A Sampling of This Year's Battle of the Builders Contenders

Since the SEMA Show’s annual Battle of the Builders (BOTB) debuted in 2014, the nationwide competition series has become one of the most anticipated events of Show Week. For 2022, the action will unfold throughout the week, with cameras following along to document the journey for a TV program set to on Saturday, January 28, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. EST. (Visit for updates on TV airings.)

While a panel of industry experts narrows down the selection of vehicles, it’s the builders themselves who ultimately select the four class winners as well as the overall winner. You can follow the progress during the Show at a press conference announcing the top 40 finalists at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 1, and another announcing the top 12 at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 2.

Due to space constraints, we’re unable to publish every single entry received, but thanks to all for your support and for your dedication to the craft.

MustangAdrian Renzo Soliman, Spring Valley, CA

’16 Ford Mustang

Category: Young Guns

It’s “the one and only Red Bull Mustang in California,” Adrian Renzo Soliman claims, and besides its unique exterior package, the Ford boasts many upgrades. Under the hood, CVF components include the intercooler, charge pipe and downpipe, and a Turbosmart BOV keeps intake pressures manageable. The engine was also treated to a Cobb Accessport tune at PD Tuning, and an MBRP catback expels exhaust gases, which in this case comprises an E85 mix. The Ford’s chassis incorporates an Airlift 3P suspension system, while a set of Niche wheels and Yokohama tires provide rolling stock. Outside, an I-5 Autohaus GT 500 bumper, GT 500 wing, Downforce Solution rear diffuser and APR front splitter all help to optimize aerodynamics, and a Diode Dynamics sequential taillight kit and MOP Concept brake lights enhance functionality and style.

CressidaPeyton Cicconi, Torrance, CA

’87 Toyota Cressida

Category: Young Guns

“I’m building this Cressida for drifting,” says Cicconi, and by the time it’s completed, it should be capable of delivering the goods on the track. The supercharged 4.0L Lexus 1UZ engine should provide plenty of power, and a 350Z six-speed manual affords numerous gearing options. The full-angle steering kit from Xcessive Manufacturing ensures the drifter tracks steady in the turns, and a dual-caliper e-brake system should bring it to a stop. The Toyota rides on a coilover suspension from BC Racing. In the back, a rear-mounted battery provides spark, and a Radium Engineering surge fuel tank houses utilizes dual fuel pumps. In the spirit of replicating a “mild” Bosozuku drift car, playful touches will be found inside and out, as Cicconi explains. “I have ghost Pokémon cartoon characters cut out into the gussets on the rollcage,” he says, “and I’m planning to do a custom anime-themed interior.”

C10Travis Summers, Murfreesboro, TN

’66 Chevrolet C10

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

A seven-month build over weekends in Summers’ home garage, this Chevy half-ton runs a modified factory frame with an Airlift 3P Air Management System handling suspension duties. The 22-in. steelie wheels are painted to mimic a whitewall tire. Summers relied on his experience in woodworking to raise the bed floor, and inside the cab, the interior is awash in Chevy Red trim. Dakota Digital gauges monitor engine functions, Vintage Air keeps the climate controlled, and a Snowden Custom bench seat contains two cupholders, not a factory option in ’66. “I built this truck on a small budget and limited time, but I’m very happy with the results,” Summers said, adding that his YouTube channel—“simple.c10”—gives additional looks at the vehicle, with advice to share with other customizers who are looking to build a truck of their own.

MustangBobby Schumacher, Independence, MO

’67 Ford Mustang

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

“All-metal construction—even the headlight buckets,” Schumacher says of his creation, which rides on a full custom chassis. Between the rails can be found a Whipple-supercharged LS3 V8, which exhales through a custom exhaust and headers and is paired with a Tremec six-speed. The Ford utilizes an Air Ride suspension, which is supplemented by a four-link setup in the rear. Outside, scarcely a stock panel remains from the original bodywork, with a custom one-off grille and hood, custom extended rocker panels, custom side-exit exhaust cutout, and hand-fabbed side scoops. The deck lid has been paralleled to align with the taillights, and the front fenders have been bowed to allow for full steering when the car is fully lowered. Drip rails have been removed, and all glasswork was flushed to add a clean, smooth and aerodynamic appearance.

CoronetPete Kianka, Chantilly, VA

’70 Dodge Coronet

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

A ground-up custom build from Pro-Speed Autoworks, this Dodge is built for speed as well as looks. Under the hood, a custom twin-turbocharged 5.7L Hemi sports MMX forged internals and a MagnaFlow exhaust. It’s backed by a TCI-prepped 4L80 automatic transmission, which sends power to a Quick Performance 9-in. rearend. Suspension duties are handled by a Ridetech Air-Ride suspension with a four-link supplementing the rear and QA1 components plumbed into the mix; custom Rotiform QLB wheels are stopped by a set of Wilwood discs. Inside, a cluster of Dakota Digital gauges monitor engine functions, and the exterior boasts numerous custom components, including the quarters, doors, cowl and rockers—all of which were fabbed by AMD—as well as custom spoilers front and rear. Finally, a coat of custom black paint was applied by Custom Autocrafters.

WranglerDonavin Willis, Lithonia, GA

’09 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X

Category: 4-Wheel Drive/Off-Road

“Where to begin?” Willis exclaims when asked to list his Jeep’s many mods. “I’ve touched every part on my Jeep, and every bit of work has been done by myself.” That starts with a built supercharged LSA 6.0 V8, which is assisted by components from Mishimoto, Superchips and Odyssey Battery, and a custom 21/2-in. aluminum suspension system.

A pair of custom-built HD axles—the front pulled from a Ford F-250, the rear from a Silverado 2500—allow for mounting a set of 41.5-in. Pitbull Rocker tires. Outside the vehicle, Rockhard provides body armor, and KC lighting facilitates night driving.
“I have done all of the welding, all of the cutting and designing to get the Jeep to where it is,” Willis says.

ChallengerRuben Dinis, Tampa, FL

’71 Dodge Challenger

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

“It was originally a ’71 Challenger,” Ruben Dinis says, “but the chassis and powertrain have been swapped with a second-gen Viper.” The interior is completely reimagined, artistically merging elements from the Challenger and the Viper. Behind the driver is a form-fitting audio system encompassing the entire back seat. All upholstery will be custom formed and stitched for this vehicle. Under the hood is a Viper V10 concealed by a handmade sheetmetal engine cover that appears to “cage” the motor in the body of the car. Front and rear bumpers are frenched into the sheetmetal, emphasizing the hand-crafted arrow kit molded into the car. Finishing touches will be a unique paint job with racing stripes that will carry over throughout the interior.

MustangJohn Wargo, Flanagan, IL

’66 Ford Mustang

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

This ’66 Mustang Fastback sports a motorized hard top that opens up with a flick of a switch for warm spring days. Under the hood is a swapped-in 5.0L Coyote V8 featuring a stainless Pypes exhaust, along with a 6R80 transmission that’s likewise nestled within a Roadster Shop chassis. Forgeline wheels are stopped by a Baer big-brake kit that utilizes stainless brake lines. The bodywork features molded-in ground effects, a chin spoiler and a hood scoop and extractors. Custom white with charcoal paint is accented by blue graphics, and inside the cab, a Sony audio system will provide tunes while an Apex Leather interior will include four bucket seats.

