Top News Items From 2015 SEMA Show Floor

The Chris Kyle “The Legend” JK was built for the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation to raise funds to benefit soldiers and EMS personnel with PTSD.
woodThe winning entry was revealed Thursday, November 5, at the event hosted by NBC Motorsports personality and host of History Channel’s “Top Gear USA” Rutledge Wood.

By SEMA Editors

Transamerican Auto Parts Announces Recipient of Life is Better Off-Road SEMA Vehicle Build Award

Transamerican Auto Parts has selected a winner in the inaugural “Life is Better Off-Road” SEMA Show vehicle build competition. The CC Legend Jeep by Addictive Desert Designs was named as the best presented, truly off-road-capable truck, Jeep or SUV on display at the Show by a panel of experts in a ceremony hosted at the Pro Comp/Transamerican Auto Parts booth at the annual SEMA Show. The winning entry was revealed Thursday, November 5, at the event hosted by NBC Motorsports personality and host of History Channel’s “Top Gear USA” Rutledge Wood.

The Chris Kyle “The Legend” JK was built for the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation to raise funds to benefit soldiers and EMS personnel with PTSD. The winning JK will be auctioned off next year for the foundation in an effort to continue to support those in need. Complete Customs of McKinney, Texas, built the Chris Kyle “The Legend” Jeep JK to honor Kyle and his beliefs, and replica models will be built and offered to the general public starting in 2016.

The CC Legend build list includes:

  • Addictive Desert Designs Venom Jeep JK front and rear bumpers
  • Rock Krawler 5.5-in. Trail Gunner suspension
  • A WARN winch
  • Interco 40-in. Super Swamper M16 tires
  • Rigid Industries LED lighting

The panel of judges featured off-road luminaries, including Ultra 4 champion and recent Off-Road Hall of Fame Inductee Shannon Campbell, action sports pioneer and off-road race champion Brian Deegan, renowned Trophy Truck builder Rick Geiser and Casey Currie of Currie Enterprises. Rounding out the experts were Sean P. Holman, content director for the Truck Trend Network and Craig Perronne, editor and publisher for 4 Wheel Parts’ Off-Road Adventures magazine. Ten semi-finalists were chosen from submitted entries based on criteria, including off-road reliability and capability, real-world functionality, quality of craftsmanship and overall vehicle presentation. From those contenders, one truck/SUV and one Jeep were selected as finalists competing to be awarded as the most authentic off-road-capable vehicle at the 2015 SEMA Show.

Mike and Jim Ring unveiled the all-carbon-fiber ’65 widebody Mustang Fastback known as “Espionage” last week at the 2015 SEMA Show.

Ringbrothers Unveil ’65 Carbon-Fiber Widebody Mustang “Espionage”

Ringbrothers introduced the all-carbon-fiber ’65 widebody Mustang Fastback known as “Espionage” during a press conference in the BASF booth last week at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Mike and Jim Ring aren’t strangers when it comes to working with carbon fiber, as many of their builds have incorporated it to some degree. Last year’s SEMA standout, the ’66 “Recoil” Chevelle, used it extensively both functionally and aesthetically. Ringbrothers didn’t just make a “carbon copy” of a ’65 Fastback though; they took the iconic shape and widened it 2 in. on each side and made countless other small tweaks to the car. The carbon-fiber body work is incognito as the car is finished with the custom BASF Glasurit 90-Line Waterborne paint named “Spy Green.”

Under the hood, Wegner Motorsports pieced together a 427-cid LS7 with a Whipple supercharger outputting 959 hp and 858 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is bolted to a six-speed Tremec T56 transmission, which is kept running smoothly by Royal Purple manual transmission fluid. All 959 ponies are sent rearward through a custom driveshaft and into a Ford 9-in. rearend. Exhaust is expelled through headers with 2-in. primaries that were custom designed and built by Ringbrothers and into a fully custom exhaust system with Flowmaster Supper 44 Mufflers. Baer spec’d 14-in. disc brakes and 6S calipers at each corner. Espionage wears custom forged wheels from HRE, which are wrapped in Nitto Invo tires sized 295/35/18ZR in the front and 345/30/19ZR in the rear.

