Our favourite machines at the Las Vegas modification show
It could only be in Vegas. The show for show-off, gaudy bright and sometimes bizarre creations that might once have been a recognisable car is the SEMA show. SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association, a faintly dull name that hints at the trade show this used to be. It isn’t now.
More than 2400 exhibitors, 1500 vehicles – everything about the show was big, including the power outputs of many vehicles. Here we check out our favourites to bring you the details and photos. Yup, it didn’t stay in Vegas.
Well, it looks a bit like a Mini, once you’ve got past the pink painjob. West Coast Customs created it and perhaps it’s no surprise that it featured on the MTV show Pimp My Ride. Staying classy, it has 80,000 crystals on the roof.
Plymouth Superbird Hellcrate
Bland Limelight Green covers this self-effacing Plymouth Superbird, a car that was once a Plymouth Road Runner. Under the bonnet is a 697bhp 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi ‘crate engine’, so of course it’s called the Hellcrate. It was made by Mark Worman’s Graveyard Carz and that final ‘z’ tells you all you need to know.
Ford Super Duty F-350 Lariat
If you need to carry a big Arctic Cat Wildcat in/on your load bed, then you need an F-350 with suspension beefed up by Hellwig Suspension. The Big Wig air springs and sway bars front and rear keep it all the right way up, while the 6.8-litre V8 diesel keeps it all moving in the right direction.
Ford Focus ST BTR Edition
BTR stands for Blood Type Racing, and you’ve got everything but actual blood here. The 2.0-litre Ecoboost engine works with a race-tuned Borg Warner turbo and the suspension has had an Air Lift. And that thing on the roof? A drone. Obviously.
Ford Mustang Fastback Dragg
This, believe it or not, is an attempt to get young people to think about a future in the car industry. The after-school programme teamed up with Oxnard Police Department to make this DRAGG car – where DRAGG stands for Drag Racing Against Guns and Graffiti.
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
A continuation car of the 1965 competition model, this version has a V8 and four-speed manual gearbox. Created by the Original Venice Crew, there will be 36 examples made.
This gloss pearl-white bedecked machine is based on a 1937 Rolls-Royce. Within the heavily customised interior there is an Addictive Audio sound system of some power – giving a clue to the owner, one Justin Bieber.
VW Rabbit GTI
It’s a Mk 1 Golf GTI, although the Americans knew it as a Rabbit for reasons I can’t recall. This is a 1984 version comprehensively restored by Connor Hofford and a suitable entry to the Young Guns division in the Battle of the Builders that took place at SEMA.
Can you see it yet? This is the 2018 Toyota Camry, which might be quite hard to spot in direct sunshine. Actually it’s a colour-changing light display showing the lines of the new car. Occupants have to wear light bulbs on their heads.
Toyota C-HR R-Tuned
This is what happens when you give a mild and polite SUV to Dan Gardner’s performance engineering shop. Thanks to a 2.4-litre engine with a Garrett turbo, it makes 591bhp. The aerodynamic package offers an astonishing 300lb of downforce. It’s quite fast, particularly for an SUV.