LoadmasterBuilders: Jim and Mike Ring, Spring Green, WI

’48 Chevrolet Loadmaster Pickup

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

Former BOTB champions, Ringbrothers return to SEMA for 2022 with a custom pickup that retains the stock cab but little else. The bodywork has been chopped and narrowed 4 in. each, lengthened 2 in., and wedge-cut 2 to 4 in. throughout the cab. Resting on an Ahlman Engineering/Roadster Shop chassis is a 510ci Todd Goodwin-built V8 that’s topped with an eight-stack Kinsler injection system and outfitted with custom headers; the setup is said to be good for 1,000 hp on race fuel. The truck rides on a cantilevered independent suspension with Ohlin shocks that utilizes a Corvette torque tube transaxle, which in turn is hooked up to a 4L80E transmission. Carbon-fiber parts can be found everywhere, including the two-piece clamshell hood, door panels, seats and dash. All told, some 8,600 man-hours went into the build, with another 2,500 devoted to its design.

MiniNorman E. Nelson, Palo Cedro, CA

’69 Austin Mini Countryman Estate Wagon

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

Who you gonna call? A legit barn find (stored in ’84 and only recently resto’d), this rare ’69 Austin Mini Countryman Estate Wagon was stripped to bare metal with all rust removed and new parts installed, including nearly all body panels, the interior, engine and suspension. Subframes were powdercoated, new custom wood trim fabricated, new seats embroidered and undercarriage LED lights installed. Then the Mini was transformed into a replica of the Ecto 1 Ghostbusters Car from the 1984 film of the same name, complete with functioning roof components, lights, sirens, sound system and ambulance stretcher to carry the Proton Packs, PKE detectors and ghost storage box.

D100Jared Roberts, Bellefonte, PA

’68 Dodge D100

Category: Young Guns

The list of modifications to this ’68 pickup is long indeed, starting with the 540ci Mopar big-block that’s supercharged by a F2 Procharger and fortified with a K1 Technology crank, Diamond pistons, Indy Cylinder Heads, T&D rockers, and an air-to-water intercooler with heat exchanger. Power flows through a built 727 transmission equipped with a manual valve body, which in turn sends torque to a Moser 9-in. rearend with a spool and 40-spline axle shafts. The truck’s original framerails have been outfitted with an IFS front suspension and a ladder-bar rear suspension, both sporting coilover shocks. Wilwood six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes handle stopping duties. Outside, the tilt front end utilizes electric actuators, a D300 front valence replaces the stock rear bumper, and the tubbed bodywork features raised wheelwells front and rear.

HyundaiHannah Mead, Lorton,VA

Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T

Category: Young Guns

This Genesis Coupe is certainly an eye-catcher, thanks to its Cheetah-wrapped Spinnywhoosh cherry blossom livery and its WCI MD1 19x10.5 front and 19x12.5 rear wheels. A Remake V2 Widebody kit along with Street Aero side skirts, VIS carbon-fiber rear diffuser and carbon-fiber grille all give the car a sleek and sporty stance. Under the hood, the engine has been given a SFR Stage 1.5 tune, a K&N cold-air intake and an ISR intercooler and race exhaust. ISR coilovers handle suspension duties, and PowerStop brakes with slotted and drilled rotors bring the car to a stop. Inside, an NRG quick-release steering wheel and a Pioneer audio system reside within a custom teal interior that matches the bodywork, and outside, Spec-D headlights and taillights improve visibility at night.

CobraJordan Fields, Sharpsburg, GA

’65 Shelby Cobra X

Category: Young Guns

“The Cobra X is a Factory Five MKIV Roadster with more than a thousand horsepower, heated seats, cameras on all four corners, Apple CarPlay and other creature comforts,” Jordan Fields says. After Fields’s shop, HRB Customs, burned down three years ago, he ordered the Shelby with the intent “to build the most extreme kit-car we could imagine.” Under the hood, the motor started its life as a 351 Windsor, but since then it has been bored and stroked to displace 427 ci and is topped with a Procharger supercharger. Sporting a detailed airbrush paint treatment, the Cobra has since become the face of his business “and a great start to our portfolio of custom cars.”

GladiatorMaxx Faith, Oxnard, CA

’20 Jeep Gladiator

Category: 4-Wheel Drive/Off-Road

“There are no sponsors on the truck at all,” Maxx Faith says, though we suspect that may change should it make the cut in Las Vegas this fall. A “100% custom build,” the Jeep has retained some of its original bodywork and little else. The Gladiator rides on a full custom-built frame that incorporates a long-travel suspension sporting custom bracketry and King coilovers—all of which make room in the wheelwells for set of 42s that, along with the lift, provides a ride height 18 in. above stock. Other hand-built components include the bumpers, fenders, bed, hood and side steps. “From all the frame and suspension geometry and CAD work and fabrication, welding, painting and bodywork, I’ve done everything,” Faith explains.

4RunnerScott Kanemura, Gardena, CA

’93 Toyota 4Runner

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

“An unusual platform to start with,” Scott Kanemura notes, this 4Runner’s interior was gutted and the vehicle rebuilt entirely from scratch; only the exterior shell was retained atop a one-off drag-racing chassis. “The entire concept of this build is craftsmanship,” Kanemura continues, noting that nothing is concealed—such as the wiring, which was loomed on polished stainless steel tubing. Under the hood is a bored and stroked 1,000hp 3.4LL 2JZ motor which utilizes a custom tubular exhaust. The 4Runner rolls on a set of Volk Racing wheels, and the custom paint was handled by Steve Deman at Kolor Kings. There are numerous custom machined parts throughout the build, such as tribute ’67 Toyota 2000GT valve covers and a custom-machined motor plate.

F100Logan Adkins, Bonner Springs, KS

’54 Ford F-100

Category: Young Guns

A four-and-a-half year project that started “the day I pulled it out of my grandma’s fence row,” Logan Adkins says, this F-100 now sports an “extreme” amount of body modifications such as 3-in.-widened rear fenders, a custom roll pan, shaved drip rails, rolled bed stakes, custom-machined taillights, shaved body lines, a full fiberglass front clip, and a smoothed custom tailgate. A small-block Chevy rests within a custom chassis, and it’s aided by a 750-cfm Edelbrock carb, March Performance serpentine kit and a mild cam. Power is transferred to a set of wheels from Boyd Coddington, 18s in the front, 20s in the rear. Smoothed running boards accommodate a side-exit exhaust, and a GM Magna Steel Axalta paint job provides luster.

ImpalaWill Posey, Hokes Bluff, AR

’61 Chevrolet Impala

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

This ’61 Chevy, dubbed “Dirt Martini,” “has been cut in just about every way possible,” Will Posey claims. The body has been chopped, channeled and sectioned, and front and rear windshields have had 4.4 in. removed from them. The roof was wedge-cut 1.5 in., and a new roof was made to bring the top of the windshield and rear glass to the same plane as the side glass. The body was reverse wedge-sectioned 2.75 in. to make the lower body line more parallel with the ground. The body was channeled 1.25 in. over the
Roadster Shop chassis, the cowl was pocketed, and the hood was extended back to the windshield. Inside, a complete custom interior by The Recovery Room contains a set of Dakota Digital gauges, and the Chevy rolls on a set of one-off Schott rims.

StudebakerRocky Troxell, New Buffalo, MI

’51 Studebaker pickup

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

A Ridler Great 8 finalist at Detroit Motorama and a Select 6 honoree at Chicago World of Wheels, “Bertha” has been chopped 3.5 in., channeled 7 in., fenders each widened over 4. in. to fit onto a ’12 Grand Sport Corvette chassis and shortened 6 in. to retain the stock GM wheelbase. All Corvette running gear can be found underhood, including a 500hp LS3 engine and torque tube suspension. Many custom handmade parts can be found throughout the build, including a retrofitted ’50 Plymouth dash that houses Corvette instrumentation and a modified ’49 Ford grille. Also sporting a hydraulic adjustable suspension, custom Cadillac taillights and a sliding tonneau cover, the truck is, in its builder’s words, “truly an awesome build that drives like a new car.”

