Part of the blinged-out pomp and circumstance that surrounds SEMA is the presentation of the Gran Turismo Awards, which recognizes best car design and innovations in six categories, as well as an overall Best in Show. This year's winner was David Eckert and his 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 40, which also won the award for Best Hot Rod.
Other winners included the Toyota DragQuoia for Best Truck/SUV, the 2013 Ford Mustang RTR for Best Domestic Car, the Scion Evasive FR-S for Best Asian Import and the 500-horsepower VWVortex Super Beetle won for best European Import.
But it was the Mach 40 that apparently captured the interest of judges, which included Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi. David Eckert's team created a clever combination of Mustang Mach 1 styling and massive power, using the powertrain from the Ford GT. That means this 'Stang was fitted with a mid-mounted supercharged 5.4-liter V8, producing 600 to 850 horsepower, modulated using an "adjustable horsepower dial." Interestingly, the custom project rides on a C6 Corvette suspension.
The notoriety of the Mach 40 will last well after this year's show, as the car is being included in the Gran Turismo franchise, and will be seen by the millions that play the popular driving simulator. You may never get to drive the Mach 40, but now you may know what driving this car feels like in virtual reality, which for the David Eckert's team, must feel pretty darn cool.