The ’69 CR1 Camaro was unsheathed at the 2015 SEMA Show

New ’69 CR1 Camaro Unveiled

The ’69 CR1 Camaro was unsheathed at the 2015 SEMA Show in the Centerforce Clutches booth. This particular CR1 started life as a stock ’69 Camaro, which was then straightened and fettled with a combination of classic restorative body-work techniques and new panels from Dynacorn. Next, a custom CR Supercars-designed rear spoiler and front fascia were fitted, the latter featuring PIAA driving lights. The car also benefits from Eddie Motorsports billet taillight frames, door handles and hood hinges. The exterior was finished in a custom shade of matte blue metallic paint from BASF Glasurit.

Under the hood, the stock engine is removed and replaced with a modern 505hp Chevrolet Performance LS7 crate engine. A Concept One pulley system dresses up the engine and adds to performance while custom long-tube headers, 3-in. mandrel bent exhaust pipes and MagnaFlow mufflers ensure the LS7 breathes properly and sounds great. The LS7’s power is sent rearward through a Centerforce clutch, Tremec six-speed manual transmission and finally a 9-in. Strange Engineering rear end with 3.89 gears and Posi-Traction.

The task of making the CR1 handle like a modern race car was left up to Chris Alston’s Chassisworks and its tubular A-arm front suspension and its four-link rear suspension system, with adjustable coilovers at all four corners. Larger sway bars assist in keeping the CR1 flat in the corners. Power steering is standard and controlled through a polished Flaming River tilt-adjust column. Braking has been handled by Wilwood with six-piston calipers and 14-in. rotors at all four corners, along with an adjustable brake proportioning valve. Sending power to the ground are Forgeline wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich Rival tires sized 275/35/18 in the front and 335/30/18 in the back.

Inside the CR1, the classic Camaro interior features an eight-point roll cage by Chris Alston’s Chassisworks, Procar Evolution seats, five-point camlock harnesses, and a Flaming River leather steering wheel. The gauges have been swapped out for custom units that include a 200-mph speedometer by Classic Instruments and vehicle occupants are kept comfortable via an Old Air Products A/C system. CR Supercars supplied a JVC CD player with Bluetooth connectivity and a full suite of Kicker component speakers.

Wade Kawasaki’s ’70 Pontiac GTO Judge was revealed in the Wheel Vintiques booth at last week’s SEMA Show.

Wheel Vintiques Debuts ’70 Pontiac GTO Judge

Wheel Vintiques debuted Wade Kawasaki’s ’70 Pontiac GTO Judge during a press conference in their booth at last week’s 2015 SEMA Show. The car is a numbers-matching restoration, performed by Bodie Stroud Industries. It features the original 400-cid Ram Air III engine, which has matching date codes on every component, down to the carburetor. Stroud took on the project, utilizing restoration components from Original Parts Group, Trim Parts, Classic Tube, PUI Interiors, National Parts Depot, PPG and more. Even though it was an original car from the start of the restoration, it took quite a bit of effort to get the car prepared for the SEMA Show debut, according to Kawasaki. With his involvement in Wheel Vintiques and Coker Tire, the GTO Judge rolls on authentic Firestone Wide Oval raised white letter tires, wrapped around Pontiac Rallye II wheels. This authentic combination adds value to the car and gives it the period-correct look.

Joe Bovee was named the BOLT Sales Representative of the Year at the 2015 SEMA Show. 

BOLT Names Bovee Sales Representative of the Year

Joe Bovee, manufacturer’s representative for Innovative Marketing Services LLC, based in Tempe, Arizona, was selected as the BOLT Sales Representative of the Year at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. BOLT (Breakthrough One-Key Lock Technology) presents this annual award to recognize outstanding sales achievements and excellent customer service. With more than 10 years of experience in automotive aftermarket sales, Bovee represents BOLT’s one-key lock products to automotive and truck aftermarket wholesalers and retailers in the Pacific Northwest.

Ford Selects VP Racing Fuels as Official Fuel Supplier for ’16 Cobra Jet

VP Racing Fuels has announced its selection as the Official Fuel Supplier for Ford Motor Company’s ’16 Cobra Jet, which was introduced last week at the SEMA Show. Ford’s unveiling marks the continued evolution of the Cobra Jet as a limited-edition, factory-produced turnkey race car. Like its predecessors, the ’16 Cobra Jet is legal for NHRA-Stock and Super Stock drag racing and several classes in IHRA, NMRA, and NMCA. With VP as the Official Fuel Supplier, each 2016 production unit will come from the factory, calibrated specifically for VP’s C16 racing fuel.

Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels teamed up with ROUSH Performance to create the new ’15 ROUSH F-150.