C1500Connor Crews, Lake Saint Louis, MO

’98 Chevrolet C1500

Category: Young Guns

The ’88–’98 GM trucks have become a popular platform for young builders, and Connor Crews, 17, looks to up the ante with this sparkling C-truck. Under the hood resides a Chevy Performance 350 along with stainless-steel headers and a custom MagnaFlow exhaust. The truck rides on a Belltech suspension and rolls on a set of Billet Specialties Speedway wheels. Extensive bodywork includes a shaved third-brake light off the roof, a shaved antenna from the front fender, shaved stake pocket holes from the bed, shaved front and rear bumpers, custom-mixed Glasurit paint, and five coats of clear. Inside, the dash was modified to fit a double-DIN radio and then painted with a matte finish paint to match the leather. Alcantara headliner and a Kicker audio system are among the many other interior mods. In the works? An air suspension.

MustangKevin Cassar, Phoenix, AZ

’21 Ford Mustang

Category: Young Guns

Said to feature the world’s first OE S550 Mustang Mach 1 front fascia and clip conversion, and sporting numerous carbon-fiber exterior components, “Project Freedom” takes its classic styling cues from the original ’68 Mustang GT/CS and ’69 Mustang Fastback “while combining all-out modern performance, luxury, engineering, into a form-follows-function package of classic Mustang design and performance,” Kevin Cassar notes. A built Gen 3 Coyote 5.0L V8 provides power, and a Bespoke Engineered Racing suspension utilizes AAD Performance billet front upper and lower control arms. Wilwood disc brakes bring it to a stop, a custom-fabbed chromoly four-point roll cage keeps occupants safe, and custom chassis bracing enhances structural rigidity.

GladiatorTerry Payne, Scurry, TX

’22 Jeep Gladiator

Category: 4-Wheel Drive/Off-Road

The Gladiator pickup has taken the Jeep world by storm since its introduction, and this brand-new JT constitutes a rolling showcase of new parts and products. A pink-powdercoated 4.5-in. Rock Krawler suspension lift lends elevation, which in turn provides clearance for a set of 35x14.50 Versa Tires wrapped around a set of 24x14 TIS 561 wheels, which are also powdercoated to match the suspension. The exterior hosts a slew of upgrades, starting with HammerHead Armor bumpers and Air Design fenders flares, grille and door molding. P3 Billet hooks, shackles, door handles and winch fairlead lend stoutness and style, and a 10,000-lb. Warn winch helps with extractions. Inside, Alea leather seats sport blue and pink stitching, and a DS18 sound bar, under-seat subs, and custom bed speakers handle audio chores.

BroncoJeff Leverton, Bloomington, IL

’21 Ford Bronco

Category: 4-Wheel Drive/Off-Road

Former BOTB finalists and Bronco specialists Maxlider Brothers return for 2022 with this matching truck and trailer combo. Rendered by HK Kreations, the Ford rides on a BDS suspension that utilizes RPG Offroad control arms and Mojave Parts shackles, and underneath it, a set of Atturo tires are wrapped around TIS wheels. Under the hood, a Borla exhaust lends a pleasing note while Dynamat sound deadening materials keep dB levels manageable inside the cab. ADV Fiberglass crafted the custom fenders and hood, ARB bumpers and skidplating provide rockproofing, and a Powertank mobile air system is available for airing up at trail’s end. A Rockford Fosgate audio system and Katzkin Leather seating upgrade the interior, and a Dometic camp fridge/freezer stores food and beverages.

IntegraTim Kennemore, Corsicana, TX

’95 Acura Integra

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

Performance-tuned, this ’95 Acura rides on an AirLift suspension that utilizes additional components from TruHart and Skunk 2 Racing. Billet hardware from MPC Motorsport and 100 Proof Hardware add strength, and carbon-fiber aerodynamic parts from Carbon Creations enhance handling and aesthetics. A set of Toyo tires are halted by brakes from R1 Concepts, while a Hondata engine management system provides optimal tuning. Inside, Braum seats offer comfort and support, and outside, XK Glow lighting illuminates the road.

DurangoSal Pizzo, Wilmington, NC

’21 Dodge SRT Durango Hellcat

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

How loud is it? Well, a supercharged 426 Hellcat is no shrinking violet, and the presence of a Borla catback exhaust likely provides an even more aggressive note while a Diablosport PCM and Trinity T2 tuner ensure optimal performance. The Hellcat’s 700+ hp drives a set of Nitto tires mounted on Rohana wheels, and an R1 Concepts big-brake kit brings the Dodge to a stop. A set of Spec-R lowering springs improve track performance. Finally, plenty of Duraslic parts abound, including extreme exterior coating and wheel coating, while Flexishield PPF helps to keep everything protected from the elements.

ChevyAlex Martinez, Donna, TX

’53 Chevrolet Truck

Category: 4-Wheel Drive/Off-Road

A ground-up restomod from TC Autoworks, this low-riding Chevy rests on an Acme chassis and an Air Lift air suspension that incorporates Flo Air ride tanks and Viair compressors. Power boosts are provided by an assortment of Holley products for the intake and exhaust, and a Painless Performance harness controls electrical functions. Inside, Dakota Digital gauges, Snowden custom seats, Vintage Air HVAC, Lokar pedals, Apex leather seating, Retro Manufacturing audio and ididit steering all lend upgrades, and outside, Auto Body Direct body panels are powdercoated by Prismatic Powders. A set of Intro wheels are stopped by Wilwood discs.

CamaroBrian Folsom, Peoria, AZ

’11 Chevrolet Camaro SS/RS

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

Adorned with a custom wrap from Mutoh America, this Camaro hosts a slew of performance and aesthetic upgrades. Starting under the hood, a Texas Speed Stage 2 cam replaced the stock bumpstick, and Rotofab and Borla components help with intake and exhaust. BMR springs and swaybars provide suspension upgrades, and custom-powdercoated Rohana RFX11 wheels are halted by Powerstop slotted brakes. The exterior has been treated to a ZL1 front bumper conversion and a ’14 SS hood as well as a rear duckbill spoiler, Ikon side skirts and a rear diffuser. Inside, Braum seats and harnesses with rear seat delete keep occupants safe, a Grip Royal etched steering wheel and an NRG quick release allow for quick engagement and removal at the track.

ElantraEmily Rodriguez, Arleta, CA

’22 Hyundai Elantra N

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

“What sets my vehicle apart is that it has been the guinea pig for a lot of products for Hyundai’s N performance platform,” Emily Rodriguez explains. “I’ve worked with several different performance companies to test fit products, create content and help promote the companies’ products.” Included among these are the ADD-W1 catch cans, an Adro carbon-fiber body kit, a SoCal Garage Works carbon-fiber steering wheel and a Velossatech Bigmouth “Lit Kit” intake. Other prototyped parts on the N are a set of R1Concepts brakes and rotors and a SXTH Element Engineering EK1 Pro Tune. “I was also chosen to be one of Hyundai’s N-fluencers for this year,” she concludes.

