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January 28, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Kincer Chassis now solely focused on what its name implies

Founder Thomas Kincer says, "Custom shops don’t like messing with the chassis. They like to focus on the exterior. Our passion is building the chassis and powertrains.”

There’s been a good deal of change and progress in the nearly four and one-half years since we last provided an update on Kincer Chassis. At the time, the company was mostly focused on repairing and restoring first generation Ford Broncos, a line of business that had earned it the designation in 2019 as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Tennessee Rural Owned Small Business of the Year.”

The Kincer Family with a restored Bronco

Owner Thomas Kincer grew-up repairing and restoring vehicles with his father as a hobby before turning that part-time passion into a full time business with the founding of Kincer Engineering and Design LLC in 2012. Initially, the parent company included only Krawlers Edge that provides specialty components for Gen 1 Broncos – those manufactured between 1966 and 1977. He later added Kincer Chassis that makes frames and a full rolling chassis as an official licensee of Ford Motor Company.

“We’re doing away with restoration and repair,” Kincer told us when we caught up with him recently. “Our focus is now on the chassis business. Custom shops don’t like messing with the chassis. They like to focus on the exterior. Our passion is building the chassis and powertrains.”

That change, however, is just part of the evolution of the business that he shared with us. In the ensuing years since our initial interview in 2019, the company has grown from 10 or 12 employees to 49 on the payroll, had three facilities that are now being consolidated into one in Louisville, TN, and expanded its offerings beyond the Bronco chassis.

He’s also gotten married to Emily, and they have a son, Thomas III, who is two and one-half years old. Emily, who is active in the business, says the company has the capacity to build up to one chassis a day although that is not the run rate currently.

Today, Kincer Chassis offers a variety of chassis product options including: (1) an adventure coil-over rolling chassis; (2) a hybrid classic series chassis; and (3) a freeway series chassis. These range from their OEM (original equipment manufacturer)-style suspension to their coil-sprung suspension all the way to their coil-over suspension. One of these chassis will fit the needs of any Bronco build.

Jay Leno with the 1968 Bronco

In 2019 Kincer Chassis and Krawlers Edge gained international celebrity status when the two companies collaborated with Ford Performance, SEMA Garage, Dennis Carpenter Ford Restoration Parts, and LGE-CTS Motorsports to restore famous TV star Jay Leno’s 1968 U15 Ford Bronco Wagon for display at that year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas. Kincer built the chassis on its adventure series coil-over rolling platform and installed the powertrain, including a Ford Performance 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engine. Krawlers Edge designed the cooling system and fabricated and installed the exhaust and fuel delivery components. There’s a video describing the project that can be viewed here.

F-Series conversion to four-wheel drive

Kincer Chassis has also developed: (1) a partnership with TracTive Suspension to bring new shocks to the market, specifically for 4×4 vehicles; and (2) a kit for 1965 to 1979 classic Ford F-Series trucks that converts them from two-wheel drive (2WD) to four-wheel drive (4WD).

  • Kincer Chassis decided to pursue the TracTive system because of its simple interface and impeccable track record\. Already used on extremely high-end, niche cars such as Pagani, Dallara, and Donkervoort, the partnership combines Kincer Chassis’ knowledge of 4×4 suspension and TracTive’s expert knowledge in shocks to provide what is being billed as “the absolute best RIDE for on/off-road vehicles.”
  • Like the initial focus on Gen 1 Broncos, the 2WD to 4WD conversion kits are designed to bring new capabilities to Ford F-100, F-150, F-250, and F-350 models released during the15-year period between 1965 and 1979. Described by Kincer Chassis as workhorses, the 4WD versions are hard to find today. Most of them ended up as farm trucks and are pretty beat up. On the flip side, the 2WD versions were produced in higher volume and are generally in better condition and much easier to find. For example, in 1974, Ford manufactured 389,000 2WD half-ton pickups, but only 27,000 4WD half-ton pickups.

Kincer Chassis has even experimented with an electric version of the Gen 1 Bronco, producing one all new, fully electric vehicle.

As far as their vision for the company, the Kincers describe it this way: “We’re in the business of bringing your Bronco dreams to life, filling your garage with something you’re proud of, giving you the chance to live that adventurous life you’ve always wanted, and transforming your beloved Bronco into a reliable machine fit for daily use.”

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