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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Everybody trashing it? I think it is incredibly cool. Don't own a game system so I can describe if the work is worth the marketing effort, but I think the car rocks. Before I read the whole story, I could see the GT's rear quarter, scoop and dropping tail. I think most of these 'merged' cars are crap, but I really like this one.
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Gran Turismo team needs to stop doing this marketing crap and focus on making a good game. I've owned every GT title and I ended up buying an Xbox just for Forza 4.
        • 2 Years Ago
        So sad to see you bought Forza and decided to downgrade the realism within your experience with driving simulators.
          Marc Swankhuizen
          • 2 Years Ago
          The realism point is debatable at best and Turn 10 has done something that Polyphony hasn't been able to do since the PS2: Make a fun racing sim
        • 2 Years Ago
        Agreed. No doubt I will have to send Kazunri some money just to get these cars, which may, or may not be worth it. But Turn 10 will send you cars for free, and you end up with a game that despite having an inferior driving physics engine... you get a superior, and fun racing experience.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is the crap that Kaz worries about? I'm literally playing GT5 right now, still wondering why 70% of the cars are standard (more like sub-standard) and wondering why I tossed out $70 on debut day this time last year, while he's out there crowning modified Ford GT/Mustang's to put in the game? Perhaps he should spend more time dealing with the concerns of his current customer base, than the self-satisfaction/ego of himself (That being that he travels to a show, gets put on a pedastal, and treated like royalty, just to include one good car in a game with many bad ones).
      • 2 Years Ago
      So I'll get to drive it virtually in 2018 when GT6 finally comes out and it will sound like a vacuum cleaner?
        • 2 Years Ago
        Lol. I liked how they improved the sound over previous games. But then later on they went and derped the sound of some of my cars. Like my rumbling grumbling seven litre Cobra... now it's sounds naff. I was pissed off.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mixing a Ford and GM can make a devilish type of ride that will have the Euro boys crying.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Godddd this is what a Mustang should look like, low and lean instead of fat with more fat. Granted, the price someone paid to make this probably wouldn't be how I spent that kind of money, but if you're already swimming in dough, why not?
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