CorvetteEric Simpson, Waxahatchie, TX

’15 Chevrolet Corvette

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

This Z06 comes to BOTB with plenty of power. The engine is topped with a Magnuson 2650 supercharger and equipped with a Vengeance Racing cam kit and ported heads featuring a Stage 3 LT4 cam. A Cordes cold air intake helps keep fuel temps down, and Kooks crosspipe headers expel spent gases. Carbon-fiber parts can be found throughout the build, including the side skirts, rear diffuser and wing, steering wheel and Tillett B5 seats. Corbeau harnesses, an RPM rollcage and a quick-pull fire extinguisher help keep occupants safe and secure. The ’Vette rolls on a set of Toyo Proxes tires wrapped around beadlocked Forgestar D5 rims, and it’s stopped by an LG Motorsports 15-in brake conversion. The lustrous exterior has been ceramic-coated and PPF’d everywhere.

CaymanTyler Cordura, Costa Mesa, CA

’12 Porsche Cayman

Category: Young Guns

“This build is unique because it has the first production Karma Cayman widebody kit. It’s currently the only one in North America, and one of two in the world,” Tyler Cordura says. The Porsche rolls on a Ceika air-lift suspension that uses GT4 lower control arms, dual Viair compressors and a custom trunk-mounted Ceika air management system. The setup helps locate a quartet of SSR SP1 wheels. Outside, carbon-fiber components can be found along the roof and amid the aero effects, and custom halo headlights aid nighttime operation. Inside, Sparco QTR-C carbon racing seats, Schroth six-point harnesses and a GMGF bolt-in rollcage provide safety and security at the track, and an HIP clear glass engine bay cover with LEDs resides behind the seats.

TundraChad Anderson, Maricopa, AZ

’10 Toyota Tundra

Category: 4-Wheel Drive/Off-Road

This tall Tundra is “built to look for X Games adventures with BMX bike racks,” Chad Anderson says of his build. The truck has received a 12-in. lift courtesy of Bulletproof Suspension, which was Por15-painted and powdercoated for added protection. The 37-in. Cosmo Mud Kicker tires provide traction in the loose stuff, and Expedition One custom bumpers and roof rack enhance form and functionality. The ’21 Tundra bodywork was grafted onto the older chassis, then custom painted and coated with American Icon Clear. Inside the truck, a custom MB Quart stereo is but one highlight of a custom “Van’s Shoes-inspired” interior.

WranglerAbby Childress, Monument, CO

’19 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Category: 4-Wheel Drive/Off-Road

“This is my first Jeep,” Abby Childress admits, and given that it’s veteran of Metal Masher, Poison Spider and other notorious Moab rock trails, it’s clearly built for serious off-road duty while remaining a capable daily driver. A modest 3.5-in. Rock Krawler suspension and a set of 40-in. Nitto Trail Grapper that are turned by a set of 5.13 gears and chromoly driveshafts “makes for the ideal off-road setup,” Childress says. Steering such rotund rubber isn’t easy with the stock steering system, so PSC hydro-assist and Steer Smarts steering components were added to fortify the Jeep. Next Venture Motorsports provides armor for the bumpers, frame-mounted rock sliders, aluminum belly skids and rear corners. “As with every project,” Childress concludes, “this is always a project,” so expect further upgrades by SEMA Show week.

CivicAnh Nguyen, Beaumont, TX

’19 Honda Civic R

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

Dressed up in a Varis widebody kit with rear diffuser, front canards and hood duct extension, this Civic additionally sports an R.M.K. Design spoiler wing, Mugen taillights and a Seibon Supra vented hood. Numerous performance mods can be found, including an MHI Stage 2 turbocharger, Acura RL intake, Hondata fuel system, Rampage 3.5 MAF and Boost Logic exhaust. The Civic rolls on an HKS SP coilover suspension and a set of Rays TE37 Sage S Plus rims. Inside, a full custom interior received a plush Alcantara leather treatment courtesy of Sweidit, including the Recaro RS-G seats, gauge and start-button trim, door-speaker trims, A-pillars, and full dash and glovebox. EVS rollcages with carbon-fiber rear seat delete round out the interior mods.

CamaroMikey Dascoli, Gilbert, AZ

’68 Chevrolet Camaro

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

We’ll let Mikey Dascoli’s description speak for itself. “With the help of designer Sean Smith, we began to design a Camaro that is a tad different than most. We started by cutting off the front of the car and starting from scratch. Front of the fenders forward is one-off, including the grille opening, grille, headlights, lower valance and front splitter. We proceeded to the rear with the same approach, moving the lower trunk body line up to the top surface and creating a four-sided reveal around the taillight panel. I custom-made the rear bumper and sucked it into the body, and I handmade the rear diffuser section and had some custom exhaust tips machined. From there we moved to the engine bay and hand built a beautiful platform to house the Wenger Automotive 427 LS7, and it sits on a Roadster Shop chassis.”

BroncoNate Digman, Maysville, NC

’21 Ford Bronco

Category: Young Guns

Said to be the world’s tallest Bronco at 99 in. high, “Frozen Freedom” honors the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, “one of the most celebrated stories of grit and sacrifice in Marine Corps history,” Nate Digman says. Dressed in digital snow camo, the Bronco sports a solid axle swap that utilizes a set of ’06 F-350 axles equipped with 4.88 Yukon gears. The custom-fabricated Mud Digger four-link suspension gets its flex courtesy of a set of 14-in.-travel coilovers, and 21 in. of overall lift (not a typo) provides clearance in the wheelwells for 26x15 KGI Forged wheels and 42x15.50 Fury M/T tires. Atop the custom roof mount, a .50-cal machine gun stands ready if needed (okay, it’s a decoy), and a pair of M.O.V.E. bumpers provide added strength. A total of 24 rock lights aid with nighttime deployments, and the Ford was “all built in-house by active-duty Marines or veterans.”

ScionCameron Cocalis, Phoenix, AZ

’15 Scion FR-S

Category: Young Guns

The photos that accompanied this entry showed this build’s extensive fabrication and tube work, with a full chassis and interior cage meant to replicate a space frame design. The Scion rides on an Airlift 3P suspension that incorporates FDF Fab suspension arms and angle kit and a cantilever/pushrod rear setup, and Wilwood discs (six-piston front, four-piston rear) stop the Work S1 3P wheels. Under the hood is a LS3 376/525 long-block that utilizes a Haltech Elite 2500 engine management system, hidden rear-mounted radiator and custom equal-length 8-into-1 headers. A Tremec Magnum F that’s sequential-converted backs the motor. “All fabrication, engine work, paintwork, installations and overall design were done by me,” Cameron Cocalis says.

OldsDayton Jacobson, Burnsville, MN

’54 Oldsmobile 88 convertible

Category: Young Guns

The defending BOTB Young Guns champion, Dayton Jacobson returns for 2022 with the promise that “I am making sure this build will top last year’s build. The car is 100% custom,” he continues, and the modifications start with an Olds 88 body dropped over an Impala SS frame and floor pan, then modified again with custom ’55 Chevy quarter panels. Rocker panels were extended into the front fenders, and both bumpers have been tucked inward. All moldings are made of billet, and the car’s taillights are custom one-offs. Under the hood is a twin-turbo LS sporting “crazy headers,” and the suspension makes use of QA1 control arms. The interior was donated by a ’13 Cadillac CTS-V, which was “customized to fit but still look modern.”

