By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Dave Kindig vividly remembers his first visit to Barrett-Jackson.

The host of Velocity’s “Bitchin’ Rides,” Kindig was impressed by the caliber of available vehicles and the showmanship of the auctioneers. 

“I went with a couple friends to experience it,” Kindig says. “We were there with multiple millions of dollars of vehicles being sold.

“I remember it was the year Barrett-Jackson sold the Ron Pratte GM Futurliner.”

Kindig has since sold a bevy of vehicles through Barrett-Jackson, including a 1968 Camaro, 1967 Mustang, 1966 Nova and a 1937 Chevy. 

“We did quite well with all of them,” he says. “It was a great experience with Barrett-Jackson. I don’t sell at any auto auction unless it’s Barrett-Jackson.”

This year’s Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction is set for Saturday, January 11, to Sunday, January 19. Thousands of automobiles, both old and new, will be displayed at WestWorld of Scottsdale. 

Several celebrity vehicles will also be up for auction, including Travis Barker’s 1941 Cadillac Series 62 Deluxe Convertible, and former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway’s 1992 Dodge Viper.

Kindig is no different. He’s selling a 1972 Chevrolet Blazer Custom SUV at no reserve. The green and white colors represent an ultra-clear contrast from the inside out. Painted in PPG forest green all over-GM sheet metal and trim with a vanilla top, Kindig says it looks great on its lowered stance thanks to AccuAir suspension. Under the hood sits a GM Performance LS3 6.2-liter V8 engine, detailed to look part of the era and backed by a 4L65E four-speed automatic transmission. The interior is done in beer foam leather to factory style. The interior features a full, custom stereo. 

Kindig’s other vehicle on the block is a 1967 Volkswagen Type II double-cab custom pickup “double deluxe.” Kindig calls it a “fresh concept” of a VW deluxe bus and a double cab mixed in the “Double Deluxe” and features custom touches. The vehicle is rolling on 17-inch chromed Porsche Fuchs wheels and sitting on new air-ride suspension, with a Type 1 four-speed manual transaxle and powered by a 1915cc 4-cylinder engine topped with a 40 mm carb and a Bergmann Porsche-styled fan shroud. 

Disc brakes up front and drum brakes in the rear help bring it to a stop. The body has a custom-built deluxe sunroof and a Deluxe Bus port window in the roof. All the glass is safari-mounted and chrome-plated. A fourth door was added to the Double Deluxe, as well as the 1958 taillights and rear-quarter air vents. The interior is fully customized by SewFine Interiors in vintage red with velour carpet, while the exterior had many hours of finish, bodywork and then sprayed in modern classics manic red and magic marshmallow. 

Kindig says it isn’t upsetting to turn the vehicles over to Barrett-Jackson or clients after he’s rehauled them. 

“I love the camaraderie I have with my clients,” Kindig says. “Every car I’ve done, I’ve been allowed to hang on for a minute. I can take care of logistics, compete, drive it a little bit and put on some miles on it. Make sure it’s valet proof and then give them back to the clients so they don’t have problems.”

Kindig and his team work on about 16 to 20 cars at a time. He is even amazed by his team’s work. 

“I was watching ‘Beyond Bitchin’’ the other day, where they revisit the most Bitchin’ rides we had done,” says Kindig, who lives in Draper, Utah. 

“It’s cool to see some of those cars and seeing the builds.”

Kindig has sold more than a dozen vehicles in nine years with Barrett-Jackson. He’s a firm believer he has to spend money to make money. 

Kindig is a designer and builder who owns a hot rod shop and hosts “Bitchin’ Rides” on Motortrend. He says he began his career at age 5 playing with Lego and hot rods. 

“I just never let it go,” he says with a laugh. “I’m self-taught. There’s a lot of great stuff that came from Lego. It teaches you to work with your hands. 

“I try to inspire kids. If they like to draw, I show them how to perfect their craft and what they’re doing. The best way to start is with Lego. It’s done me good so far.”

Motortrend thinks so, too. Kindig says he wasn’t a bit nervous when he embarked on his TV career. 

“I’m a ham,” he says, laughing. “I’ve always been comfortable in front of groups of people. I’ve always been very open and passionate about what I do and, fortunately, I have people who admire what we’re doing.”

He owes his success to his wife, Charity, who encouraged him to quit his job and pursue his dreams. Kindig admits the timing was awkward. Their daughter, Baylee, was 3 (she’s now 23); his son, Drew was just born when he quit his job. 

“My wife let me quit my job. I cashed in my 401(k)—I had $4,800—and started the business out of my garage. It wasn’t always easy. There were a lot of struggles and heartache and lessons to be learned. 

“I never gave up on it, though. Twelve years in, we realized we had something that could take care of our family and all the families who worked for us. We’re taking care of the machine that takes care of us.”

He counts Craig Jackson among his family. 

“Craig Jackson knows how to throw a party,” Kindig says. “They create every kind of automotive dream and everything around it. It’s not just an auction. It’s the surroundings—the exhibitors, the art galleries—and that time of year is not bad compared to Utah weather.

“I’ve always admired how they put the whole thing together at WestWorld. They do a marvelous job. Everyone has a good time.”

Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, 480.421.6694, barrett-jackson.com, various times Saturday, January 11, to Sunday, January 19, ticket prices vary depending on the day.