Meet the Team – Gary Kendrick, Mustang Vice President of Manufacturing

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17 Nov 2010

Mustang Vice President of Manufacturing, Gary Kendrick

It’s pretty obvious after chatting with Gary Kendrick, a Mustang Motorcycle Seat executive for the past 30 years, that he has a true passion for the design end of the motorcycle industry. And after reading the Q&A below, you might get the idea that he gets a special kick out of road testing his designs!

Mustang Motorcycle Seats: What did you do prior to coming to work for Mustang?

Gary Kendrick: It’s always been motorcycles. When I was 13, I inherited my first bike — a Honda 50cc. Also at age 13 I bought my first welder. By the time I was 18 years old in the early ’70s, I was working in a Ducati, Norton dealership, building turbo car engines and racing at Lime Rock Park in western Connecticut. I started working at Corbin-Gentry when I was 19 and was eventually responsible for full seat design. Then in June of 1981, I began building seat tooling and cover patterns for Mustang Motorcycle Seats.

MMS: What attracted you to Mustang?

GK: It was the diverse challenge of sculpting raw steel, fiberglass, foam and leather into comfortable works of art. Plus, I get to attend all the major motorcycle shows — Daytona, Myrtle Beach, Sturgis — what could be better. Oh yeah, and I get to road test everything I design!

MMS: What’s the best part of your job?

GK: That would be the freedom of getting in there hands-on and bringing ideas to life. Most people will just see a finished seat or a motorcycle accessory. I see my hefty 500-pound, steel-crushing die that formed the base of the seat plus the hand-carved foam that will be duplicated to perfection through our creative molding system. I see the curvaceous cover pattern lines critiquing every stitch, and the knowledge that I played a role in putting them there. And yes, I’ve sewn the first of almost every Mustang seat we’ve created. My job entails all aspects of building, photography and pattern making, so I’ve got no time to be bored. And again, I get to road test all that I design!

MMS: When you’re not working, what do you like to do in your spare time?

GK: Travel, photography, bicycling — I know — borrring!!! But really, I’m always building or thinking about altering anything mechanical for function, longevity or speed. Did I mention yet that I get to road test all that I design?

MMS: What’s your all-time favorite Mustang part or accessory?

GK: I would have to say the latest Cyclone solo seat that Al and I worked on this year is truly a functional work of art. Another favorite was a heated air-ride seat we made back in the ’90s. It was a mechanical marvel that had eight air bladders in it along with its own air pump and sequential valve system. It was very comfortable, but very expensive.

MMS: If you could take some time off work and ride anywhere in the world, where would you go and with whom would you ride?

GK: The location/place does not matter. Ride! Any time anywhere!! It’s always nice when the ride is shared with others. But I’d have to say I ride a little taller when my son Ross is on his Sportster 48 beside me. And, of course, part of me rides with everyone who has a Mustang seat.

3 Responses to “Meet the Team – Gary Kendrick, Mustang Vice President of Manufacturing”

  1. Linda Colgan November 18, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    Hey Gary, I have a question for you.. . Do you ever get to ride on the seats you design? Just Kidding! Nice Blog. So proud of my big brother.

  2. JACKIE ALVES November 19, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    I KNEW, WHEN YOU WERE AROUND 4 YEAR OLD, AND YOU DISMANTLED YOUR GRANDPARENTS FURNANCE, IN THEIR BASEMENT, CREATING A FLOOD OF OIL, THAT I WAS IN TROUBLE. BUT YOU HAVE ALWAYS (MOSTLY) EXPENDED YOUR CREATIVE MIND, ACCOMPLISHING (WHAT MOST PEOPLE WOULD SAY) THE IMPOSSIBLE. KEEP PRODUCTION ROLLING. LOVE YOU, MOM

  3. Pat Bowman November 21, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    You are so lucky to have a job you love and still get paid for it. Congratulations from Texas

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