GladiatorTre Fess, Kalama, WA

’21 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

Category: 4-Wheel Drive/Off-Road

A work in progress, Tre Fess’ ’21 Gladiator Rubicon aims to be “the ultimate rock crawler/overland build.” The Jeep rides on a 3-in. Pro X suspension lift that incorporates Fox shocks and welded rear brackets, and a set of 5.13 Yukon gears turn 40-in. Mickey Thompson Baja Legend MTZs mounted on 17-in. Dirty Life Mesa beadlocked wheels. Artec inner fenders provide added clearance, and a Decked bed system improves utility. Still in the works are a Rock Krawler steering conversion, Fox ATS steering stabilizer, Rock Slide Engineering side steps, a MagnaFlow Rock Crawler exhaust system, along with a rooftop tent and plenty of “miscellaneous camping gear,” and Fess’ Tilite wheelchair.

3100Fran Marchand, Pittsfield, MA

’50 Chevrolet 3100

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

“If accepted for BOTB,” Fran Marchand says, “I will drive this truck from Massachusetts to SEMA—it will not be trailered.” Not surprising, perhaps, considering that the Flat Out Engineering Corvette suspension conversion uses SPC upper control arms, Aldan American adjustable coilovers, QA1 big sway bars, Heim joints and polyurethane bushings, all of which should help optimize drivability. Under the hood is a GM 6.0L aluminum block sporting a full Comp Cams valve train, and it’s backed by a Tremec T56 six-speed. An aluminum driveshaft transfers power to a set of Rocket Racing wheels, 20x10 in the front 20x12 in the rear, and Michelin Pilot Sport 295/30R20 front and 335/30R20 rear tires. Inside, a full ’cage was fabricated out of 13/4-in., .120-wall DOM tubing, a reminder that “this truck is built to road race and not a
trailer queen.”

JimmyChris England, Portland, TN

’76 GMC Jimmy

Category: Hot Rod/ Hot Rod Truck

With a design inspired by Rivian and a platform that uses Mercedes and Porsche components, “Twisted” certainly scrambles your expectations of what a square-body Chevy build should be. Start with the custom interior from Mobile Toys that’s awash in Relicate leather, suede, 3M and Cerakote finishes, with all parts CNC-machined from composite materials and 3-D printed. The rear floor was also raised to compliment the vehicle’s stance. Outside, two-tone Axalta paint, Mar K trim and custom billet emblems give the Chevy a unique appearance, and United Pacific LED lighting enhances night operation. Beneath the sheetmetal lies a Roadster Shop chassis, which cradles a GM Performance LS3 in a custom bay, and Baer brakes are on board to assist with stopping chores.

C10Daniel Stewart, Costa Mesa, CA

’67 Chevrolet C10

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

“I’m building my ’67 C10 shortbed in honor of my 10 years of sobriety,” Daniel Stewart says, and that’s as good a reason as we can think of. In any event, it’s bound to attract notice thanks to its numerous copper-coated components, including Billet USA valve covers and the 22-in. US Mag billet wheels. A complete frame-off, “Pretty Penny’s” body has been extensively reworked, with panels and bumpers shaved, smoothed and mini-tubbed, and a custom bed from Signature Performance was grafted onto the build. House of Kolor Black with Copper Flake paint was applied by Johnny Hammond of Johnny’s Auto Body & Color. Inside is a dash taken from a ’63 Suburban with molded-in Holley electronics that run the LS swap under the hood.

RX-8Andrei Taraburca, Montague, MA

’04 Mazda RX-8

Category: Young Guns

A Ferrari V8 in a Mazda? When it comes to BOTB, anything is possible—even an FS136 that’s mated to a Nissan CD009 six-speed manual. Andrei Taraburca continues: “A custom driveshaft mates the transmission to the upgraded Mazda differential with a helical limited-slip differential. The F136 engine is a dry sump system, for which I had to fabricate an oil reservoir tank and add custom AN lines/fittings, and I built my own forged carbon-fiber intake manifold. To make the electric power-steering work, I 3-D-
designed and fabricated custom engine mounts to integrate the power steering mounting points. I retrofitted the RX-8 A/C compressor, and the 3-in. exhaust system uses Vibrant resonators and piping mated to a custom-made, electronically controlled, valved exhaust muffler. To make everything work, I am using the Ferrari ECU along with the RX-8 ECU, retaining OBD-II functions.”

BlazerRick Wallen, Auburn, CA

’72 Chevrolet K5 Blazer

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

An appealing blend of old and new tech, “K5 Patriot” combines a ’72 Blazer body and an ’07 Cadillac Escalade chassis and drivetrain. A 6.2L V8 provides motive power, a custom 3-in. Aero Exhaust handles spent gases, and a custom-fitted lift from Full Throttle Suspension helps clear a set of 33x20 RBP tires mounted on 20-in. Moto Metal rims. Custom side steps from Aries Running Boards enable easier ingress and egress, and custom LED head- and taillights from Tyri Lights help with nighttime driving. Shaved Tesla-style doors add a touch of elegance, and a full custom interior rounds out and extensive list of modifications.

240sxJuan Hans, Staten Island, NY

’93 Nissan 240sx convertible

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

Nerdy as it may appear, this Nissan is all business. Peek under the hood and you’ll find a Borg-Warner-turbocharged Toyota 2JZ that’s packed with all sorts of hop-ups courtesy of Brian Crower, including a 264-degree cam and valvetrain. Also in the mix are HKS cam gears and timing belt, a TiAL 44mm wastegate and upgraded rods and pistons. That high-revving power needs to keep cool, so a high-capacity cooling system runs a tucked aluminum radiator from Chase Bays with -20 AN lines and connections. A six-speed CDF009 transmission sends power to a custom set of fully polished Work Equip 05 wheels that are outfitted with a big-brake kits. Outside, a custom pink and purple fade paint application pays homage to Nerds candy.

MiniStephan Brown, Auburn, CA

’04 Mini Cooper S

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

Built for serious drifting, the “V8 Mini Slayer” was a three-year build. It may look unassuming at first glance, but pop the hood and you’ll find a Moruzzi Race Motors-built LS1 V8 which utilizes Holley injection along with performance parts from Moroso and Comp Cams. A custom front-exit exhaust and rear-mounted radiator were both fabricated for reasons of available space, and a 4L60 transmission transfers horsepower to a Sikky rearend that’s located by a set of BC coilovers. Inside, occupants are protected by a full DOM rollcage, and NRG Prisma Labs seats and belts provides security and good looks.

DenaliDavid Venti, Parsippany, NJ

’20 GMC 3500 Denali

Category: 4-Wheel Drive/Off-Road

David Venti describes his BOTB entry: “This GMC has been completely ripped down to the bare frame and redesigned. As far as I know, it is the only GM truck to have a 3-in. coilover conversion. We designed all the parts in-house making a full custom coilover 16-in. lift kit with custom drop brackets, knuckles, upper control arms and lower control arms. The rear is a five-link with coilovers and bypass shocks. No parts are welded to the frame—all parts are bolt-on. It’s running 40-in. tires with 28-in. wheels. It has a custom exhaust, RCV axle shafts and many more custom touches.”

Z3Jeff DaSilva, Parrish, FL

’01 BMW Z3

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

The Z3 created a big sensation when it was first released, and this ’03 hopes to keep the excitement alive. Outside, a custom Z3 widebody kit was builder-designed, with a custom M4 bumper and custom wickerbill rear wing adding style and aerodynamics. Under the hood, the engine received a custom tune from Revmatch Motorsport, along with a Shrick camshaft and a set of custom headers. The BMW rides on a Maxspeedingrods coilover kit that utilizes a PMC Stage 3+ angle kit and Condor Speed Shop lower control arm bushings. A 330i big-brake kit runs stainless brake lines and carbon-ceramic brake pads. Inside, Turtle Laboratories aluminum door panels, Corbeau seats, and a Vertex steering wheel with NRG quick-release are among the many interior modifications.

