SEMA Battle of the Builders: Big Mike’s ‘Brutal’ Build Gains Recognition

By Juan Torres

Big Mike, one of three Young Guns who made it into the Top 10 in the 2016 SEMA Battle of the Builders competition, has been modifying cars for nine years. Based in Garden Grove, California, he specializes in the design of custom cars and focuses on the color coordination, texture and shaping of the build. His custom designs have been on the covers of Honda Tuning and Banzai magazines.

He describes his ’92 Prelude as an amalgamation of different worlds, combining hot rod, race and show styling. The car has a custom front end that was handmade using clay modeling and covered in fiberglass. Additional custom modifications include stainless lines throughout the chassis, Alcantara-wrapped dash, and custom door panels and a center console. The car was also upgraded with Garret turbos, Competition Clutches twin discs, Axalta Cromax paint, Sparco safety equipment, and Wilwood brakes, among other items.

Big Mike is proud that his Honda Prelude received such high recognition and was considered a Top 10 build, especially after the amount of work required to finish it. “We physically assembled the car and got it running in about two weeks,” he said. “It was the most brutal two weeks of my life."

Behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and stories of the 2016 Battle of the Builders competition will be showcased in an hour-long TV special that will air February 6, 2017, on the Velocity Network. Mark your calendars, set your DVR and tell your friends not to miss the show. 

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