Kindig-It Design 1956 Chevy
The world has been heavily bombarded with ‘theme’ vehicles and tribute builds for the better part of a decade. Have a snack company? Why not build a car with giant potato-chip wheels and a vinyl wrap like a chip bag to promote it? Because it’s tacky, that’s why. It’s tacky to the people with an affinity for the style and grace that a properly assembled hot rod can exude. Some argue that these often comedic theme-builds give our industry a bad name.
With that being said, when I heard about “a tuxedo- ’56 Chevy” being built, I had brief flashes of a giant bowtie on the roof with huge cufflinks on the doors. My panic lasted until I discovered the builder; Kindig-It Designs. Made-for-TV crisis averted. The more I look at this car, the more I like it, and the more the tuxedo theme makes sense. There’s no denying that the Tri-Five Chevys are rock stars, but the ’55 and ’57 usually get top billing. The stocky, first-born ’55 shines as a rough and tumble throttle junkie, ready to do battle and take your lunch money on the playground, drag strip, road course or back alley. The grown-up 1957, in its high-brow Bel Air trim shines as the standard by which all 1950’s American cars are measured. But hanging out in the shadows of its two celebrity siblings, lurks the elegant, understated link between them. Often overlooked, the middle child ’56 struts with the class of the ’57 but with more restraint; it’s not flashy, and it still has some street-fighter ’55 in its veins.
Enter the tuxedo. It’s sophisticated; it’s the pinnacle of menswear. The complication of a tux makes it that much more elusive; normal guys just aren’t going to bother. Let’s focus on the men that do bother, the guys that wear the daylights out of a properly-fitted tuxedo; think: George Clooney, Jason Statham, James Bond. Always lookin’ good, always ready to steal your girl, your money, and rip up your city in a remarkable automobile. Starting to see the connection between the tux and the ’56?
Some call Dave Kindig a car builder, I call him a mastermind.
First impressions are everything; a cunning smile for the woman across the bar, a tug on the shirt sleeve, and a sip of a dry martini. Jet black paint so deep and wet you can dip your toe in, abruptly contrasted with stunning bright white. Dress shoes polished to a mirror-like finish, suited for gliding across a dance floor, sprinting down an alley or fending off an endless parade of illicit characters. Gleaming, billet Evod Industries rollers wrapped in BFGoodrich KDW hoops ready for a cruise or hot-lapping the autocross.
Agility, power and grace; the trifecta. Walking softly, all the while carrying a big stick, never starting the fight, but always finishing it. Q would be green with envy once locking eyes with an LS3 dressed as a plain-jane small block. T-56 six-speed grants optimal escape velocity, and C4 Vette underpinnings provide sure footing in any situation.
Moving to a more intimate setting, senses run wild. Able to grant your every wish, yet operating with marked refinement; supple leather wraps the occupants in seductive bliss, while a trio of pedals and a perfectly arched shifter remind that great potency is but an arm’s reach away. Always keeping a watchful eye, VHX instruments, DCC climate control and a Pioneer head unit have no secrets.
Taking a less-is-more approach and standing head and shoulders above the crowd will forever be the domain of the black tuxedo. The effort required to properly don a tux is just more than many can muster, and that fact will keep tuxedos exclusive. The same can be said for well designed and expertly executed custom cars; many will attempt, most will fall short of the mark. Perhaps this month’s Six-Degree’s feature vehicle will inspire more people to take a second look at the neglected ’56 Chev.
On second thought, hopefully not.