Kindig-It Design 1955 Chevy Bel Air
From Dakota Digital
It’s the little things that matter most. Well built hot rods are full of neat details that separate them from the rest of the automotive herd. A lot of people go over the top with airbrushed paint jobs, enormous wheels and chromed-everything. Sure, this gets you noticed, but in my book, “any publicity is good publicity” doesn’t ring true. Build them well, build them understated, and to hell with the rest if they don’t appreciate it. You created your vision, and YOU like it. End of story.
By now you ought to be familiar with the work the crew at Kindig-It Designs turns out. We’ve featured a 1960 Corvette and an epic Cadillac from them, and the hits just keep coming. The ‘55 Chev before you is another understated looker, stuffed with details most won’t see, like Kindig-It’s own flush-mounted smooth door handles. They’re one of those things that you don’t see unless you’re looking for it. The bumpers were sent through the ringer and came out shaved and tucked and triple-chromed by Ogden Chrome. Billet Specialties mirrors perched upon the doors and a shaved trunk lid are more details that set the car apart. The body is slathered in a custom-mixed clay color, again from the minds at Kindig-It. The color was so popular at the car’s debut that PPG is going to offer it to the public so you too can have the paint of the pros. The balance is wearing Toyota Camry white (hey, it looks nice, forget where it came from) and set off by a flat-black powder coated grill.
Turning to the inside, Ferrari leather covers nearly everything, and was all handled by J.S. Custom Interior. Kindig-It crew takes credit for the design. A 15” Koch replica steering wheel adds some sparkle to match the custom interior door handles and dash candy. Speaking of candy, a fresh set of VHX-55C analog instruments found a home in a chrome bezel in the dash, with a VLK-55C clock on the passenger side; Kindig-It Designs knows a good design when they see one.
Once upon a time, hot rods only had to look cool. If they ran and drove, hey that was a bonus. Not these days; your hot rod better rip as good as or better than it looks. If it can’t hold its own against a new Mustang from stoplight to stoplight or put up decent numbers on an autocross, you need to try again. This is not lost on our Salt Lake friends, and as a result, this ’55 sits on a complete Art Morrison chassis, sporting a triangulated four-link locating a Ford nine inch. Four piston Wilwoods with ABS electric power brakes keep it off the wall. The ’55 is skatin’ on 19 and 20-inch Schott Americana wheels with tri-bar spinner caps all wrapped up in Michelin Pilot Super Sports. Remember when the Viper first came out and the 335 tires on the back blew your and everyone else’s minds? 335/30 20s are just perfect on this ‘55 these days.
Of the many accolades GM’s LS-series honor-student engines have received, ‘good looking’ is not one of them. Coil packs on top of the rockers covers prevented this engine from having an easily identifiable and stylish ‘face’ like many great engines in history. It made the engine have numerous plastic covers instead. Kindig-It said ‘no more’ when it came to the ugly of the LS. Classic Offenhauser valve covers for a GEN I small block Chevy (‘real’ small block for those of you stuck in the past, your author included) were modified to fit over Taylor Wire valve cover adapters. Presto! The 435hp LS3 looks the part of a hot rod engine and fits the style of this shoebox to a T. Putting a little excitement back into the driving experience is a stir-it-yourself TR 6060 six-speed from GM Performance. Billet Specialties helped out with a set of hood hinges and a TruTrac serpentine setup. Vintage Air keeps the people cool, while a Be Cool radiator does the same for the powerplant.
Kindig-It Designs has turned out another show stopper with this ’55 Chevy. Every inch of the car has been gone over, but the total package is just that. It’s a coherent, appealing assembly of the best parts available placed with care by some of today’s best people in the hot rod industry.