The annual Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Show starts next week in Las Vegas and the enormous scale of it can be overwhelming. The spectrum of wares being shown off is broader than you can imagine and many of the manufacturers put show cars in their booths to display their products in real-world form. Trying to keep track of them can be a challenge, but we’ve dug up a few interesting cars that should be eye-catching at SEMA, so if you’re there, hunt them down, and if you’re staying home to live through us, here’s what you can expect to see. Of course, we’ll also be at SEMA (see below) so you can find us and shoot the breeze on the show floor; we’ll also have great cars, people, and more from SEMA 2016 soon!
Finnegan’s Drag Boat
We’d be remiss if we didn’t let you know that Finnegan will be at SEMA with his Drag Boat. He’s been chronicling the build on Finnegan’s Garage from his home in Georgia in between filming episodes of Roadkill and this boat’s powerplant is properly insane: a Sonny Leonard 711 cubic-inch Hemi V8 that makes more than 1,200 horsepower. That’s not nearly enough for the Finn, though, so he’s slapped a pair of turbochargers on the back. There was a lot left to do when he posted his last update—shocking, we know—last week, but we’re sure it’ll be mostly done by the time it’s on the floor at SEMA.
Quality Custom Rides’ 1967 Camaro with a V12 LS engine
Yes, you’re reading that right. V12 LS is a new company out of Australia that is making 12-cylinder engines out of a pair of standard LS1 blocks; they’ve shipped their first engine stateside to go into Quality Custom Rides’ lowered and chopped 1967 Camaro. From what we’ve seen of the 519 cubic-inch V12 with individual throttle bodies and custom headers, this engine is going to draw A LOT of attention. The Camaro has belonged to QCR founder since he was in high school and he’s finally executing a build he’s had planned for it for a quarter century.
The Ring Brothers’ 1948 Cadillac and More!
The Ring’s custom shop in Wisconsin turns out some great work and while they have a pair of restomod offerings with “G-Code” (an LS3-powered ‘69 Camaro) and “Ballistic” (a ‘65 Mustang with the supercharged 5.8-liter V8 from a modern Shelby GT500), we’re most excited for “Madam V.” This is a ‘48 Cadillac fastback. Under the stately mid-century body, the Rings will be fitting an entire Cadillac ATS-V. That includes not just the engine and suspension, but also the accoutrements like a backup camera and modern climate control. They’ll also have their “Happy Camper” 900-horsepower Winnebago on hand because why wouldn’t you? We’re also already excited to see what they can do with this early ‘70s Javelin for SEMA 2017.
Chip Foose’s “Madam X” 1939 Cadillac
From Madam V to Madam X, old Cadillacs must be the new thing if both the Rings and Foose are bringing them. Foose’s is an older ‘39 Cadillac and he won’t have all Caddy underneath. You can expect modern running gear. In this case, it’ll be a modern Corvette LT-1, an Escalade eight-speed transmission, and C6 Corvette suspension. Of course, the bodywork will be the highlight and you can expect Madam X to be modified tastefully and include some of the world’s best coachwork on the interior.
Sweet Custom Mopars from Chrysler
We’ve just gotten a couple of teases from Chrysler about what they’ll be bringing, but we’re excited by what that includes: a modern take on the Power Wagon and a sweet Challenger with a shaker hood and SRT colors on it, to name a couple. You can watch the unveiling of Chrysler’s SEMA cars streaming live on November 1 at 4:26 p.m. local time (7:26 p.m. ET).
SEMA Garage’s Project Underdog 1972 Ford Maverick
The Maverick is one of the least-loved cars from a decade of unloved cars, but we’re pretty excited to see actor Sung Kang’s take on this one. With the help of a number of students, the Fast and Furious actor and SEMA Garage have undertaken a modern interpretation of the Maverick that includes a turbocharged 2.3-cylinder Ford Ecoboost four-cylinder. While we always like V8s, we think that’s a great powerplant for the Maverick and we can’t wait to see the final version of it.
Timeless Kustoms’ Twin-Charged ‘Vicious’ Mustang
There can never be enough twin-charging in the automotive world so we’re glad to see Timeless’ road-race-inspired Mustang ticking both of the forced-induction boxes on the build sheet. Not only is this gutted-and-crate-engined ‘65 Mustang getting twin turbochargers, it also will be supercharged. With a sequential gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension, and carbon ceramic brakes, this is essentially a totally insane road racer.
Derale Performance’s 1966 Mercury Cyclone GT
Derale, a company that primarily makes fans and other cooling products, embarked upon this SEMA build in the back of their own shop and it should be pretty cool. They picked out a fairly unique and cool classic muscle car, the Derale folks have set out to build a stock-car style Mercury Cyclone. It’ll look like the classic Mercury NASCAR entries from the mid-’60s with modern running gear.
Roadster Shop’s ‘67 Chevelle, ‘69 Camaro, and ‘65 Mustang
Sometimes, you just need a good dose of classic American muscle and the Roadster Shop is bringing that with a 1967 Chevelle, a 1969 Camaro, and a 1965 Mustang. The Chevelle looks to be an extremely clean and lowered example and the Mustang will have a Pro Touring-style look. The Camaro should be pretty unique, tough, with a stepped-down roof center and some extra-aggressive styling on the classic muscle shape.
Kyle Mohan 3-rotor MX5 drift car
We like gorgeous builds, but we also like cars that do work and Kyle Mohan’s Formula Drift Mazda Miata trades in tire smoke. The little roadster features a turbocharged three-rotor Mazda rotary engine, which means a fantastically lumpy idle and shrieking revs while destroying the rear tires.
Roadkill, of course!
We will be at SEMA, too, and you can come to The Enthusiast Network (TEN) booth (Booth #22743) to meet us if you’re already going to be there (although SEMA isn’t open to the general public, sorry). Here’s our appearance schedule for next week at SEMA:
Tuesday 11/1, 10 a.m. to Noon & 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. | ROADKILL – FREIBURGER & FINNEGAN
Wednesday 11/2, 10 a.m. to Noon & 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. | ROADKILL & DAILY FIX & DIRT EVERY DAY – ELANA & CARLOS & FRED
Thursday 11/3, 10 a.m. to Noon & 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. | HOT ROD GARAGE – LUCKY & TONY