The Best of the Beasts From The World’s Biggest Show
SEMA is the car show to end all car shows and the quality of the builds that show up is always staggering. 2016 managed to set an entirely new bar for excellence and we couldn’t help but throw together a list of our favorite muscle cars and trucks from this year’s show.
This one seems like an obvious choice for us since it was in our booth, but the truth is that this might be the most extreme classic Mustang build we’ve ever seen. This car is packing some seriously high performance technology in the form of its compound-charged Coyote V8. Yes, compound charged, as in twin-turbocharged and supercharged and it features an EMCO paddle-shifted sequential transmission. Unlike many SEMA builds, Vicious is 100% about function and form comes later, but that isn’t to say that it’s unattractive. It’s one of the most handsome ‘Stangs we’ve seen in a long time with its satin finish paint and bright red interior. We can’t wait to see this thing on track and hear it’s custom MagnaFlow system for the first time.
Foose Madam X
It seems that classic Cadillacs were something of a theme at SEMA this year with at least two pre-1950s Caddy’s hitting the show floor. The Madam X Cadillac from Chip Foose is a slightly more traditional looking custom, but don’t let the exterior fool you, everything under the skin is thoroughly modern from its modern LT1 V8 to the eight-speed transmission from an Escalade and the C6 Corvette suspension. We think that if Clark Gable were still around and he drove Madam X, he’d find it most agreeable.
Creative Rod & Kustom C10
The C10 is having a huge resurgence thanks to a plentiful supply of affordable trucks all over the country and the folks at Creative Rod & Kustom might have created one of the coolest C10s yet. This 1968 C10 features a chassis from the Roadster Shop, big brakes and sticky Pirelli tires. It gets motivation from a Chevrolet Performance LS3 backed by a MagnaFlow exhaust, but the body is where things get really good. This truck has some of the cleanest body panels we’ve ever seen in a truck, with tight panel gaps and tasteful modifications. If this is the way things are going with the C10 community, then we’re very excited.
Sometimes in life you just have to stand up and admit that you love station wagons. It’s an affliction that currently has no cure and it’s cars like Greening Auto Company’s wagonized Bubble Top Impala that make us glad of that. This thing is so cool that we find ourselves only able to speak in hyperbole. That said, this thing started life as a 1961 Chevy Impala and the folks at Greening grafted another roof on the back to make it a super gorgeous jet-age wagon. Not a single panel was left untouched, and this build makes extensive use of 3D printed parts.
Usually pro-touring cars are pretty spartan in their interior appointments, either remaining relatively stock or having things removed, because racecar. The 50/50 1969 Camaro built by PCH Rods is something entirely different. It takes all of the pro-touring hotness you would expect such as a rip-roaring LSX engine and a built suspension and combines it with luxury that would be more at home in a modern Cadillac or Mercedes. The folks at PCH Rods showed their engineering chops with the incredible MagnaFlow-equipped C10-R and this 50/50 Camaro shows that they’re out to do more than thrash around at the track.
Classic Recreations GT350CR
The GT350CR takes Classic Recreations’ formula for making cool continuation Shelby Mustangs and flips it. This goes way beyond what they normally do and adds some incredibly sexy body pieces that are also functional, like the vented hood. The GT350CR makes use of a very rev-happy Coyote V8 from Ford Racing and sounds just as mean as you please. Of course along with all these great new body parts, you still get the build quality that Classic Recreations is famous for.
Who else but the maniacs at Centerforce would think to take an old Ford bread van and slap a built Cummins turbodiesel pumping out 1500 lb-ft of torque in it with a MagnaFlow exhaust and a completely custom interior with a crazy sound system and monitors, put it on airbags and slam it to the ground. We think those guys may have spent too much time in that Arizona sun, but either way, we love their newest build. This beast was sitting pretty in their booth all week and all we wanted was to see it smoke tires and pull heavy stuff.
Tony Angelo’s Fishtail Cuda
As you can tell from our list of ambassadors, we love drifting. We think it’s one of the most exciting sports around right now and one of the guys who got it where it is today is Tony Angelo. If you don’t follow drifting then you might know Tony from Hot Rod Garage on YouTube where he, along with his sidekick Lucky Costa, hang out and turn wrenches on everything from Tri-5 Chevys to mean Mopars. His Fishtail Cuda merges both of those things into a seriously wild drift car with Trans-Am styling, high angle steering and a modern 5.7L Hemi crate engine. We’re so excited to see this thing get sideways very soon.