SEMA 2015 : getting ready

Another year has passed. This is our fourth adventure to America’s playground. Coming from Florida it feels unreal looking out the airplane window at the massive red mountains. To me, the show gets better every year. Despite the “overbooked” complications with numerous cars being denied last minute and the growing talk about the over fender craze, it’s still an amazing show filled with stunning quality. If you have the chance to go you should make it a point to do so.


We landed in Vegas 9am Sunday November 1st, although the actual show doesn’t start until Tuesday morning we were able to survey the outside area as vehicles arrived and vendors prepped.


This year’s outside portion of the show was significantly different than last. For the previous few years imports were center stage as you walk in the main entrance. This year there is a heavier focus on domestic muscle and all forms of trucks with sprinkles of import throughout.


One of the more insane builds that we saw was the Welderup Las Vegas trio. The tow truck was something out of a steam punk zombie movie and the ratrods were fully customized from the ground up as usual. You can literally spend a day looking at the detail between all three vehicles.


The benefits of coming early. During the week it will be nearly impossible to get as up close as we did with the rush of show goers. These turbo diesel Cummins rat rods are what the word ‘custom’ is all about. If you are at the SEMA show these cars are worthy of your time. If you’re not then I can only hope that we do them justice through our photography.


While this Supra may seem simple by the SEMA Show standards, I promise you it’s anything but. Why so special? For starters it was built by the guys over at Twins Turbos where the undercarriage and engine bay were for lack of better words, turned into a work of art. If you use Instagram then you should follow him : @kingerm_supra. I also suggest you read this great Speedhunters article about the build and his story : Building the Ultimate Street Supra.


Steve and I headed through the halls after we peeked through the windows. One of the first cars we saw was actually a known Florida car. This BMW i8 is sitting pretty thanks to AccuAir, a custom wrap by the Sign Savers and a unique set of Rotiform wheels. I’m sure it’s going to stop a lot of people roaming through the North Convention Hall Lobby.


The sleek lines of the i8 are meant to have a beautiful set of wheels underneath them. Considering this is a car you don’t see often, especially modified, it provides a great insight into the car culture future : hybrid vehicles can’t hide from the auto enthusiast.


Who says we don’t have hover technology in 2015? If you are interested in the floater look, than this Delahaye Bugnaughty is right up your alley.


If you think you’re going to SEMA and not see some amazing GTR’s, you’d be mistaken. I’ve been monitoring this particular one on Instagram (APAC Auto) and it met my expectations as soon as I got up close. The wide body, the color, the wheels, everything about this GTR is what my dream Nissan is made of.


The over fender and wide body craze has turned wheels into the center piece of a build. The extremely deep dish lips turn already beautiful face designs into something that makes you look twice. Now if the over fender movement is just a trend, then in a few years we’ll be seeing a lot of wheels in need of re-barreling.


When I first saw Miura-san’s BOSS S14 Rocket Bunny render I didn’t know whether I liked it or not but after seeing it up close, especially one with such quality, I became a believer.


The Datsun badge is a nice touch to a car filled with other vintage flair like the Bride Histrix seats.


No V8 or air suspension on this 240, a KA-T setup still keeps this 240 in the Nissan family. I’m a fan of absurd engine swaps but it’s always nice to see cars keep their original heart.


Once again the benefits of coming a few days early is to see vehicles like this. Starting tomorrow this hall will be flooded by people and possibly no chance to connect with the owner. This 1959 Chevy Apache had us in awe. Thankfully we spoke with the owner/builder John Canepa and he was kind enough to open it up and talk to us about the build.


The truck community is one that leaves no ground untouched when it comes to building these custom rides. The paint is a special blend he came up with which ended up being great for the ‘ice green’ look he was going for. John told me that one of the negatives about using a custom blend is paint matching for touch ups if something happens. However, he was still pleased with the color and wouldn’t have it any other way plus he has a gallon of extra paint just in case!


The wood panels on the bed not only make for a great look but they also play a vital role in keeping all the air suspension pieces hidden from plain view. The overhead view really brings this build together, after 2 years in the making this build is ready for the world to see.


After what we thought was the end of our day, we saw a few cars getting detailed in the distance. I noticed an RWB Porsche and of course, we had to make our way over.


We ended up chatting with the guys and learned they are called Ohana Detailing. Specializing in mobile detailing, they are responsible for the beautiful shine to these and other RWB and Libertywalk builds at this year’s show.


Of course the RWBs were not the only cars waiting before reaching their final destination inside of the Las Vegas convention center. This Evasive Motorsports GTR looked like it was ready to rip around the track more so then be parked for a week and that’s the type of quality we see at the SEMA show.


A car we’re also familiar with from our travels to Formula D events was Ken Gushi’s FR-S Drift car just hanging out by it’s lonesome. Only in Vegas.


When it comes to prepping for the show, no car is ever safe of some extensive modifications. I was surprised to see this stingray with some over fenders and aggressive wheels. I must admit, it looked stunning and I am sure many are in for a surprise walking around the Las Vegas convention center this week.

All in all we had a great time during our Sunday sweep, we got to see a lot of cars before being loaded inside and being able to take some photos without the rush of the crowd is always a pleasure. Don’t forget to check back, because we are only getting started.

The rest of the photos are on flickr here