MustangGregg Richhart, Woodburn, IN

’70 Ford Mustang

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

As Gregg Richhart says of his restomod: “Designed and built by a hobbyist, this is a ’70 Mustang Mach I on an ’09 Shelby GT500 chassis/driveline. Using all modern conveniences of the ’09 while keeping the original classic musclecar styling of the ’70 Mach I, I designed and built a proportionally stretched and widened body to compensate for the differences in the two cars. The result is a car that most Mustang enthusiasts would comment, ‘This looks like a ’70 Mustang, but something is different.’ Every panel has been custom made from sheetmetal, including the entire interior, which is leather-wrapped and looks good as factory. I hope to have the opportunity to enter BOTB to showcase the level of details that went into this build.”

350zMoises Mendoza, Ceres, CA

’05 Nissan 350z

Category: Young Guns

It’s hard to miss this Z when it rolls down the road in the great Central Valley, especially with its Satin Chrome Emerald Green wrap that incorporates custom dragon livery and textured splattered paint. Custom fenders, side mirrors and widebody rear bumper are also standouts, as are the 370z Nismo-style front bumper, Depo headlights and custom-molded mud guards and duckbill. The Nissan rides on an Air Lift 3P air suspension, which locates a set of rare three-piece Weds wheels. Inside, diamond-stitched upholstery abounds, as does a custom audio system and quick-release steering wheel.

A6Timothy R. Polk, Las Vegas, NV

’13 Audi A6 3.0t

Category: Young Guns

This hometown hero is hoping for an invite to the party when the SEMA Show comes to Vegas in November. It’s certainly got styling, thanks to Maxton Design front lip and side skirts, GCA carbon mirror caps, EMK sequential mirror turn signal, RS-style honeycomb grille, a carbon-fiber rear spoiler and BK Motorsport RS-style diffuser. The 3.0 takes its cues from an 034 Motorsport ECU that’s received a Stage 1 software update, and it’s assisted by an 034 190mm crank pulley, Merc Racing heat exchanger and ECS Luft-Technik intake. The Audi rolls on an Air Lift 3P suspension running dual Viair compressors with a 4-gal. tank and 034 upper control arms, and they locate a set of Avant Garde 520R wheels, which in turn are stopped by a combination of Adam’s Rotors hex-pattern brake rotors and Posi Performance brake pads.

GT-RKurtiss Humphrey, Palmdale, CA

’22 Superlite GT-R

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

“This is a Superlite GT-R (component car), with chassis and body by Race Car Replicas,” Kurtiss Humphrey explains. “The GT-R is a body replica of the Robertson Racing Ford GT that podiumed at Le Mans in 2011. The engine is a Ford Coyote Gen II Aluminator with a Borla vertical eight-stack induction, FAST ECUs and custom 180-degree exhaust coupled to a Graziano six-speed transaxle. The car utilizes an Infinity Box electrical system. The car is 42 in. high, 180 in. in length and 80 in. wide. Paint is House of Kolor Brandy Wine by Ken’s Custom Auto Body of Yuba City, California, and the car will include a carbon-fiber rear wing when complete.”

SilveradoJ.R. Granatelli, Oxnard, CA

’17 Chevrolet Silverado

Category: 4-Wheel Drive/Off-Road

“This is the ultimate luxury prerunner,” J.R. Granatelli says of his build, “a trophy truck with a windshield.” While Baja racers often use fiberglass bodywork, this Chevy’s old-school sheet metal bodywork has been widened, with custom-fabricated fenders built to accommodate 40-in. tires and ’22 Silverado taillights. The entire chassis is constructed of AED Docol R8 tubing, said to be stronger and lighter than 4130. “Granatelli’s knowledge in building Indy cars for 75 years of racing has been applied in constructing this truck,” J.R. continues. Powering the Silverado is a GMS forced-induction 440 race motor capable of producing 1,150 hp and 980 lb.-ft. on pump gas. “There’s nothing cookie-cutter about the build,” J.R. Granatelli continues, claiming that once completed, the interior will look like “it belongs in a seven-figure luxury car.”

OldsRichard Thornton, Quakertown, PA

’70 Oldsmobile 442

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

“The 442 keeps its original special-order color-Aegean Aqua—which really pops with the factory white bucket seats and standard 442 white stripes,” Richard Thornton explains. “The exterior has the factory upgrades of the ‘W-25’ outside induction hood package and sport mirrors. Cragar wheels and shorty tubular headers keep that Day 2 hot-rod look. Blending in seamlessly behind the wheels are some upgraded Wilwood disc brakes. The original, numbers-matching Olds 455 engine and Turbo 400 transmission were rebuilt, but the original cylinder heads and intake manifold were missing in action, so upgrades were in order. On top of the intake hides a ‘carb-injection’ EFI system that mimics the factory Quadrajet. The interior has been restored back to the factory.”

WillysJeff McAllister, Santa Barbara, CA

’51 Willys Panel Truck

Category: 4-Wheel Drive/Off-Road

Sitting atop a ’76 GMC ¾-ton chassis, this Willys is stoutness personified. The GM frame was Z-cut and sectioned 26 in. to match the Willys’ wheelbase, and the engine/trans/t-case combo was moved 6 in. rearward to accommodate a custom radiator and fan. Speaking of engines, it’s a 350 under the hood, and a TH350 trans and 205 transfer case that utilize custom driveshafts to send power to a Dana 44 front and 14-bolt rear axle, the latter converted to disc brakes. A custom-built bumper houses a Bellevue-Warn 8200 winch, and the rear custom-fitted bumper was sloped 5 degrees to match the rear doors. “All design, fabrication, welding, wiring, racks, sheetmetal and front bumper, frame chop, etc., were done by myself outside on the gravel,” Jeff McAllister concludes.

ScorpionW. Dwaine Jungen, Tucson, AZ

’20 Scorpion MK IV-RR

Category: 4-Wheel Drive/Off-Road

Originally designed for military use in the ’90s, the Scorpion four-seat MK IV is an unstoppable force on some of four wheeling’s greatest trails. This version comes equipped with a Chevrolet Performance LT4 engine that’s said to be good for some 650 hp. A Team Ramco-built GM 4L65 transmission sits behind it, and behind the automatic rests an Atlas II transfer case. From there, power flows to a set of Dynatrac production XD60-1550 axles, which turn 40-in. Interco IROK radials mounted on Team Raceline wheels. The Scorpion’s articulating tube chassis and link/coil suspension provide maximum flex while an AGM RockRam steering system guides the rotund rubber—and in case they’re ever needed, front and rear Warn M8000 winches are ready should forward motion cease.

GladiatorMatt Wright, Pickneyville, IL

’20 Jeep Gladiator

Category: 4-Wheel Drive/Off-Road

Wearing its Mojave livery, this Gladiator looks to join the party with a truck built for trail work. A Rock Krawler suspension that incorporates 3-in. coils, Core 4x4 control arms, a triangulated Pro Link rear setup and Fox Factory shocks provides room in the wheelwells for 37-in. Nitto Ridge Grapplers mounted on 17-in. KMC beadlocks. A set of 4.88 gears resides in the diffs, which are fortified with Metalcloak diff covers. A Teraflex steering upgrade, JTS front sway bar links and Clayton rear sway bar links all optimize handling, and a Motobilt front bumper, Rock Slide Engineering side steps, and flat fenders and wheel liners from Metalcloak help protect the Jeep from rock rash. A Warn winch is ready for extractions, and KC lights illuminate the trail.

