With the thousands of car builds on display at SEMA, it’s pretty much guaranteed that not all of them can be winners. Part of that comes down to differences in taste; I might think something is cool, and you might absolutely hate that thing. I’ve been on the floor at the show, and plenty of cars here made me question a great many things about vehicle modifications and life in general. These are some of those vehicles.
Whatever This Dodge Challenger Is Supposed To Be
I encountered this Challenger not by choice; it was mere chance. While it certainly looked menacing, with its spider inspired wrap, dark wheels, Lambo doors and red everywhere, upon closer inspection I realized it wasn’t as menacing as it was leading on.
So Many Lifted Trucks
Having a lifted truck is one thing. Having a lifted truck that borders on monster struck status with enough room under it that a four-year-old kid can walk upright is a whole other thing. Trucks like these were once again, everywhere at the show; each one seemed to get more worse than the next.
This EV Ferrari Testarossa
This car is made by a company called Legacy EV, and it tried to pass this thing off as some kind of next generation EV restomod. The interior had a setup like a McLaren F1: a center driver flanked by two passengers. Its specs were sort of OK: 84.6 kWh battery pack, 6.6 kW charge rate at levels one and two, 300 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque and 170-225 miles of range.
Too bad it all just looked like a race car bed.
Whatever This Is
I couldn’t actually tell what this car was. All I know is that it was done up by Southern California tuning company called DNA Motoring. At first glance it looked like it could be a modified BMW i8. Its door sill and vertical opening doors would imply that it’s a heavily rebodied Lamborghini Diablo, but it looks more like something a startup would make. Whatever this hard-to-identify car is, a small decal at the bottom of the passenger side windshield indicated that it’s for sale. (It’s a Vaydor. —ED. Thanks Collin.)
Lowered Suspension And A Roof Rack Don’t Make A Good EV
The folks at Turn 14 Distribution decided to take a Rivian R1S, slam it, throw on 285/40ZR23 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires with forged 23" wheels, and add a big Thule roof rack. While it looks OK, I can’t help but think how range sapping the whole setup is.
EVs and EV conversion tech was a big deal again at SEMA this year. A whole corner of the show was dedicated to showcasing motors and battery backs for a variety of vehicles. Not all of the conversions were great. Consider this build by a company called Torque Trends, which took an NB Mazda Miata, ripped the drivetrain out and fitted an electric one. The result is a much heavier Miata filled with something they call an EV Torquebox, an AC propulsion motor — something they brag about being the same as what was fitted on the original Tesla roadster—and a nickel Manganese Cobalt battery pack. The company claims a 3.9 second zero to 60 mph time from this setup.
A Bubble Topped Porsche
Why ruin a perfectly good first generation Porsche Boxster to showcase your aftermarket headlights? This is the question I asked myself as I approached this bubble topped looking Porsche, done up by aftermarket company Spec-D Tuning. With its smooth bumpers and bubble canopy, it looked like a background extra from the 1993 film Demolition Man.
Fast And Furious Supra Replicas
Brian O’Conner — played by the late Paul Walker — drove one of the most famous movie cars in the first Fast And Furious movie, a Mark IV Supra. Sadly, over 20 years and 35 movies after the original film, Mark IV Supras from all over the world are still being made up to look like that car. And it’s kind of overdone now. I counted no less than four Mark IV Supras at SEMA modded like this.
A Faux Maybach
This Turkish aftermarket company called DizaynVIP does luxury vans. Well that’s what I’m assuming. I couldn’t find anyone to ask about the vans, and the company’s site is questionable looking and mostly in Turkish. From what they had on display, they can do up a Mercedes-Benz Metris to make it look as if it was built by Maybach itself. However the result comes across as cheap and questionable looking when you inspect the details closely.
A Blue Beetle Pickup
I had heard the Blue Beetle movie wasn’t very good. The wrap based on said movie, isn’t very good either. The result of a collaboration between Warner Bros. studios and Toyota’s Calty’s design studio, the wrap itself was done by a Texas based company called Complete Customs. Taking a look at the wrap’s design up close, it looked cheap and grainy, so much so that it would have just made more sense to not even bother with a wrap for the movie.
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