My father, Boyd Coddington, produced some of the first billet wheels for the hot rods he was building back in the early 80’s. The demand for those billet wheels grew and the custom made to order billet wheel industry was born. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s many iconic designs came out of Hot Rods by Boyd and were featured on high profile Boyd Built cars like Chezoom and Aluma coupe. Today Hot Rods by Boyd is bringing back the cool styles of that era and offering a wider range of fitments and sizes than previously offered. All HRBB Retro Series wheels feature the soft lip and are available in diameters 17″ to 24″ for most 5 and 6 lug applications. Hot Rods by Boyd is also willing to bring back any one of your favorite billet designs from the past. So if you don’t see it in our line up give us a call to discuss making those for you.
Last month at Barret-jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona a 1929 Roadster was put up for sale by Dave Kindig of Kindigit Designs. As per Barrett-Jackson’s website the description for the roadster was as follows:
“Lot #1035 – This 1929 Ford Model A roadster was originally built by Boyd Coddington for a good friend of his, Vern Luce. Vern was one of Boyd’s first clients and had many cars built by Boyd’s Rod Shop. This roadster has many custom touches, such as a custom-built chassis, Boydster independent front and rear suspension, one-off true knock-off wheels, Marcel’s custom body mods including, three-piece aluminum hood and sides, custom floor, shortened rear body, modified body revels, shortened grille, pinched and stretched front end. Finished in Boyd’s Red, the body is excellent. As Boyd was finishing the roadster, Vern passed away. Boyd purchased the car from Vern’s widow. Before the car was complete, Boyd passed away and the car was only in need of a windshield and upholstery. The car is finished to the specifications that Boyd would have finished it. 5-speed manual transmission.”
The car went across the block on Friday evening proudly displayed on the screen as a Boyd Coddington car. Yet another one of Boyd’s projects that didn’t get finished due to his untimely death. The story that was pitched was untrue almost in its entirety. I was made aware of the car the morning of the day the car was supposed to go across the block. A long time employee of my dad called and asked me about it. He was concerned because he was around the time this car would have been started; in fact he would have been there at the end as well. The story being pitched just wasn’t adding up. I made a few calls and could not find anyone that remembered the car or could corroborate Dave Kindig’s story behind the promotion of the car. I attempted to reach out to Dave and the Kindigit camp through social media before the car sold, to no avail. I was flying out to BJ the next day so I was hoping I could track Dave down and get the story from him. On Saturday at BJ right before the French Connection went across the block I ran into Dave, introduced myself, and he immediately said, “Come on let’s go talk about this.” I was pressed for time but had a good 5 minutes to talk it over. Dave told me he bought the car from a guy named Jason Hughes, who had bought the car from Jerry Covington of Covington’s Customs. It was then that Dave showed me a letter signed by Jerry Covington. It stated clearly all the details of the roadster. Body bought from Boyd Coddington, chassis made by Boyd Coddington, however on the second page it clearly states Covington Customs built the car. Dave told me he had only received that letter just a week before the auction. I asked him why he went through selling the car as one built by my dad and his only response was, “The brochures were already printed.” Our conversation was short since I wanted to see the French Connection go across block, but I was still left with questions about the whole ordeal.
When I got back to town I made a few calls. One was to Jerry Covington. Jerry gave me the run down on the phone just as you see it in the letter. A body was purchased around 1989 from my dad, which was going to be used for a project for Vern Luce before he died. My dad made the chassis and the wheels, and commissioned Thom Taylor to do a rendering of car for Jerry’s wife. From there Jerry took the car and for the next 20+ years worked on it off and on, having people like Marcel’s do work to the body. Jerry sold the car to Jason Hughes in late 2014. In May 2015 Jason contacted Jerry and told him he was trying to sell the car and asked him if he could put together a list about some of the details of the car. This is the list you see here signed by Jerry. In September 2015, as Jerry was fueling up while on the Hot Bike tour, he gets a call from Dave Kindig. Dave tells Jerry he is interested in buying the car and would like some more information. Once again Jerry went down the bullet point list off the top of his head just as he put down on the paper for Jason. After talking to Jerry I made a call to Dave. I told him about all the information I uncovered and that I wanted him to make it right. I wanted my dad’s name off the car and I wanted the person who actually built the car, Jerry Covington, to receive the proper credit. Not only that but there was a buyer who purchased the car under the pretense it was a Boyd Coddington car. I made it clear I was willing to give him a chance do these things to make it right before I put the information out there. After the first call I received another call from Dave about 4 hours later. It was then that he sent me the Jerry Covington letter. Dave told me a story that he had misunderstood the timeline of the car. Page 2 of that letter clearly states Covington Customs built the car. Dave says he only found out a week before the auction.
Jerry says he talked to Dave in September of 2015. Either way Dave had time to tell the truth, but instead chose to run with another narrative that contradicted Jerry Covington’s letter. My last conversation with Dave was the Tuesday afternoon after BJ. Dave told me he would get back to me by the end of the week and give me a proposal as to how he was going to fix this mess. It’s now almost 3 weeks later and I am still waiting for that call. Dave Kindig has not returned any of my texts or attempts to get hold of him, so I am putting this information out there for the public to decide. In fact Dave has also made an attempt to scrub his social media, specifically his Facebook page of any and all posts or references of the roadster. Take a look at all the information and you will see that this is not a Boyd Coddington-built car.
Time frames can be confused but let’s get to the heart of the matter: “Boyd purchased the car from Vern’s widow. Before the car was complete, Boyd passed away and the car was only in need of a windshield and upholstery. The car is finished to the specifications that Boyd would have finished it.”
My dad did not purchase this car back and try to finish it before he died. That body and chassiss made a one-way trip to Jerry and he is the one that put together this cool little roadster. This is the part that has myself, The Coddington Estate, Jerry Covington, and everyone upset. As far as Barrett-Jackson is concerned they have in the past required documentation or a letter from the estate to verify a car’s authenticity. In fact the seller of a 1940 Ford convertible project that was in the works by my father when he passed which sold at the same Scottsdale auction was required by Barrett-Jackson to get something in writing from myself or the estate verifying it’s authenticity. I personally verified and supplied the documentation for that car. All it takes is one call or one email to start the process. Looks like they let one slide by.
Chris Coddington 2-17-16