Bitchin' Coronet
Mopar Muscle|February 2020
LOOKING FOR THE ULTIMATE CUSTOM MOPAR, VINNIE MASSARO HAD DAVE KINDIG TRANSFORM HIS 1967 DODGE CORONET R/T INTO A BITCHIN’ RIDE
John Machaqueiro

If you are into cars and haven’t heard of Dave Kindig and his show Bitchin’ Rides on the Motor Trend Network, then you must live under a rock. The show has been on TV for a number of years and has been a favorite with gearheads for a good reason. The cars that roll out of his shop are as the title implies: bitchin’! That cannot be said for all the shops that have a show on TV.

When we visited, it was emphatically pointed out that, first and foremost, Kindig-it Design is a business whose top priority is doing high-quality builds for its customers. They just happen to have a TV show too. That mindset is evident when you see the astounding craftsmanship in every vehicle that rolls out of the shop. Dave Kindig’s dedication to his customer base and the quality of the work are what has allowed him to now pick and choose which projects he wants to take in. If you cut a deal with him on a build, the waiting list is a few years out. It is a bitchin’ “problem” for any business to have.

Customer satisfaction is what brought Vinnie Massaro back to Kindig-it Design for an over-the-top build. He had work done at the shop previously on a 2013 Mr. Norm’s 50th Anniversary GSSR Challenger and was so satisfied that there was no doubt in his mind as to who he would get to tackle his next car.

When we spoke to Vinnie, he cut to the chase by pointing out that he is a hardcore Mopar guy. This raised the question: Why choose a ’67 Coronet? We were expecting to hear how that was his first car, or perhaps it was just his favorite. We were somewhat surprised by his decision to have the boxy B-body customized, and even more so by his motivation, which was a departure from the mind-set of most car owners.

He told us, “Everyone does a ’Cuda, Challenger, or Charger. I wanted to give Dave something that wasn’t that mainstream, to begin with. It’s not that I had some love affair with the Coronet, but I told him when he did it, you have to dig deep into everything that you do because I want people to look at the car and say, ‘What the hell is this?’ And then be able to walk around it and pick up all the stuff that was done to it. I am a Mopar guy, so anything that would be done to it I would not be particularly upset with, but I wanted to test Dave’s limits to see what he could do with a car that most people think of as a brick.”

Vinnie had some very simple criteria that he was looking for on his build. He wanted it to be Hemi powered, have a manual gearbox, has some big skins at the back, and be blue. Beyond that, Dave Kindig was free to do what he does best.

Doing his thing meant that a donor car was needed. Finding a suitable candidate was the first hurdle they faced because old Mopars rust, and starting with a rusty pile would impact the budget at the onset. Purists might want to skip the next sentence. The car they settled on was an actual numbers-matching ’67 Coronet R/T with a four-speed. It was in really nice condition and the perfect starting point. Taking Vinnie’s basic criteria, Dave set pen to paper and came up with a rendering of what he envisioned would bring the Coronet into this century. He wanted to take some styling cues from the current Challenger Hellcat and incorporate them with what he planned to change on the car—and fix a few things he felt the factory got wrong with the design.

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