G70Daniel Hoffman, Laguna Niguel, CA

’19 Genesis G70

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

A new player in the luxury sphere, Hyundai’s Genesis line is growing in popularity among builders, and this BOTB entry is a sparkling example, as Daniel Hoffman explains: “The vehicle features a modified ADRO Widebody. While originally designed to be a bolt-on kit, it was altered to be ‘partially molded’ to the car. To achieve this look, the kit was permanently glued to the body of the car, after which the gap between the body and kit was filled and the vehicle was painted a new color. This method allowed the outline of the kit to be clearly visible on the car while being molded to it as well. The vehicle was purchased in July 2019 with the major body work and color change starting in January 2020. It’s also the only G70 in the United States to have a widebody kit installed currently. Additional plans ahead of SEMA include Motec ECU, turbo replacements, and secondary fuel injection for E85.”

ImprezaAustin Schneider, California, KY

’18 Subaru Impreza

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

Subarus have exploded in popularity as SEMA Show feature rigs in recent years, and this entry looks to break into the BOTB Top 40 and beyond. Peeking under the hood, the engine has received a performance tune with custom mapping from RalliSport Automotive to produce 200 hp at the crank. A K&N cold-air intake aids aspiration, and a Nameless Performance axle-back exhaust features a custom midpipe with resonator delete. The Impreza rides on a set of 225/40R18 Yokohama Advan Apex V601 tires mounted to 18x8.5 Avid SL02 +35 wheels sporting Mishimoto red aluminum lug nuts. The exterior sports a Dream Wraps USA vinyl wrap, with tinted taillights and amber delete headlight tint. Thule provided the Evo wing bar and Motion XT cargo carrier, and an STI front spoiler enhances

IS 350Freddy Gonzalez, Santa Clarita, CA

’06 Lexus IS 350

Category: Young Guns

It’s not every day you see a second-gen IS sporting a full Clinched Flares widebody kit, but Freddy Gonzalez’s 2006, nicknamed “Clinched Rare,” looks to break the mold. The car was built to give off a “track look,” he explains, using quality components such as a KW suspension system that uses V3 competition coilovers. Hankook Ventus V12 tires are mounted on three-piece RSV forged wheels, and an R1 Concepts braking system utilizes Brembo calipers to stop the Lexus as needed. Still in the works is a full rollcage, along with some underhood upgrades.

F-150Trace Seiple, Annville, PA

’78 Ford F-150

Category: Young Guns

Trace Seiple’s tall-riding Ford, nicknamed ”American Thunder,” is hard to miss when it’s rolling down the road. It will certainly make its presence felt wherever it goes, courtesy of the built Ford 545ci motor underhood that is said to be good for some 750 hp. A 16-in. lift that uses coil springs in front and a custom ladder-bar setup in the rear provide ample room for a set of 44-in. TSL Interco Super Swamper Boggers that ride on 15x15 Weld SR28 wheels. Inside, the Ford’s custom interior sports a 16-speaker audio system, and the exterior wrap/paint treatment that incorporates red, white and blue metalflake into the mix are all custom applications. For good measure, there’s a matching custom trailer (not pictured) that provides added utility.

Ferrari 348Eugene Leyba, Thornton, CO

’94 Ferrari 348

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

“It’s been driven and attended shows from California to Tennessee,” Eugene Leyba says of his well-traveled 348. On-road ride and handling are most likely a pleasure, thanks to its Air Lift suspension that incorporates Bagriders Super Low struts, and Airlift 3P management system with dual 444c Viair black compressors and a square tank with a custom hardline setup. Rolling stock includes a set of three-piece Inzo rims measuring 18x8.5 in front and 18x9.5 in the back and featuring polished lips and silver flake-finished faces. Inside, upgrades from Status Racing include a quick-release carbon-fiber steering wheel, five-point harnesses, brushed stainless seat mounts and a carbon-fiber shift knob.

C10Tyler Adams, Tucson, AZ

’67 Chevrolet C10

Category: Young Guns

A “complete frame-off nut-and-bolt restomod,” this C10 has undergone a thorough transformation. “The body has been completely worked to fit flat from panel to panel,” Tyler Adams continues, adding that “gaps have been dialed in by cutting and welding and rust repair.” Under the hood, an LS3 engine is mated to an 6L80E transmission that’s situated on custom mounts. A custom fan shroud and radiator tube were plumbed into the cooling system, and the t-case shifter uses custom bracketry. Underhood wiring has been hidden and the firewall shaved, resulting in no visible bolts. A swivel-out taillight gas filler was built from scratch. Brake line and fuel lines are likewise custom units, and Grade-8 bolts and fasteners are used throughout the build. Inside, custom work abounds, including the rear panels and kick panels.

RivieraThomas Duty, Wolcottville, IN

’63 Buick Riviera

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

Thomas Duty describes his build: “We have a ’63 Buick Riviera that we wanted to build into a Pro Touring-style car but we also wanted to keep the elegance. We started with cutting the original frame at the firewall and grafting in a Roadster Shop front clip. Then we installed a John’s Industries 9-in. Ford rearend. We kept the original 401 Buick nailhead engine and we installed all of the finned aluminum valve covers, plug covers, valley pan and oil pan and then added the March Pulley front runner system. Then came the Billet Specialties Velocity wheels-18x8 in front and 19x12 rears. The car was painted BMW Tanzanite Blue by Jack Davis at Bedford Body and Paint, and a custom interior was executed by Bryan Barlow at Interiors by Ed in Mitchell, Indiana. Additional fabrication and assembly was provided by Cale Kern of Bedford, Indiana.”

WranglerRandy Hentges, Cape May Courthouse, NJ

’00 Jeep Wrangler

Category: 4-Wheel Drive/Off-Road

No, Jeep didn’t make a pickup for the ’00 model year, so Randy Hentges took it upon himself to convert his TJ into a home-built pickup that incorporates, he says, “a whole lot of custom touches all over.” There’s certainly plenty of power on tap, thanks to a swapped-in 6.0L GM LS engine that’s topped by a Magnuson supercharger. Backing the engine is a 4L80 transmission, which sends power to a pair of Dana Wrangler Rubicon 44 axles. A Currie Rock Jock Antirock swaybar improves ride and handling, a pair of Warn winches are ready for extraction, and an octet of KC lights provide assistance on nighttime forays. “All homemade and low-budget,” Hentges concludes.

650iStanford L. McKenzie, Enterprise, AL

’07 BMW 650i

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

“The car is the only 6-Series LS rear-mount TT in the States,” Stanford McKenzie says of his BMW. “The engine is fully built using all Holley parts from the intake to the oil pan, and the powertrain is controlled by a fully integrated Holley Terminator X Max.” Behind the engine, the Tremec TR-6060 sends power to an XM5 rear diff equipped with 4.10 gearing, which in turn is located by an M6 suspension conversion. Outbound of the axles are a set of M4 rims that are halted by a Brembo big-brake kit. Inside, Tillet B8 carbon-fiber fix-back seating is enveloped by carbon-fiber panels throughout the cab. “There’s not one thing on this car that hasn’t been touched,” McKenzie concludes:
“I built everything myself in my garage.”

