With the 2016 SEMA Show just days away, we’d like to share our video recap of last year’s show! Check it out:
This truck feels like what would happen if for some reason all of the individual, fragmented automotive obsessions I have gone through in the past couple of years somehow manifested themselves into one fever-dream of an automotive singularity. And it turned out pretty damn cool.
There is a cool breeze in the air and the sky is filled from horizon to horizon with grey clouds. It is Sunday, August 21st and I am standing on the 18th hole of Pebble Beach Golf Links – the greatest public golf course in America and one of the most famous in the world.
With each step, my shoes compress the neatly manicured grass – each blade perfectly uniform in color and length. But today, there are no putters and the only drivers are the owners of the 220 collectible vehicles parked on the fairway. I am at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – one of the most prestigious car shows in the world.
The Legacy Begins
From the first event in 1950, the Pebble Beach Concours has blossomed from a small gathering into a major event featuring the world’s finest collector vehicles. It is the cornerstone of Monterey Car Week, which includes a number of car shows, road rallies, auctions, and events in the same area. If you attend one event in Monterey, it should be this one.
Bryan bought this Mark VIII from a guy who had sucked a bunch of water into it after a heavy rain. For some reason, we felt that we needed to try and get the water out of it at 1:30 in the morning in the parking lot where the previous owner had left it.
This isn’t really a how to video. Actually, it’s kind of more of a how not to.
Many of these builders focus on creating pro-touring cars – that is, a classic 1960s muscle car updated with a modern powerplant, independent rear suspension, and disc brakes to name a few. These and other modifications vastly improve the safety and handling of these old rides and in many cases, exceed their original levels of performance.
One custom car that caught my eye at SEMA 2015 was this beautifully restored and upgraded 1963 Pontiac Acadian, which was the Canadian version of the Chevy II / Nova. This car was built by JF Kustoms in Osoyoos, British Columbia – the same shop that built the “Rivision” Riviera that captured a Ridler Award in 2014. Continue reading
Hurry before the wiring harness mysteriously loses its copper and the cats walk away.
At most classic car shows, you can count on there being a good amount of Mustangs, Camaros, and Corvettes. Because of their sporty styling and powerful engines, these cars were immensely popular when new and remain popular today.
The Ford Thunderbird was different, as it was designed to be a personal luxury car. When you do see one at a car show, it is usually restored to showroom new condition. For whatever reason, Thunderbirds are not commonly modified to custom cars or drag racers.
This 1970 Thunderbird custom was a standout at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. I came across this car and stopped in for a closer look. Nicknamed “Thunderstruck,” the car was built by Eddie’s Rods and Customs in Pueblo West, Colorado. Continue reading
The SEMA Show is the world’s largest automotive trade show, and it has vehicles and parts to appeal to every type of car enthusiast. Spend a day roaming around the various halls of the Las Vegas Convention center and you will find everything from import performance parts to off-road accessories to autocross and drag racing vendors. One thing that is a bit under-represented at SEMA is Kustom car culture.
The “DIY” mindset of the Kustom car world praises finding and scavenging parts from junkyards, other cars, and above all, custom fabrication. This type of hot rodding is not about ordering crate engines or reproduction parts from a catalog, but about putting in the sweat equity to create something truly original – a car that satisfies the artistic vision of the builder. In a sense, it’s the opposite of these big name companies selling cookie-cutter speed parts to the masses. However, you can still find a few true Kustoms at SEMA if you look hard enough.
In 2014, we featured a wild 1950 Chevrolet “Vanilla Shake” built by Donn Lowe. In 2015, we came across another amazing car, this 1952 Chevrolet called “Desert Sunset,” which was built by none other than Gene Winfield! Continue reading