SEMA 2014: 1950 Chevrolet ‘Vanilla Shake’

1950-chevrolet-vanilla-shake-frontWith so many builders in the hot rod world focusing on making rat rods and other rusty-patina-weathered creations, it is refreshing to see a true hot rod. This 1950 Chevrolet coupe belongs to Jerry Logan and was designed and built by Donn Lowe.

This is a hot rod that uses parts from a variety of other cars to enhance its visual appeal. Rather than all-out speed, this car is built for aesthetics with a ton of custom body work and fabrication that really showcases the skill of the builder. Continue reading

SEMA 2014: 1967 Volvo Amazon ‘Swedish Ops’

1967-volvo-amazon-profileThe Ultimate Street Car Invitational is an annual shootout put together by Optima Batteries, where drivers can put their street-legal cars to the test. It’s no surprise that many of the contestants are performance cars such as Mustangs, Camaros, and Corvettes. These cars are widely supported with many aftermarket and performance parts available. In this way, Robert Jackson’s 1967 Volvo Amazon truly stands out from the crowd!

With a car like this, there is next to no aftermarket support in terms of performance. If you want to change suspension parts or build up the motor, you will find yourself making a lot of custom brackets and adapters, drilling and modifying parts to fit, and other issues that most people would rather not deal with. Continue reading

SEMA 2014: 1960 Cadillac ‘Criminal’

1960-cadillac-criminal-frontIn the 1950s and 1960s, Cadillac was the king of the automotive world with some of the most luxurious and beautiful cars that money could buy. They were often driven by movie stars, businessmen, and of course, politicians and heads of state. To own one was to own a slice of the good life, part of the American Dream.

That dream is a big part of what makes these cars appealing to hot rodders, who get a kick out of modifying these luxury boats-on-wheels into kustom kruisers. One such owner is Jessie Osborne, builder of this 1960 Cadillac “Criminal.”

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SEMA 2014: 1955 Chevrolet Nomad Custom

1955-chevy-nomad-sideNothing says hot rodding like a tri-five Chevy! This beautiful blue ’55 Nomad was on display at SEMA 2014, and it really caught my eye. This car was put together by Salvaggio Auto Design in Port Washington, WI.

This is one big, bold, and blue ride. It features a Chevrolet LS engine from Mercury Racing and a Bowler 4L80E automatic transmission. Continue reading

SEMA 2014: 1959 Chevrolet El Camino

1959-chevrolet-el-camino-frontAlong with the 1965 Fairlane, this was the other car from SEMA 2014 that really tickled my fancy. This impossibly clean 1959 El Camino was a blast from the past and made me think of drive-in movies, soda fountains, and taking your sweetheart up to “make-out point.”

1959 was the first year for the El Camino, and just 22,246 were built in the initial year. It was a unique type of vehicle that combined the comfort and handling of a car with the utility of a compact pickup truck.

This amazing vehicle was given a concours-quality restoration by Hot Rods & Custom Stuff in Escondido, CA. Like many hot rods these days, the car wasn’t just restored, it has been resto-modded to be better than when it was new.

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SEMA 2014: Trick Flow 1966 Ford Mustang KSV9000

mustang-ksv9000-sideI spotted this 1966 Ford Mustang at the Trick Flow booth at SEMA 2014. Nicknamed the KSV9000, it was built by Chris Slee of Kiwi Classics and Customs in Franklin, TN.

Chris is a former New Zealander who has relocated to Tennessee to tinker with building custom cars and projects. The KSV9000 blends  classic muscle car styling with modern performance.

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The Presidential Limo Did Not Simply Bottom Out In Ireland (Cadillac DTS)

A few years ago there was a popular video making the rounds.  Maybe you’ve seen it, maybe you haven’t, if you haven’t here you go.

It seems pretty obvious what happened, after the BMW 7 Series scrapes out President Barack Obama’s limo takes a stab at it and completely bottoms out, more or less disabling itself.

Well, that’s not what happens at all, at least in my opinion.  Have a look at the wheel gap of the front wheels, the car is completely laid out.  I have scoured the internet looking for answers and some of them are pretty far fetched about what actually happens. Continue reading

The Roadster Shop’s 1970 Plymouth Cuda ‘HellFish’

roadster-shop-1970-plymouth-cuda-hellfish-rearYou may be familiar with the expression “like a bat out of hell” to refer to something moving wildly and out of control. In this case, this 1970 Plymouth Cuda moves like a “fish out of hell!”

We spotted this 1970 Plymouth Cuda nicknamed “Hellfish” on display at SEMA 2014, mere steps away from its cousin, the 1968 Charger. Like the Charger, this car was also built by The Roadster Shop, who seem to be up to their ears in vintage Mopars lately.

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