The 2017 SEMA Show was chockfull of events to attend, people to greet, and cars to appreciate. Our own shared booth with HRIA, in fact, featured six vehicles that had been specifically selected to be on display as spectators appreciated the fine restoration work before their eyes. Located in Central Hall’s Hot Rod Alley, the featured vehicles were hand-selected by ARMO and HRIA as part of the Featured Vehicle Program. Every year, members from both councils independently choose three vehicles. As part of our mission to promote the automotive restoration industry, the shared booth displayed vehicles that did just that.
3 Segments of the Restoration Market
“This year, we really tried showing all segments of the restoration market,” said Tray Smith, vice president of H&H Classic Parts and ARMO’s chair elect. “We’re trying to show the market is multi-faceted. 15 years ago, everyone was doing fully stock restorations, but the customer has changed, and the restoration industry has adapted to cover multiple segments.” Along with fully stock restorations, the market is also seeing resto-mod and fully aftermarket builds. The three ARMO vehicles at the 2017 SEMA Show booth embodied this three-part segmentation.
Passersby couldn’t resist the temptation of making a pit stop at the booth, as they were drawn by the lure of a fully restored ‘69 Chevy Camaro, a resto-mod ’65 Oldsmobile, and a 1940 Ford Coupe built almost exclusively from aftermarket parts and sheet metal.
1969 Chevy Camaro Z/28
The 1969 Chevy Camaro underwent a complete, 100-point restoration by owner Roddy Grimes. Boasting GM sheet metal throughout, the Camaro was displayed in the ARMO/HRIA booth with its cowl hood raised for observers to examine its iconic 302 cubic-inch engine and fully restored engine bay. Finished in its original Code 71 LeMans Blue with dark racing stripes and a vinyl top, this Z/28 is equipped with a host of factory options including front and rear spoilers, front and rear bumper guards, hounds tooth interior with console and the Rally Sport package featuring hide-away headlights.
Resto Mod Oldsmobile
The 1965 Oldsmobile 442 built by JH Restorations is a solid example of a resto mod, retaining its original body work but incorporating a host of upgrades to boost comfort and performance to modern standards. Custom gauges and air conditioning were fitted into the original dash, and modern upholstery was stitched while retaining the feel of the original interior. Suspension and brake upgrades by Detroit Speed, Viking and Wilwood provide 21st century ride and handling to match the performance of the 6.0 Liter LS engine and Tremec 6-speed transmission. Keeping the “resto” in resto mod, an air cleaner and valve covers were 3D printed to make the modern LS engine look like the original engine.
Aftermarket 1940 Ford
“The 1940 Ford Coupe is a very unique car,” said Smith. “It rides the fence between a hot rod and a resto mod. As Alloway says, it’s a “1-800 car.”
Bobby Alloway’s team at Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop built the vehicle using only aftermarket parts—except for the hood, which isn’t available in the aftermarket yet. Alloway calls it a 1-800 car because one can essentially pick up the phone and purchase the car parts one-by-one. Every single unit—minus the hood—is a reproduction. It goes to show the scope and span of restoration parts available in the market today. Jim Skelly, SEMA’s Council Director of ARMO, added, “You don’t need a 1940 Ford to have a 1940 Ford.” Manufactured by the aftermarket, the body metal is indeed, trademarked by Ford.