insulation lurks quietly below the surface. Vintage Air, Kicker and ididit all have their parts in play here, as does Dakota Digital. The shop sent the stock instrument cluster to our facility, and our capable custom shop built a one-off VHX analog instrument system to suit. Heck we even did the clock for the huge space-age circle in the center of the dash!
Kindig-It Designs made the pedals in house, and also created a shrunken-version of the stock steering wheel. It’s these types of details that set this shop apart from others; an off the shelf part usually isn’t going to cut it, so they make one.
If you’re feeling particularly jaded today after scrolling through Instagram, looking at endless, high-dollar “builds,” each one more outlandish than the next, take a breather and think about how neat this car truly is. Imagine owning it yourself, consider the planning, creativity and extreme skill that went into its creation. If you came across this car in a parking lot, I suspect you’d be crawling over every inch of it soaking in the details. Take it for what it is, a masterpiece on wheels.