Mickey Thompson and ROUSH Performance Reveal ’15 Roush F-150

Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels teamed up with ROUSH Performance to create the new ’15 ROUSH F-150 featuring ROUSH-M/T Metal Series 20-in. wheels and Mickey Thompson Baja ATZP3 all-terrain tires. The specially designed Baja ATZP3 combines Mickey Thompson’s T4 chip-resistant tread compound with PowerPly sidewall construction, beefy tread blocks and an extra-wide footprint to create a tough all-terrain tire. The wheels feature an eight-spoke, matte black design with a milled lip and branded pop-top center cap. The new ROUSH F-150 includes a host of body components and graphics, a ROUSH side-exit exhaust system and a FOX 2.0 Performance Series suspension system, as well as molded front and rear floor liners from WeatherTech.

Auto Meter Products and Hoonigan Debut Co-Branded Gauges at the SEMA Show

Auto Meter Products announced a new line of gauges designed in collaboration with Hoonigan Industries at the 2015 SEMA Show. The collaboration started with Ken Block’s ’65 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR, made famous by the last installment of his viral video series, “Gymkhana SEVEN.” The Auto Meter X Hoonigan product offering includes standard 2-in. gauges, 3 3/8-in. speedometer and tachometer and a 5-in. in-dash speedometer. Additional products are in motion for 2016, including a tire pressure gauge and 5-in. dash-mount tachometer. Hoonigan driver Corey Hosford's Rocket Bunny Boss 14 displayed the gauges in Auto Meter’s booth, and Hoonigan Brand Director Brian Scotto's ’72 Chevy "Napalm" Nova displayed the new gauges at the MSD Performance booth.

Shelby American and Tuscany Motor Co. Introduce the All-New 700hp Shelby F-150

Last week at the BFGoodrich/SCORE outdoor display at SEMA's South Hall in Las Vegas, Shelby American unveiled its latest enhancement to the Ford family—all-new Shelby F-150 truck. The Shelby F-150 brings a classic Shelby bold appearance and more than 45 proprietary, high-performance enhancements, including an optional supercharger that boasts 700hp. Power comes from an optional supercharger that includes an oversized cold-air intake, billet-aluminum high-flow throttle body, aluminum heat exchanger, higher-flowing fuel injectors and an updated calibration. A custom-tuned, black-tipped, Borla dual exhaust system roars to match the power of the blower.

Shelby engineers teamed up with Fox shocks and BDS Suspension to engineer a custom-tuned performance suspension only available on the ’16 Shelby F-150. It features four aluminum-body, Fox 2.5-in. internal bypass reservoir shocks with dual speed adjusters. The Shelby F-150 features 18-in. custom Shelby wheels paired with next-generation BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires specifically designed for off-road performance. Shelby will build these F-150s through a manufacturing and distribution partnership with select Ford dealers through Tuscany Motor Co. Shelby will only offer 500 of these Shelby F-150 trucks through a select network of Ford dealers. Five color and stripe combinations are available, including Black, Blue Flame, Magnetic, Oxford White and Race Red.

The Cobra Jet Challenge Car made its world debut at the 2015 SEMA Show.

Power Automedia’s Project Factory Five Cobra Jet Challenge Car Debuts

As a featured automobile in the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition, the Cobra Jet Challenge Car made its world debut at the SEMA Show. The basis of the project is a proven Factory Five MK4 Challenge series car with the optional Street Completion package (which consists of a second seat, carpet and a windshield). The Challenge kit differentiates itself from the standard Roadster kit due to its fully integrated, NASA-legal cage, a robust halo bar and fully integrated door bars. A Factory Five standard three-link rear suspension and tubular front suspension are a few of the additional items that are included with the Challenge kit.

Powered by a fully-built 312-cid Coyote engine featuring a Livernois-sleeved 3.700-in. bore block and Mahle pistons, the Cobra makes more than 530 rear-wheel horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque at a 12:1 compression ratio utilizing InnoV8 billet individual throttle bodies for its aspiration. Purpose-built for track and street use, the gauges provide a race heads-up display, and one of Racepak's IQ3 dash displays works in conjunction with a dash-mounted Windows-based tablet PC, which outputs live digital gauge displays so that performance can be tuned on the fly. The tablet also functions as the car's stereo. The car also is equipped with a full-race cooling system, including dual electronically-controlled fluid pumps for the transmission and rearend, a front mount oil cooler, a new LED lighting system, Proxes tires by Toyo and more.