Oh, SEMA. As much as we love bringing you the best live coverage of what's new at this year's Specialty Equipment Market Association show, we're always equally happy to tie a bow on this thing and call it done. (Seriously, do you have any idea how many Honda Civics with Lambo doors we had to wade through to show you this year's best stuff?)
If you've been jonesing for some news from Icon, the release of the E-Flyer electric bicycle the other day may or may not have done the trick. But either way, the Californian company known for retrofitting and restoring classic trucks is back with the Thriftmaster, which it has helpfully displayed on the show floor at SEMA (incidentally, with an E-Flyer in the bed).
Quick, what is a car that's actually a motorcycle that can go 400 miles per hour and has 1,000 horsepower? The answer is this - the Castrol Rocket, from Hot Rod Conspiracy, Triumph and others. The bullet-shaped, carbon-fiber shell hides a motorcycle that will attempt to be the first two-wheeled vehicle to crack the 400-mph barrier and beat a record set in 2010.
Hyundai brought a pair of very yellow Velosters to this year's SEMA Show. The first is the car you see above - the Veloster Hylighter. Built in a partnership with aftermarket accessory supplier EGR Group, it's based on a Veloster Turbo, but has been extensively modified for its trip to Vegas.
We covered one of Ringbrothers' more extreme SEMA builds yesterday, the De Tomaso Pantera-based ADRNLN, but if that well-executed but over-the-top Italian-American exotic is too much for you, then perhaps this Ring Brothers 1965 Ford Mustang fastback with a carbon-fiber body suits your tastes better.
Rad Rides by Troy has unleashed upon the SEMA crowds this custom 1969 Ford Torino Talladega GT Special, and it's a beauty. The car calls to mind the classic Holman Moody stock cars that circled NASCAR tracks in the late 1960's, driven by the likes of Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney and David Pearson, who won the Grand National title in both 1968 and '69 in a Ford Torino.
If it had a bit more ground clearance and we didn't know any better, we'd ask when Forge Motorsports' first-generation Volkswagen Golf racecar competed in Group B rally, thanks to almost every one of its exterior design/aero elements and the crazy 400-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four (crank up the boost from 1.0 bar to 1.8 bar and the engine will make 500 hp easily), but Volkswagen never raced the little hatch in that World Rally Championship class.
In 2006, I bought a Scion xB (the super upright, first-generation one), and I always had this wild dream of turning the xBox into an aquarium after it had run its course in my personal test fleet. Long story short, that never happened. But apparently the folks at Toyota got wind of my idea – only, well, this isn't exactly what I had in mind.
There's a fun cliche for all-black cars based on an old Chevrolet Impala SS advertisement - "Lord Vader, your car is ready." It's been reproduced seemingly every time an automaker comes out with a menacing, black car. This Acura Street Performance ILX is for a different movie villain, though. Its advertisement should read, "Goldmember, your car is ready."
A 1951 Studebaker fastback might not be the first vehicle to come to mind when we think "Woody," but here one sits on the SEMA show floor. There's a reason for that: Studebaker didn't make a woody or a fastback in 1951, according to Hot Rod. Hill's Rod & Custom came up with the creation, hired a professional to design it and took on the challenge to build it.
According to a recent report, the Jeep Wrangler is the most popular SUV for customization, and this is backed up by the fact that the iconic off-roader was just named the Hottest 4x4-SUV at SEMA for the fourth year in a row. Looking for ways to keep its customers in-house rather than going aftermarket, Jeep and Mopar are always teaming to offer exciting new parts and pieces for the JK Wrangler.
Is there a cooler car from the 1980s and early 90s to mod than a Fox-Body Ford Mustang? No, there isn't. If you disagree with us, we suggest you have a look at this 1990 Mustang Coupe, which just might change your mind. Although considering just how extensively modified this car - the Top Notch Mustang from Creations n' Chrome - is, we wonder just how much Ford is left in this old pony.
American Expedition Vehicles showed off its simply named Ram Concept at this year's SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Starting with a 2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab and a 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel, the Michigan-based team at AEV, which has made a name for itself building ultra-capable Jeeps, promises that this Ram is a "complete vehicle package."
Jeb Greenstone, president, designer and lead fabricator of the custom hot-rod company Cutworm Specialties won the inaugural "Ride Your Hauler to SEMA" contest with his impressive Dually Hauler. The car is currently being honored with a prominent display in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas can often be a sensory overload of overwrought madness, with cars that don't even look drivable anymore. But every once in a while, a modestly modified show car graces our presence, like the customized Dodge Durango you see here, which, in addition to giving us our first glimpse at the aftermarket possibilities for the refreshed-for-2014 model, proves that a car doesn't have to be slammed, scooped, donked and Lambo-doored to have presence.
Classic Recreations, a custom coachbuilder based in Oklahoma, debuted its Coyote-powered 1967 Shelby G.T.500CR at the SEMA show this week. Like the company's previous releases, the bright red, silver striped coupe offers classic Ford Mustang styling with today's reliable mechanicals. "If you like the graceful drivability of a modern G.T.500, but prefer the classic Mustang styling, this is the car for you," said company owner, Jason Engel. "Classic Recreations combines modern technology with clas
Volkswagen brought just three vehicles to SEMA this year (compare that to Ford's 57 show cars): two Jettas and a Golf. Both Jettas showcase the automaker's new turbocharged EA888 four-cylinder engines - one of which is heavily modified - and the Golf is the first seventh-generation model tuned in North America (it launches here next year).
There are no shortage of pickup trucks at this year's SEMA Show. The popular platform has been ripe for customization for years, so it should come as no shock that Ford, General Motors and Ram are all showing a fair few trucks in Las Vegas. From the Ram camp, we have two offerings - the Ram Sun Chaser and the Ram Dually Case Work Truck.