1953 Chevy Corvette TwelveAir Wins 2024 Ridler Award at Autorama

Jackson Wheeler
4 Min Read

  • The 2024 Detroit Autorama is wrapped, the awards are handed out, and Dave and Tracey Maxwell’s 1953 Chevy Corvette ‘TwelveAir’ takes top honors.
  • The Detroit Autorama is one of the most prestigious custom car shows in the country, with the Ridler Award honoring Don Ridler.
  • Autorama has been a staple in the custom car world for over 70 years, and its pedigree is only rivaled by the Grand National Roadster Show.

The crowds are gone, the trailers are loaded and the list of Don Ridler Memorial Award winners is a little longer. Taking top honors at the 2024 Detroit Autorama is the 1953 Chevrolet Corvette that’s owned by Dave and Tracey Maxwell.

Built by Dave Kindig and his team at Kindig-It Design, this ’53 Vette showpiece takes inspiration from the General Motors Motorama concepts of yesteryear.

Unlike the show car Corvettes that basked in the limelight of the General Motors Motorama, this Kindig creation was hand-formed out of aluminum. That’s good news for Corvette devotees: An original ‘53 ‘Vette wasn’t sacrificed for a show car.

While that’s good intel for Corvette fans, it should make this custom Corvair-inspired Corvette that much more impressive.

If the custom bodywork of the 1953 Chevy Corvette ‘TwelveAir’ isn’t enough to wow you, suspending this custom ‘Vette is a push-rod style suspension that manages a set of custom 20-inch front and 21-inch rear aluminum wheels that are wrapped in 345/30-20 and 345/25-21 Michelin Pilot Sport 4s. Bringing this to a halt is a set of Wilwood Aero6 front and Aero4 rear calipers that will clamp down on polished stainless steel rotors.

Oh yeah, let’s not forget the powertrain. This Kindig creation uses twice as many cylinders as a ’53 Corvette for motivation. This V12 was sourced from Race Cast Engineering and displaces 9.2 liters.

The 71st Autorama was a treat for car enthusiasts, builders, and the folks selling candied almonds.

For those curious, this V12 is based on the General Motors LS architecture, so it’s not deviating too far from the bowtie. Managing the V12 is a Haltech Nexus VCU.

Of course, competing for the Ridler award might be the big draw for builders, but the Autorama is more than just a competition for the best custom car in the country.

For many, the Detroit Autorama is just a chance to take out their prized street machine, custom car, or hot rod during a season (winter) in Michigan that isn’t exactly conducive to enjoying a special car.

In fact, there were some cars, like a W-43-powered 1970 Oldsmobile that were stunning in their own right but couldn’t compete for top honors. Adding to that, the Autorama Extreme was full of traditional-styled custom cars, hot rods, and race cars.

Like each of the 70 Detroit Autoramas before it, the 71st showing was a treat for car enthusiasts, builders, and the folks who sell the candied almonds.

Have you ever been to the Detroit Autorama or Grand National Roadster Show? Do you have a favorite? Tell us your thoughts below.

Headshot of Wesley Wren

Wesley Wren has spent his entire life around cars, whether it’s dressing up as his father’s 1954 Ford for Halloween as a child, repairing cars in college or collecting frustrating pieces of history—and most things in between. Wesley is the current steward of a 1954 Ford Crestline Victoria, a 1975 Harley-Davidson FXE and a 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Galaxie. Oh yeah, and a 2005 Kia Sedona.

Share This Article
Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
Leave a comment