By Clint Simone and Carr Winn
SEMA Ignited—the official SEMA Show after-party that is open to consumers—will kick-off for the third time ever, Friday, November 4, immediately following the close of the 2016 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Also for the third year, SEMA Ignited will serve as the backdrop for “SEMA: Battle of the Builders® (BOTB),” hosted by Adrienne Janic and Chris Jacobs, during which the top three finalists will learn their outcomes.
SEMA News caught up with two builders entering the BOTB competition this year, each with their own unique spin on two beloved American classics. Russ Taylor and his company Fusion of Ideas have worked on race cars for years. His most recent endeavor is a 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 that is fully prepped for the track. The Camaro is a complete carbon fiber-paneled, lightweight machine that Taylor competes with in the NASA racing series. Taylor shared his excitement with entering a car into BOTB that is used on a weekly basis—not just a Show special.
Shaun Callaway of AnzoUSA took a simple, functional approach to the most popular truck on the road, the Ford F-150. The highlights of the build include AnzoUSA headlights, light bars and taillights. A matte gray wrap job, lift kit and custom suede and leather interior complete the package for Callaway. He explained that the F-150 is an extension of his own personal automotive taste: everything must be functional, nothing should be wasted or excessive.
Both Taylor and Callaway are looking forward to competing in BOTB, recognizing that they are among some of the best automotive company in the world.
There were more than 27,000 registered attendees for the 2015 event—up 20% from the previous year. Held in the Gold Lot just steps away from the Las Vegas Convention Center, SEMA Ignited will feature automotive demonstrations, celebrity appearances, industry icons, food, music, cackle cars, Formula Drift action and a live taping of the 2016 BOTB competition that will premiere in early 2017 on the Velocity Channel. Vehicles from the SEMA Show will begin to parade out of the convention center around 4:00 p.m., and make their way to SEMA Ignited as thousands of fans line the streets of Las Vegas to catch a glimpse of the Show’s wildest rides.
Last year, 220 of the world’s best builders entered the BOTB competition, but it was Bobby Alloway who walked away with the top prize.