SEMA 2014: Car Fix 1971 Chevrolet Camaro

1971-camaro-stabil-rearBuilding a custom car is an exciting project because it gives the owner a chance to personalize it with their own style. The choice of color, wheels, and any performance modifications will reflect the personality of the owner – and no two owners seem to share the same tastes. That’s why I found it odd that STA-BIL 360 had this custom 1971 Chevrolet Camaro as a grand prize in their booth at SEMA 2014.

The car was built by Jared Zimmerman and Lou Santiago from the TV show Car Fix on the Velocity Network. Working 12 hours a day for almost five months, these guys transformed a 1971 Camaro into a powerful custom street machine. The value of the car has been appraised at $98,000 dollars. Continue reading

1967 Ford Fairlane ‘Black Ops’ by Steve Strope

1967-fairlane-steve-strope-rearSteve Strope of Pure Vision Design was in the spotlight a few years ago with the Martini Mustang. He was back at SEMA 2014 with a real head turner, and quite possibly my favorite car of the whole show! This 1967 Ford Fairlane is called “Black Ops” and it was on display at the Dynamat/Dynamic Control booth in the Central Hall.

The name Black Ops warrants an explanation, seeing as the car is not painted black, but rather, a very pretty blue and gold. The concept for this car was to build an “experimental” racer as it might have been built back in the late 1960s. It is not based on any particular car that actually existed, but sought to recreate a “factory test mule” using period-correct parts and technologies. Continue reading

SEMA 2014: Griffin Radiator 1968 Ford Mustang

sema-2014-griffin-mustang-frontThere was a lot of vintage Ford sheet metal on display at SEMA 2014, and I’m embarrassed to say that this one almost slipped by me! This 1968 Ford Mustang was just steps away from the Mustang at the Wilwood booth, and I almost didn’t see it. This dark green beauty was on display at the Griffin Radiator booth.

Griffin is a South Carolina-based company that has been making performance aluminum radiators since 1981. The 1968 Mustang in their booth appears to be most of the way through a major restoration. It’s common to see cars at SEMA that aren’t quite done yet.

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SEMA 2014: Wilwood Brakes 1966 Ford Mustang

wilwood-mustang-frontI caught a glimpse of this red hot 1966 Ford Mustang on display at the Wilwood Brakes booth at SEMA 2014. As you can tell, this pony car is healthy as a horse!

This car has been completely transformed from a regular passenger car to a street machine. It was a contestant in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational, which took place alongside SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas.

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Rutledge Wood’s 1953 Plymouth Suburban

plymouth-suburban-odyssey-sema-2014-profileThis 1953 Plymouth Suburban was looking minty fresh at the Odyssey Batteries booth at SEMA 2014. It belongs to Rutledge Wood of Top Gear (USA) fame and was built in partnership with Summit Racing. The build was done at Kenwood Rod Shop in Sharpsburg, GA.

Although it looks showroom new, this classic Mopar is anything but stock. Under the hood is a 408 cid V8 from BluePrint Engines with FAST electronic fuel injection and Summit block hugger headers. It is coupled to a T56 six-speed transmission with a McLeod clutch and a Quick Time conversion bellhousing. The whole thing is wired up with a Painless Performance wiring harness.

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1981 Chevrolet Camaro NastZy LS9

There was an abundance of second-gen Camaros at SEMA, but this one had something special about it. Perhaps it was the $22,000 LS9 crate engine under the hood! Or maybe it was the ultra-deep 20″ rear wheels. Whatever the reason, I paused for a moment to check out this car in depth.

A small sign indicated that this 1981 Camaro Z28 was built by Classic Performance. It did not mention where their shop is located or who owns this car, and I was unable to find that information after searching online.

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1969 Ford Torino Talladega GPT Special

It should come as no surprise that when you combine some of the biggest names in hot rodding with a lot of money and a three-year build time, the results are going to be nothing short of amazing.

This 1969 Torino Talladega is not just another resto-modded muscle car with big rims. This car is Babe Ruth hitting three home runs in Game Four of the 1926 World Series. This car is Jimi Hendrix on stage at Woodstock. This car represents a team of builders (led by Troy Trepanier) who have perfected their craft. These guys are at the top of their game and pull off miracles that other builders can only dream of.

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1930 Cadillac Coupe LSA Swap ‘Ruby’

There’s quite a trend in the hot rod industry to pair up an old car with a new engine. Most folks are doing this with 1960s or 1970s cars and modern crate engines. The guys at Rooster’s Rod Shop in Gaffney, South Carolina have taken the concept a bit further. What they’ve done is dropped a Supercharged 6.2L V8 engine from the Cadillac CTS-V into this 1930 Cadillac coupe! How’s that for a resto-mod?!

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