Kindig-it Steals SEMA2018 with a Fiberglass Replica
The award winning 1955 300 SL Mercedes Gullwing Replica stole the show, but having nine additional outrageous builds to back it up made Kindig-it Design the gorilla at SEMA 2018. As always, in the long history of SEMA (click here for a great article by FuelCurve on the history of SEMA) there were builds that inspired you, made you question how much your kids really need their college fund, and the select few that reminded you that God is a Car Guy.
I would love to provide the internet with the top ten cars of SEMA but that’s as arrogant as assuming I could tell you with any authority the top ten beers of all time. We all like beer, and cars, so let’s just try to enjoy them all. According to my - super scientific - guess, the off-road vehicles and “newish” models made up more than 70% of the vehicles at SEMA. I was focused on the remaining 30% and per SEMA’s car count projections, that should be nearly 300 cars.
C-10s and F-100s had a strong showing but a few early Ford Broncos seemed to be getting a lot of attention in the South Hall. But as for custom trucks, the River City Rod’s B-100 was a hugely popular build of SEMA. Chopped, channeled and built in only nine months - the definition of a “SEMA crunch” - the team took this Latin America-only Ford and fixed its roof line, created a one-off grill out of a thousand-pound piece of billet, gave it an amazing laser straight paint job, and then slammed it down its rockers. Big props to them for seeing this rare beast at KC’s Paint Shop and having the vision to create something new for SEMA. I actually think their 1953 Chevy truck build was equal to, if not a better build. “The Fiddy Three,” as they call it, was stunning with classic styling while laying frame. The American Racing wheels they had on the ‘53 were perfection too. I don’t think anyone is “SEMA impressed” by a bagged truck with an LS swap anymore, but they are like old friends—when you see them, you just remember how happy they make you.
While you couldn’t just have an LS swap anymore, it could be super charged. Again, according to my super scientific guessing powers, it also appeared that Whipple Super Chargers were more common than other brands—but I’m not sure if Whipple was even at SEMA. A twin turbo LS was still something that garnered lots of attention in a pool of super charged LS motors. We saw lots of creative cold air intakes using the second head lights in dual headlight cars of the late fifties and early sixties or even the parking lights in the grill of a 1953 Bel Air by Weaver Customs on Vortex.
But I digress. Back to Kindig-It Design’s 1955 Gullwing replica, the highlight of SEMA 2018. It’s a fiberglass replica that was made (approximately 20-24 kits) sometime in the nineties – no original Mercedes Gullwings were hurt in the restomoding process. That single build - with its huge LSX 454 motor, Roadster Shop chassis, carbon ceramic breaks, full roll-cage, paddle shifters and 345’s rear tires - would have been enough to stand tall in a crowd of amazing builds. You are more likely to see this car on a track than a street and yet it’s very street friendly, much like the original Mercedes 300 SL.
The paint was perfection with a custom color called “Underslated” by Dave for AkxoNobel. The car had a huge color flop with its blue pearl. It is a dark slate grey outside under the sun but under the bright lights indoors at SEMA, it almost had a light grey-blue look to it. I’m sure people will confuse it for two different builds in the future because of the dramatic color shift. While some may say it was a controversial build, my scientific analysis says it was among the gen-pops favorite, winning both the Best on Roadster Shop Chassis Award and the John D’Agostino Crystal Award of Excellence. It even earned some high praise on social media from Mopar-mad Chris Jacobs, who called the Gullwing one of his favorite builds of SEMA 2018--this is especially impressive considering how cool the 68 Charger Hellephant build/crate motor launch was.
But like I said, Kindig-it Design didn’t just bring one car; they brought ten cars, and all of them were worthy of coveting and questioning where we went wrong in life. Even a late model Hummer in the Kicker booth had a creative but timeless approach to a rather boring palette to work from. The split window ‘vette in the Borla booth or the GTO - I could go on for days!- with its shaved, painted and color-sanded gas tank in the AkxoNobel booth were the stuff dreams are made of. I was lucky enough to hear the Boss fire up and be moved at their Rig outdoors—the thump of the cam jumpstarted my SEMA-exhausted heart. The Kindig-it Design cars are not just pretty; they are all beasts under the hood as well. While I am not willing to do a top 10 list, let’s just say that if there were a top 20 list, Kindig-it Design would have owned 10 of the 20 spots.
I am not sure anyone is still reading this long blog post at this point but special mentions go to the Dodge Corp’s 1968 Super Charger Hellephant, the 1970 Charger; in the Meguiar’s booth, Weaver Custom’s 1953 Bel Air Vortex; in the Adam’s Polishes Booth, Rick Dore’s Shangri-la; in the Coker Tire booth, the 1957 Lincoln; near the Restomod Air booth, the Duster by Goolsby Customs; in the BASF booth (my second favorite build), the ‘56 Pontiac Star Chief Convertible built by Customs by Kilkeary; in the BASF booth, the Hoonigan 1977 F150; outside at the Toyo Tires booth, and the aforementioned River City Rods Ford B-100 and 1953 Chevy. You don’t have to take your shoes off to count—that plus Kindig-it Designs is a top twenty list.
For transparency – the 1955 Gullwing is owned by a Goombahs Car Club member and Adam’s Polishes is a 2018 past sponsor of the Goombahs Car Show.