SEMA 2021 – Kindig-It Design’s CF1 A 21st Century 1953 Corvette

Another SEMA 2021 has come and gone. We’ve always said that many of the best builds at the Las Vegas supershow are lurking around the edges. But this year, two of the coolest cars at the convention center were from big cheese builder, Dave Kindig and Kindig-it Design.

Dave has always wanted to produce a turnkey car under the banner of Kindig-it Design and based on these Corvette restomods he debuted, his dream is coming true. Feast your eyes on Kindig’s CF1 Roadster, a thorough updating of the Motorama show car that went into production as the Chevrolet Corvette in 1953. Along with a white version that echoed the 1953 Corvette’s color combo, this silver-blue car was unveiled, as well.

Compared to the original car, the CF1 is a much bigger, wider car with a commensurate expansion of the cockpit. Kindig told the audience at the opening of the show, that people must have been smaller back in the day, as the interior of a C1 Corvette is cramped by today’s standards. We can tell just by looking at the CF1, that problem has been solved with more than enough legroom to stretch out and get comfortable.

Of course, the CF1 is essentially a tribute to the 1953 Corvette from a clean sheet of paper. Kindig simply brought Harley Earl’s legendary design into tack-sharp focus. Although the 1953 Corvette’s place in automotive history is secure, it was a product of its era and by today’s standards, the car looks tall and tubby today from certain angles. Kindig’s reimagining tightens up the space between the top of the wheel wells and the fenders to a smooth, brutal effect.

Smooth seems to be the reoccurring theme here. The bumpers and trim have been tucked-in and even the two winglets on the rocketship taillights have been shaved. The Forgeline wheels fill out the wheel wells nicely, and although they might be a little too big for purists, the rolling stock is spot-on. The windshield is a work of art.  It captures the vibe of the Motorama original, but it’s lower and sleeker, and is the perfect crown on top of the new body lines.

Although Kindig’s design and build prowess are on full display here, a significant part of building a modern restomod is the final assembly of a myriad of aftermarket parts and Dave only uses the best. A custom Roadster Shop frame, Wilwood brakes, Dakota Digital, Borla exhaust, and Michelin tires are key additions to the CF1 mix.

The cabin is impressive in that it retains the look and feel of the 1953’s Buck Rogers-flavored interior but with every modern convenience thrown in.  JS Customs stitched the interior, and again, the dimensions are now appropriate for modern humans. The steering wheel is especially understated and cool with a nod to early-’50s Chevrolet design.

Under the hood, a Lingenfelter Performance LS7 427 V8 engine with Borla 8 Stack Injection produces a stump-pulling 673 horsepower with 618 lb-ft of torque hooked up to a GM automatic transmission.

Specifications:

  • Carbon Fiber body by Doug’s Performance Corvettes
  • Roadster Shop independent Spec 7 chassis to Kindig specifications
  • GM Performance 4L80E automatic transmission
  • 21-inch & 22-inch custom wheels built by Forgeline
  • Michelin Pilot S4 tires
  • Wilwood Engineering disc brakes
  • Stainless Ultimate Headers
  • Custom full stainless Borla Exhaust
  • Power Steering/Power Brakes
  • Custom design projector headlights
  • Hidden Kicker audio system
  • Triple-plated chrome trim by Ogden Chrome
  • Custom leather interior by JS Custom Interiors
  • Gauges by Dakota Digital
  • One-off  steering wheel
  • Heating & A/C by Vintage Air
  • Custom colors using Modern Classikk by Kindig

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About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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