One of my favorite cars at SEMA 2014 was Steve Strope’s gorgeous 1967 Ford Fairlane. The blue and gold color combination was simply stunning. I had a very similar reaction at SEMA 2015 when I came across this 1961 Ford Sunliner at the Custom Auto Sound booth. What can I say: I think I have a thing for Sixties Fords in blue!
The Sunliner was Ford’s convertible cruiser. Based on the Galaxie chassis, it was classified as a full-size car in 1961 and was an intermediate-size car for 1962-64. This Sunliner features twin “afterburner style” round taillamps that are very space age. With its massive 119-inch wheelbase and powerful V8 engine, this car was a real head-turner. Continue reading
You can pretty much bet that the guys from Hot Rod magazine are going to have an awesome car on display at their SEMA booth. Last year, it was the stunning 1968 Charger “Sliced” from The Roadster Shop. This year, Hot Rod magazine went old school with this 1963 Corvette Racer by Mickey Thompson.
Today, 1963 Corvettes are among the most collectible, due to the one-year only split rear window. Before the collector market caught fire in the early 2000s, these cars were not worth nearly what they are today. It looks like this car may have been built back in the 1960s.
The coolest feature about the car is its extremely rare Smokey Yunick-built “Mystery Motor.” Back in the day, these guys took a W-series engine and modified it to become a 427-cid motor, which would eventually give rise to the Big Block engine. This motor is an early prototype, much like the original Apple computer in a wooden case.
I liked several other details of the car, from the racing steering wheel to the angled gauges. The interior is a no-frills environment with a roll cage and fire extinguisher, along with a stripped-down dashboard lacking a radio or A/C controls. This is a purpose-built racer, and it was made to be driven! I am eager to see what the guys at Hot Rod magazine will have on display for 2016!
You can’t walk around SEMA for more than a few minutes without passing by several different first-gen Camaros. Many people try to put a “modern twist” on this muscle car classic by adding LED headlamps or other accents that look out of place. It was nice to see a ’69 Camaro that looks like a Camaro.
This car belongs to Mark Stielow, who has nicknamed it “Jackass v2.0.” Right off the bat, there is a supercharged LS9 engine from the Corvette ZR1 under the hood! This supercharged crate motor pumps out 683 horsepower and 604 ft-lbs of torque from its 6.2 liters. Continue reading
The custom car scene at SEMA is largely dominated by pro-touring Fords and Chevys. When you do see a Mopar around, odds are it is a classic Challenger or Charger. You just don’t see a lot of Belvederes around these days, which made this one all the more interesting.
This 1956 Belvedere convertible is nicknamed “Rare Air” and was built by Steve Cook Creations in Oklahoma City. The car is owned by Gil Losi, who is no stranger to custom cars. We featured his 1961 Impala “Under PreSSure” from the 2013 SEMA show on this site before. Continue reading
The SEMA Show in Las Vegas features hundreds of custom cars built by hot rod shops from all over the country. I was wandering around at the 2015 show looking at cars, when I stumbled across a 1972 Camaro built by a shop in my own city of Phoenix!
The company is Miranda’s Custom Cars, and they have been around since 1989. Their pro-touring Camaro was on display at the HiFonics booth outside of the show.
HPI Customs is a full service hot rod shop in Beausejour, Manitoba, a small town on the outskirts of Winnipeg. We’ve featured their work on the site before, with a full write-up on their 1966 Chrysler Imperial that had a supercharged V10 from a Dodge Viper under the hood!
The guys from HPI were back at SEMA 2015 with another new project, also a Mopar. This time, they had a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner with a Gen3 6.1L HEMI crate engine under the hood. But just to push the envelope even further, it also has a rear-mounted twin-turbo setup from STS!
How do you tune an electric car? The American car manufacturer Saleen has found a way. Based in Corona, California, Saleen is most famous for their performance-upgraded Mustangs and Camaros. The decision to give the “Saleen treatment” to an all-electric car is certainly an interesting one.
The company starts with a Tesla Model S sedan and adds custom front and rear bumpers, which will set you apart from the thousands of other Teslas on the road. It’s not just aesthetics, the larger front grille allows for more airflow to help the car’s cooling system. There’s also an aero hood, side skirts, rear diffuser, and a high-downforce rear spoiler.
Whereas the OEM Tesla Model S has seating for 5 adults, plus an optional 3rd row seat for kids, the Saleen GTX uses a 2+2 layout. The interior has also been upgraded with premium leather and suede materials. Continue reading
With a name like “Beast,” it has to be good.
I spotted this unusual looking car on the show floor at SEMA 2015. Based out of Irvine, California, a company called Rezvani Motors is selling the “Beast” – a two seat, street legal rocket of a sports car similar to the Mazda Miata or Honda S2000, but with a huge bump in power. And I do mean huge. Continue reading