Classic cars can be beautiful. But they can also be daunting, a reality that newcomer Kindred Motorworks aims to overcome by modernizing the processes that transforms derelicts into attractive, reliable objects of rolling automotive art.
According to CEO and founder Rob Howard, the California Bay Area-based company “spent a lot of time visiting hundreds of local shops and identifying everything we needed to eliminate all their inefficiencies.” With that goal in mind, they formulated a “Blueprint” technology that they say “maps each car’s genome and underpins every subsequent process, from parts sourcing to procurement to final assembly.” VP of Technology Troy Eastlack says the process includes documenting everything from specifications to parts and tools.
If the looks of their builds are any indication, these custom creations are aimed at the same strata of buyers who might cross-shop high-end options like a Ford Mustang from Revology, a Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen from Expedition Motor Company, or a Land Rover Defender from any number of custom outfits.
Kindred launches with three iconic classics: old school Chevrolet Camaros ($149,000 for LS3 power, $199,000 with an LT), first-gen Ford Broncos ($169,000), and Volkswagen Buses ($199,000), the latter available with an EV powertrain. While the prototype utilized a Tesla powertrain, the production version will leverage an all-new system with 200 miles of range via a production partner that will be announced in the fall. The company says electrification will spread to other models in the lineup, in addition to a forthcoming fourth model, the Kindred Chevy 3100 Pickup.
According to Design Lead John Aizarini, “Our design philosophy is to modernize vintage vehicles and make them safer, more efficient, and more powerful without losing the spirit of that vehicle.” Also incorporated are modern conveniences like power locks and windows, heated seats, and cupholders.
Founded in 2019, Kindred Motorworks has raised over $20 million in funding from CPMG, Goldcrest, Fifth Down Capital, and Robert Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition, with additional support from Hagerty and various angel investors. The company will be showing off their EV-powered VW Bus at Monterey Car Week, with pre-orders opening on August 19 at kindredmotorworks.com.