Company backed by Robert Downey Jr who rebuilds classic muscle cars and trucks with a twist
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Old cars and trucks are given new life with the help of Iron Man.
California-based Kindred Motorworks has unveiled a range of classic “restomod” cars and trucks, which combine original bodies with modern powertrains and technology.
The company recently closed a $20 million funding round that included an investment of Footprint Coalition Ventures of Robert Downey Jr.which focuses on supporting environmentally friendly efforts.
Indeed, Kindred’s vehicles offer buyers the choice between gasoline and electric powertrains, but company CEO Rob Howard said the long-term focus is on battery power.
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“The electrical piece of the equation is always evolving, isn’t it, as we put this together and improve how it all fits together, we want to make sure we’re still serving the market,” Howard told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview on The fox garage.
“We still like the smell of gasoline and the performance of these things, but the future really lies in electric vehicles, and we’re focusing more and more on that.”
Kindred is launching with the original Ford Bronco and 1969 Chevrolet Camaro along with a Volkswagen Microbus that will only be available as an electric vehicle. All use the same electric powertrain, which Howard says will provide a range of 200 miles and between 300 hp and 400 hp in the Camaro. First deliveries are expected to begin in 2024 at prices ranging from $149,000 to $199,000, which is in line with the market for these types of buildings.
The Bronco is also available with a 460-hp 5.0-liter Ford Coyote V8, while the Camaro can be ordered with one of two GM crate engines: a 495-hp 6.2-liter V8 or a V8 6.2-liter supercharged 700 hp.
“An EV is just the newest type of crate engine available. The torque is better, the maintenance is better, it’s more durable, it’s kind of a given,” Howard said.
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What sets Kindred apart from other restoration companies, according to Howard, is that it has developed a repeatable, step-by-step process for conversions, so they can be completed in less time and any improvements or issues that arise can be resolved across all vehicles.
“We can control the dining experience like never before,” he said.
Kindred purchases all donor cars itself and only sells the complete product, rather than offering customization services to people who already own the models.
The Electric Bronco requires 1,900 separate steps, with instructional videos and detailed specs available to train technicians on how to do it. This is a much more complex process than a typical internal combustion engine, which may use many of the car’s existing drivetrain components and accessories, including the belt-driven air conditioning system.
Suspension and braking systems are redesigned to accommodate the electric powertrain and interiors refreshed and equipped with a touchscreen infotainment system.
Howard said the company plans to add new models to the mix and is growing to build hundreds of vehicles. The growth plan was a big part of why investors found the company attractive, but Howard said he had another appeal for Downey, who produces a show for Discovery+ called “Downey’s Dream Cars” that presents it with classic cars converted to electric power.
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“He’s a person who is genuinely interested in old cars, he loves old cars, but he also kind of said, ‘I don’t want to drive gas cars anymore.'”