Rick Cox’s Kindig-It 1963 Corvette Stingray
When it comes to the styling of the first year Corvette Stingray body, they’re just so darn sexy and timeless that there’s not much to update or improve upon. Understanding the car’s iconic stature, the crew at Kindig-It Design knew that most of the work on Rick Cox’s 1963 Corvette coupe would be in the chassis and driveline, along with some subtle details and a first-rate finish on this classic American sports car.
That doesn’t mean they left the body 100-percent stock. The Kindig team set about on making understated updates like moving the grille opening 3-inches lower and bringing the four bumpers in tight to the body. Custom hood vents and lower rocker trim were designed and then whittled from billet, and of course a set of Kindig’s Smooth Classic Chrome door handles was installed before the tropical Verruca Violet blue from AkzoNobel’s Modern Classikk by Kindig was applied.
While the body received only a few modifications, underneath this ’63 is a different story. The 56-year old chassis was rolled away in favor of a Fast Track Elite frame from Roadster Shop. An independent rear suspension was retained but a 9-inch center section was used and surrounded by an all-aluminum suspension system. Six-piston Wilwood calipers squeeze matching rotors that bring the 19×8- and 20×12-inch rear Billet Specialties with Michelin rubber to a standstill.
All of that braking effort is required with a 454c.i. LSX from Chevrolet Performance under the hood. This Gen IV engine has a 4.185-inch bore with a 4.125-inch stroke that is filled with an all-forged rotating assembly to handle 627 horsepower (at 6,300rpm) with 586 ft-lbs of torque peaking at 5,100rpm. Kindig-It brought in some extra styling on the intake manifold and finished the exits with a custom stainless exhaust. Six gears are available through a GM 6L90E trans for low-rpm cruising at high speeds.
Peering into the interior through the one-year-only split rear window provides a glimpse of the spice-colored leather interior by JS Custom Interiors. An engine-turned dash panel surrounds a one-off Dakota Digital gauge assembly highlighted with hidden LEDs, and you won’t even notice the Kicker sound system hidden in plain sight.
This ’63 Vette blends the beauty of its original styling with modern nuances backed by brutal power and cat-like handling. This combination is ideal for Rick as the ’63 Corvette Stingray fits right in with his collection of other first- and second-gen Corvettes.
Photos by John Jackson