Kindig-it Design Unveils the ’53 Corvette Inspired Kindig CF1!

18th November 2021

It’s every car designer’s dream to build their own car from the ground up. Dave Kindig, owner and designer at Kindig-it Design, has always loved the 1953 Corvette, but Chevrolet’s legendary sports car had some issues in its first year of production. The project started last season on Bitchin’ Rides, but just in time to celebrate hitting the 100th episode milestone, Dave Kindig achieved his dream of building his first ground-up design car—the Kindig CF1—a carbon-fiber-bodied, V-8-powered homage to the 1953 Corvette. Related: Is your life not bitchin’ enough? Watch the 100th episode of Bitchin’ Rides on MotorTrend+, and catch up on every episode with the Kindig CF1! Sign up for a free trial today!

The Kindig CF1 isn’t some one-off (two-off?) piece of unobtanium built for a wealthy private collector, either; the cars you see here are just the first two series production Kindig CF1s to come from Kindig-it Design. That’s three milestones in one episode: Dave Kindig’s first clean-sheet design, Kindig-it Design’s first two turn-key series production cars, and the 100th episode of Bitchin’ Rides!

Kindig CF1: The 1953 Chevrolet Corvette Made Better
The 1953 Chevrolet Corvette was a game-changer in the American car market. In the 1950s, European cars were starting to eat up too much market share for domestic manufacturers’ liking and—believe it or not—American motorsport isn’t all about straight line acceleration or big banked ovals, and European cars were also dominating on American road courses. Chevrolet’s response was to develop a lightweight roadster that integrated European styling cues that could hold its own on the race track against its competitors from across the Atlantic, and the plan worked—sort of.

The 1953 Corvette was a styling success, unless you looked at it from the side, where the bulging front end became very apparent. When viewed side-on, most cars taper from back to front in size (front being smaller), but the first Corvette was opposite. It didn’t matter from what angle you looked at a 1953 Corvette, if you were over 5 foot, 5 inches(ish), you couldn’t drive it! The cabin of the first-year Corvette is notoriously small.

Those were the first two issues Dave Kindig decided to address with the CF1, sectioning 3 inches out of the front end of the car and creating a more proportionate flow down the side. He also stretched the cab of the original Corvette 4 inches—without altering the wheelbase, mind you—and dropped the floor pans under the seats to be level with the bottom of the chassis rails. Traditionally, Corvette floor pans are on top of the chassis rails, but the CF1 was always intended to be a turn-key production car and Dave wanted people of all heights to be able to fit in it.

Of course, this is Bitchin’ Rides, and Kindig-it Design is known for their stance and wheel packages. Again without altering the wheelbase or track width of a 1953 Corvette, Dave increased the wheel opening size and sketched out his concept with huge 22×12-inch rear wheels. Now it was time to actually make a car.