SEMA 2015: 1972 Camaro by Mirandas Custom Cars

1972-camaro-mirandas-frontThe 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.

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SEMA 2015: 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner by HPI Customs

1969-roadrunner-hpi-customs-rearHPI 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!

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Bullshitters hate him! Learn these simple secrets to your favorite import car show.

We don’t often cover import cars. This year, we had the honor to see Hot Import Nights here in Scottsdale, AZ. I was genuinely excited for a few reasons. Not least of which was it’s venue, Westworld, where we have the absolutely massive Barrett-Jackson auction every year. I assumed this was supposed to be a big show for the import scene.

It’s too bad that it didn’t work out that way.

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The day of the show  I receive an email from one of the shows corporate staff. Unlike any other car show or event I’ve ever been to, it has a list of demands that need to be completed and submitted within a week or else I would not be eligible for media coverage next year.

I understand how a traditional shot list works to benefit the promoters, but I’ve never been held to one at an event like this. Not to mention how absurd their requests were.

The list includes making sure that we’re really putting a focus on the vendors and models (not models as in the cars, but the barely dressed attention mongers standing in front of the cars) and to be sure to portray an overall positive experience.

As you may be able to tell in the above picture, there’s really not many cars there. In fact, there were probably less imports inside this building than at the pavilions off Indian bend and the 101 just miles from the show. That was my major gripe of the evening:

There were hardly any imports.

Look at these pictures of these amazing “import” cars found at Hot Import Nights:

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Are you kidding me? I came here to see the imports I think are cool like the z31, z32, 3000gt, Starion, 1g DSMs, and anything with a turbocharged Toyota inline 6. Not Scions with fast and furious wraps and any other car that is all mouth and trousers.

When I imagined this website almost half a decade ago it was to represent the automotive counter culture. At one point in time, I’m sure the import scene was the counter culture to the rest of the performance auto world. If this show is truly representative of today’s import scene then I must say good riddance. You’re dead on your feet.

SEMA 2015: 1955 Chevrolet Nomad ‘Sunmad’

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When it comes to the Tri-Five Chevys of 1955, 56, and 57, most owners fall into one of two groups. You have the cars which are restored to their full original condition, and you have the cars which have been set up for drag racing with a big block, roll cage, rear wheel tubs, and drag slicks. So it was quite unusual to see Ron ad Debbie Pfisterer’s 1955 Nomad at SEMA 2015, because it wasn’t like either of those.

In fact, the car seems to be set up more as a cruiser / pro-touring vehicle, which I’ve not seen done to one of these cars before. The first thing that caught my eye was not the bright orange color, but the directional wheels from a C4 Corvette. Continue reading

SEMA 2015: Saleen GTX Electric Car

saleen-tesla-model-s-frontHow 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

SEMA 2015: Rezvani Beast

rezvani-beast-frontWith 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

SEMA 2015: 1967 Camaro ‘Snowblind’ by East Bay Muscle Cars

1967-camaro-ebmc-rearIf you have ever attended the SEMA Show before, you might have noticed that certain models of cars tend to dominate the show floor. Mustangs and Camaros (particularly first-gen Camaros) can be found at every other booth, so it takes a lot to really stand apart from the crowd. While wandering the floor at SEMA 2015, I happened upon this 1967 Camaro at the K&N Filters booth.

This car was built by East Bay Muscle Cars in Brentwood, CA. Like most of the cars at SEMA, it has been built as a pro-touring car with big power, big handling, and modern comforts and amenities for dominating the autocross course. What caught my attention was the clean and simple lines of the car, and I drew in for a closer look.

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SEMA 2015: 1965 Mustang ‘Splitr’ by Ringbrothers

1965-mustang-splitr-profileAlong the banks of the Wisconsin River in the sleepy town of Spring Green, WI, there is a hot rod shop owned by two brothers. It is here that Mike and Jim Ring, also known as The Ringbrothers, create their unique brand of automotive art. These guys are one of my favorite hot rod builders, and I have featured their amazing work several times before:

1970 Mustang Mach 1: “Dragon”
1964 Fairlane 500: “Afterburner”
1965 Mustang: “Blizzard”
1971 Pantera: “ADRNLN”
1966 Chevelle: “Recoil”

Their latest creation is this heavily customized 1965 Ford Mustang, which they nicknamed “Splitr.” I saw it on display at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

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