By SEMA Editors
A ’67 Chevrolet Nova built by Chris Holstrom and owned by Phil Mitchell of Puyallup, Washington, took Best in Show at the 2013 Gran Turismo Awards.
On the evening of Wednesday, November 6, the Gran Turismo Awards put on its 11th annual award ceremony at the Haze Nightclub inside the Aria in Las Vegas. Held during the SEMA Show, the 2013 GT Awards sought to find the best cars from five different categories (Best Truck or SUV, Hot Rod, Domestic Automobile, Asian Import and European Import) by calling on experts from the automotive media and industry professionals.
In addition to the five categories, a People’s Choice award was introduced for the first time this year where fans had the opportunity to vote on their favorite car by liking posts on Gran Turismo’s Facebook page.
Host C.J. Wilson—the all-star pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and owner of a Mazda race team and dealership—revealed all six category winners, as well as the overall Best in Show.
For Best Truck or SUV, Matt Farah from the "Drive" channel on YouTube and "Smoking Tire" selected the ’65 Ford Econoline back-up pickup owned by Dave Shuten. It’s called a back-up pickup because it’s a truck with its driveline turned around. It will do a wheelie going backwards.
Alexander Stoklosa and Michael Simari from Car and Driver teamed up as judges for Best Domestic Automobile and picked the Factory Five 818R. The 818R is a track-purpose kit car that uses a turbocharged Subaru motor.
For Best Asian Import, Jonathan Wong from Super Street magazine picked a ’14 Scion FR-S with a 2JZ engine swapped in from a Supra turbo. Built by the aftermarket company Greddy, the small Scion now makes 750 wheel hp.
Alex Bernstein from European Car was on deck for Best European Import. He chose an ’01 VW GTI-RS from 034 Motorsport that has been converted to rear-wheel drive and makes 900 wheel hp.
Ryan Friedlinghaus from the car customization shop West Coast Customs picked a ’67 Chevrolet Nova built by Chris Holstrom and owned by Phil Mitchell of Puyallup, Washington, for Best Hot Rod. The Nova is equipped with a supercharged LS9 engine out of a ’12 Corvette ZR1 that makes 700 hp. The overall clean execution of modern engine in a classic chassis helped the Nova take the Best in Show honors as well. Look for it as a playable vehicle in an upcoming version of Gran Turismo.
As for the People’s Choice, the fans picked a ’14 Chevy Corvette Stingray owned by Octavio Villafana. The C7 Vette features a custom widebody painted in a brilliant blue.
Visit www.gran-turismo.com/us for more information.