It's the ultimate combination.
The recent SEMA Show had many highlights, making it tough to choose an absolute favorite. If you put a gun to our head, we'd have to go with the CF1 Corvette Concept, designed and built by Dave Kindig (host of Bitchin' Rides) and Lingenfelter.
It feels unfair to call the CF1 a restomod, as it goes above and beyond what we usually expect when using that term. More than anything, it's Kindig's company - Kindig-It Design - making a statement and producing a vehicle that showcases what it can do.
We all know the 1953 Corvette. It was the very first of its kind and proved that America could produce a rival in the sports car segment dominated by the Europeans. It looked sublime, being one of Harley Earl's first creations. GM recently unveiled a few of his original design sketches for possible models.
The 1953 Corvette had a few issues, however. The design was a bit awkward and not suited to larger adults. Kindig-It solved the problem by making the CF1 bigger in every direction. If you look at the images, you'll see a fully-grown adult can sit comfortably. Kindig could take some liberties with the dimensions, as the CF1 is based on a custom Roadster Shop independent Spec 7 chassis. The wheelbase matches the original car, however.
And somehow, Kindig made it work by giving the car a smaller, more streamlined appearance, with body panels made from carbon fiber. Look at the space between the wheel well and the top panels. The gap is much smaller than the original car, giving the CF1 an aggressive stance. Compared to this, the original looks like it used spacers to lift the body.
The overall theme of the CF1 is polished minimalism. The bumpers are tucked in neatly, and the rocket ship-like winglets are toned down significantly. The windscreen is similar to the original but much lower. Even so, it will still stop the wind from ruining the driving experience.
The wheels on this car are a bit much, but keep in mind that it is a show car meant to make a statement.
The interior is most faithful to the original, but the key difference is the available legroom and room between the driver and passenger. The design is straight from the 1950s but hidden beneath the old-school homage to the Corvette, you'll find a host of modern conveniences. It has air conditioning, and the Kicker infotainment system is hidden, so it doesn't spoil the old-school design.
Lingenfelter's contribution can be found under the hood. It's the LS7 V8 with Borla 8 Stack Injection, and it produces 673 horsepower and 618 lb-ft of torque. It's mated to a four-speed automatic transmission from GM's Performance department. To ensure the entire State can hear you coming, it has a custom stainless steel Borla exhaust. Lingenfelter has long been associated with Corvette upgrades. Its package for the C8 made its debut in 2020, and a few months later, it introduced the ultimate exhaust package.
As you can imagine, the CF1 has the potential to be quite a handful (it weighs 3,025 lbs with a full tank of gas), but other modifications are included to make it easier to drive.
These include modern Michelin Pilot 4S tires for improved grip and Wilwood Engineering disc brakes to give it the kind of stopping power that would impress a C8 Corvette driver.
Drivers will also appreciate the inclusion of power assistance for both the brakes and the steering.
A limited number of CF1s will be produced, each boasting its own unique exterior hue and matching interior. As always, with these things, it's hard to put a price on it, but we heard a rumor that a CF1 goes for around $375k. Not bad, considering what an equally scarce Bentley Bacalar open-top goes for these days. It's also much cheaper than Kevin Hart paid for a 1959 Corvette restomod.