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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1967 VW Karmann Ghia V10 ‘Blue Mamba’

It is a common practice in the auto industry to name a sporty car after a fearsome or powerful animal. Cars like the Mustang, Impala, Cougar, and Shelby Cobra all borrow their names from the animal kingdom.

Along those lines, Keith Goggin decided to give his 1967 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia the nickname “Blue Mamba.” It’s a reference to the black mamba, a venomous snake found throughout central Africa. They are some of the fastest-moving snakes on earth, and also extremely deadly.

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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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1957 Chevy Truck “QuikSilver”

I don’t normally post about trucks, but this one is really something special.

This customized 1957 Chevrolet truck belongs to Alan Beers of Owasso, Oklahoma. When I say customized, I don’t mean that the owner bolted on a couple of go-fast parts and a rollpan. I mean that every body panel on this truck has been altered in some way!

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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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1971 DeTomaso Pantera ‘ADRNLN’ by Ringbrothers

Imagine for a moment that the 2013 SEMA show was transformed into a high school cafeteria.

The Mustangs, Camaros, Chevelles and Novas would be the cool kids, flexing their muscles and throwing a football back and forth while the girls swooned over them. The Hyundai Genesis Coupes and the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZs would be the geeks, wiping off their glasses as they rewire their ECUs. The Jeeps and lifted/baja/prerunner trucks would be the band geeks, a tightly-knit group who knows that all they’ve got is each other.

Then you have the DeTomaso Pantera. While it came with a big V8 engine and was sold in Ford Dealerships, this car doesn’t fit in with the rest of the crowd. It is closer to an exotic car than a muscle car. Its mid-engine layout, low production numbers, and premium price tag place it in a different social class from the other cars.  At a show like SEMA, the Pantera is something of a misfit.

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1965 Mustang ‘Blizzard’ Ringbrothers

The year 2014 is a special one for Ford Mustang enthusiasts because it marks the 50th Anniversary of the car’s introduction. For the past 5 decades, the Mustang has been America’s pony car. But can you really improve upon a classic design? Yes, you can.

Mike and Jim Ring are brothers and co-owners of the aptly-named shop Ringbrothers. They are one of my favorite build shops right now, and I have featured a few of their cars on this site before. You may recall their Ford Fairlane 500 “Afterburner” and the Mustang Mach 1 “Dragon” I spotted at Barrett-Jackson.

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1950 Studebaker Champion by Kicker Audio

There are certain vehicles which, for various reasons, are labelled as “gangster” vehicles. From the 1964 Impala to the Lincoln Continental, these cars have a definite “bad guy” image that people crave.

One car I would never have considered for a mobbed-out gangster mobile is a Studebaker. But, I suppose that’s what makes me different from the guys at Kicker Audio. Their booth at SEMA 2013 featured this evil 1950 Studebaker Champion.

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