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Gran Turismo Selects 1970 Mustang as Best of SEMA Show

 1970 "TransCammer" Mustang
 Philip Koenen's 1970 "TransCammer" Mustang will appear in the upcoming fifth edition of the popular video game.

Of the many awards given annually at the SEMA Show, only one offers the winner the prize of video game immortality. The seventh annual Gran Turismo Awards, held at the 2009 SEMA Show, recognized Philip Koenen and his 1970 Ford Mustang "TransCammer" with Best Hot Rod and the coveted Best in Show awards.

The latter award earns Koenen's car a spot in the forthcoming Gran Turismo 5 as a fully driveable player selection, and was selected as Best in Show by the game's creator, Kazunori Yamauchi.

"The Gran Turismo Awards continue to seek out and reward automotive enthusiasts who demonstrate passion for outstanding design and performance, while also celebrating a strong collaboration with the gaming industry," Yamauchi said. "We have been very pleased with the high quality of vehicles vying for the award the past seven years and look forward to having this 1970 Ford Mustang TransCammer join our list of distinguished past winners as part of the Gran Turismo franchise."

Koenen's Mustang will join 2008 winner Brian Filoteo's Infiniti G37 and 2007 winner Marcel Horn's HPA Audi TT in the fifth installment of the game franchise, which according to Sony has sold more than 53 million units worldwide. Both Filoteo and Horn's cars were available for guests to drive in the latest version of the game, shown at the event.

Prior to the 2009 SEMA Show, all exhibitors were invited to enter their vehicles into the Gran Turismo Awards, which honor five different categories: Best Domestic Automobile; Best European Import; Best Hot Rod; Best Asian Import; and Best Truck/SUV. Autowriters from media outlets, including Motor Trend, European Tuner, and Import Tuner acted as judges, judging each category on a balance between performance, style and speed.

The five category winners were:
-Best Domestic: Nicholas Ashby, Moment Carbon Camaro
-Best European Import: KC Howet, 2009 Underground Racing Lamborghini LP560-4TT
-Best Hot Rod: Philip Koenen, "Trans-Cammer" 1970 Ford Mustang
-Best Asian Import: Chris Rado, World Racing Scion TC.
-Best Truck/SUV: Scott Bailey and Tony Vanillo, Ford F250 Unlimited 2 Class short-course race truck.