Kindig-It TwelveAir: The 2024 Detroit Autorama Ridler Award Winner

The 71st Annual Detroit Autorama recently came to a grand finale, and the coveted Don Ridler Memorial Award found a new home. Among the Great 8 finalists, one car stood out, an incredible car that blended classic Chevrolet styling cues with modern design. Ladies and gents meet TwelveAir, an incredible spin on a GM Motorama show car, built by Kindig-It Design, and owned by Dave and Tracey Maxwell of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Four years in the making, it made its debut in Detroit.

The Backstory: A Fusion of History and Imagination

The roots of TwelveAir trace back to the 1954 General Motors “Motorama.” a traveling car show where three Corvette concepts were unveiled. One was “The Corvair,” although not to be confused with cars that were the target of Ralph Nader’s obsession. This Corvair concept served as inspiration for future Corvettes, particularly the addition of a coupe that would eventually debut in 1963 as the hallowed split window model.

Design and Craftsmanship

Dave Kindig and his talented team at Kindig-It Design took inspiration from this early Corvette concept, as well as other European and American designs. The result? A stunning all-aluminum-bodied (sacrilege!)  C1 Corvette that defies convention. Let’s zoom in closer:

The roof of TwelveAir deviates from the traditional C1 body. Instead, it features an aluminum fastback with a skosh of Dodge Viper influence. The sloping roofline terminates with rocket-shaped taillights.

Mega Power From V12 LS Engine

Under the hood lies a custom-built, naturally aspirated 9.2-liter LS V-12 engine crafted by Race Cast Engineering. Paired with a rear-mounted transaxle, this powerhouse spins GM 8L90E eight-speed overdrive automatic transmission. Hand-built stainless-steel headers lead to a custom 4-inch exhaust, exiting from the center of the car.

Kindig-It Ridler

The Indy-car-inspired suspension features a single lateral coilover cantilever pushrod design. Wilwood Aero6 R front brakes and Aero4 rears, coupled with custom hats, ensure precise stopping power. The one-off EVOD custom wheels (20×8 front, 21×12 rear) wear Michelin Pilot Sport 4s rubber.

Inside the Custom Cabin

Sienna leather stitched by JS Custom Interiors graces the interior. A 3D-printed dash, console, and inserts add a bespoke touch. Ambient lighting sets the mood, while the Haltec Nexus VCU handles the electronics.

Kindig-It Ridler

The Color Palette

TwelveAir wears a captivating coat of Modern Classikk paint by Kindig, using AkzoNobel Infrared as the base. Subtle chrome accents add just the right pop to this rolling work of art.

Photo gallery


The Triumph

TwelveAirt not only claimed the coveted Ridler trophy but also secured a $10,000 prize. As the spotlight shines on this one-of-a-kind Corvette fantasy, we eagerly anticipate seeing more of it in the months ahead.

In the world of custom automotive design, TwelveAir is now the current “it” build—a fusion of nostalgia, innovation, and audacity. It’s a testament to the vision of Dave Kindig and the artistry of Kindig-It Design. Add another milestone to Dave and his merry band of custom car builders. Congrats to owners Dave and Tracey Maxwell for commissioning the car.

Kindig-It Ridler

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About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an editor at Power Automedia. He digs all flavors of automobiles, from classic cars to modern EVs. Dave loves music, design, tech, current events, and fitness.
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