SEMA 2014: Radial Engine Swapped Chevy Truck

radial-engine-pickup-sema-2014-frontThe idea of putting an airplane engine into a car is certainly not new. The guys from Blastolene have done it, and there was an episode of Top Gear where Jeremy Clarkson recreated the Battle of Britain with two larger-than-life airplane-powered vehicles (a 27-liter Spitfire-engined Bentley and “Brutus,” 46-liter BMW aircraft-engined custom build).

However, this enterprising hot rodder has put a completely new spin on the idea of an aircraft-engine swap into an automobile. What we have here is a 1967 Chevrolet C10 pickup with a radial engine which looks completely wild!
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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: 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: JF Kustoms 1964 Buick Riviera

jf-kustoms-1964-riviera-sideIn every discipline there is a high award or honor that is bestowed upon those who have distinguished themselves from the crowd. Music has the Grammy award, acting has the Oscar award, and physics has the Nobel Prize.

In the world of hot rodding, the Ridler Award is among the most prestigious honors a car builder can receive. It is a moment of great pride and triumph for the shop who beats out all of the other shops and captures the award. In 2014, the Ridler Award went to JF Kustoms for this 1964 Buick Riviera nicknamed “Rivision.”

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SEMA 2014: Foose 1960 Ford Starliner

foose-1960-ford-starliner-profileFrom his early days as a designer for Boyd Coddington to the hit TV show Overhaulin‘, it’s safe to say that Chip Foose is one of the most recognized faces in the world of hot rodding. His automotive creations have grown beyond custom cars to include wheels, architecture, and even art!

Whether you love him or hate him, there is no denying that Chip Foose brings a lot of attention to the hobby of custom car building. One of his recent builds was this 1960 Ford Starliner coupe on display at the BASF booth at SEMA 2014.

The whole car looked absolutely flawless in BASF Metallic Grey paint from their Glasurit 90-series. It was wearing a set of Foose Heritage wheels which are 19″ up front and 20″ in the rear. But this car isn’t just a simple respray with some new shoes…it has a big surprise in the typical Foose fashion. Continue reading

SEMA 2014: Dodge Challenger ‘Rapture’

pfaff-designs-dodge-challenger-rapture-frontOne of the first cars I ran into at SEMA 2014 was this customized 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack called “Rapture” at the AMSOIL booth.

This eye-catching car was a collaboration between Pfaff Designs and Downforce Motorsports, and was built by RM Motorsports in Wixom, Michigan. It features a number of custom touches that really set it off from a regular Challenger.

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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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