TravelallRob Hester, Jonesboro, AR

’68 International Travelall

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

You don’t see many Internationals at custom car shows anymore, so it’s notable when one as clean-looking as Rob Hester’s low-riding ’68 makes an appearance. With bodywork riding atop a custom Roadster Shop chassis, the Travelall is powered by a GM Performance LT4 crate motor, with a custom stainless exhaust, that’s backed by a Bowler-built automatic transmission. A set of Forgeline wheels incorporates restored IH hubcaps, and Baer brakes provide stoppage. Inside, a full custom interior includes rear A/C, and Easley’s Custom Upholstery provided stitchery.

ElevenJeff Norris, Humble, TX

’60 Lotus Eleven

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

The car that “would have been the giant killer that the AC Cobra became,” this tribute to Carroll Shelby begins with the ’68 Shelby GT-sourced 302 under the hood that utilizes quad Weber 44 carbs to produce 402 hp at the flywheel. A top-loader four-speed sourced from the same GT transfers power to an 8.8-in. IRS that was donated by a ’12 GT350. The powertrain sits inside a custom chassis made of 15/8-in. chromoly tubing with .080-in. aluminum skip panels, and the hand-formed fiberglass body is longer and wider than the original. A 15-year labor of love, the Lotus weighs in at a race-ready 1,190 lbs.

ImpalaJesse Barratt, Budd Lake, NJ

’62 Chevrolet Impala

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

“Pro Touring meets Low Rider = Project Low Touring,” Jesse Barratt says of his shiny ’62. Designed by Brian Stupski, the Impala features a Roadster Shop SPEC chassis, which makes a home for a 427ci LS3 that’s been equipped with Magnuson supercharger. The setup is good for an estimated 840 hp. Forgeline wheels are stopped by Baer brakes, and the bodywork has been treated to BASF Glasurit paint with Tropical Glitz metal flake. Inside, a Bux Customs interior includes a host of Dakota Digital gauges and paddle shifters on a one-off steering wheel. Full underbody pans were fabricated under the car. Other one-off pieces include the grille, bumpers, rocker moldings, taillights, a pancaked trunk lid and tail-light panel trim with an integrated reverse light.

C10Matt Roller, Belgrade, MT

’67 Chevrolet C10

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

Square-body Chevy trucks are great-looking build platforms, and this C10, which sits on a Roadster Shop chassis and is powered by an LS3 engine and a modern drivetrain, is no exception. Matt Roller continues: “Hundreds of hours went into meticulous metal work and detail from the custom engine bay to the bed and throughout the rest of the truck. Every body line and gap has been worked to perfection. The truck also has one-piece door glass, no-slam door latches, smooth bumpers, aftermarket seats, a custom center console and a huge list of aftermarket parts. I understand a lot of these things don’t set this truck apart from other SEMA builds,” he concludes, “but seeing the quality of the work in person does.”

DusterEd Fitzgerald, Middleton, WI

’74 Plymouth Duster

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

This ’74 Duster is “my vision of what Plymouth should have/could have built if the parts existed,” Ed Fitzgerald says. Under the hood, the Plymouth has been updated to run an ’06 Chrysler 300 SRT8 engine and drivetrain, which transfers power to a Moser-built 83/4-in. rearend that turns a set of Wheel Vintiques smoothies with custom center caps, which are stopped by four-wheel discs. The Duster rides on a QA1 front K-member suspension and a six-link coilover rear. Outside, the car sports a ’67 Valiant front clip a ’72 Dart tail and custom single-stage KBS Coatings paint with vintage-style striping. Inside, TMI seats provide a comfort upgrade. In all, it offers a “vintage look with all the modern safety and comfort.”

ImpalaJoe Clayton, Dallas, GA

’66 Chevrolet Impala

Category: Young Guns

Built two years ago after the outbreak of COVID, this Impala was stripped down to the frame and painstakingly rebuilt. It currently runs a 383 stroker that’s equipped with Holley Sniper EFI and backed by a 700-R4 transmission. “The only headers we could get at the time wouldn’t fit,” Joe Clayton explains, “so I had to cut the collector and rebuild a couple of tubes to clear the steering box. I built the custom stainless exhaust to be perfectly level and have all the bends and welds in the exact same location.” He also fabricated a pair of exhaust tips, built a stainless radiator hose for the cooling system, smoothed out the firewall, then painted the engine bay in gloss black. Inside, the dash was modified to accommodate the A/C controls from a ’72 C10, and the electrical system was rewired from scratch.

WillysBrian Limberg, Sycamore, IL

’36 Willys Model 77 Pickup

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

A Slonaker Competition winner at the 2020 Grand National Roadster Show, this Willys boasts numerous other Goodguys and NSRA awards, and it’s been featured on the cover of Hot Rod. “We have over 12,000 man-hours to complete this build,” Brian Limberg states. Under the hood, an extremely rare (only five are known to exist) 498ci Arias V6 Hemi runs Hillborn injection and custom stainless headers, all of which helps the engine produce some 800 hp. The full .083-in. chromoly tube chassis that was built around the engine weighs only 270 lbs. All suspension components are scratch-built, and the cab was similarly redesigned and reshaped. Some 30% of the original front sheetmetal remains, but the bed and rear fenders are custom-fabricated.

CamaroBuilder: Josh Young, McGregor, TX

’69 Chevrolet Camaro

Category: Young Guns

The custom bodywork this Camaro has seen is extensive, starting up front with the 3-D-printed contoured hexagonal front grille and valance mesh with sequential animated white DRLs and amber turns. Moving towards the rear, there are 3-D-printed recessed hexagon mesh cowl grilles and one-off aluminum side skirts. All body emblems have been shaved, and in the rear are an aluminum wickerbill and a set of 3-D acrylic engraved sequential taillights, Under the hood, a one-off CNC-machined billet accessory drive makes the TBS 192 blower that feeds the 396ci engine compatible with the serpentine accessory drive. A brushed dual air intake clears the 4-in. cowl hood, and front-mounted methanol injection utilizes 3-D-printed trim ring. Inside the cab are CNC pocketed door-panel mood lights, a 3-D-printed rear-view mirror and a 3-D contoured center console that integrates into the dash.

FordIan Vance, North Fork, CA

’35 Ford Pickup

Category: Hot Rod/Hot Rod Truck

Ian Vance describes his build: “This ’35 Ford, ‘The Hood Rat,’ started with a custom handmade chassis. Dayton wire wheels inspired this build, and everything on the truck is built around the wheel and tire combo. Custom wheels measure 15x5 up front and 16x10 in the rear to create a classic look. The truck is equipped with a cammed 500 Cadillac engine, triple-deuce Stromberg induction and two-speed Powerglide transmission. Handmade stainless-steel headers, 3-in. stainless exhaust, a handmade pitman arm and custom fabricated bed are just a few features that make this pickup stand out. The Hood Rat runs Wilwood braking system from the master cylinders all the way to the calipers, and the custom fuel tank is held in place with vintage leather belts. This pickup sure breaks necks wherever it goes.”

LightningNeil Tjin, Laguna Niguel, CA

’22 Ford F-150 Lightning

Category: Sport/Compact, Import Performance, Luxury and Exotic

We’d been anticipating some Lightning builds for this year’s Show, and this was the first one we received. Neil Tjin’s creation rides on a custom one-off Air Lift suspension with trunk-mounted tank and air lines. A custom set of 24-in. Vossen wheels are corralled by a Baer big-brake kit. The interior sports a custom Recaro five-seat configuration with custom accenting throughout. Moving to the exterior, a custom Lightning LED grille and lighting enhance visibility and aesthetics, and a custom Thule cargo box is outfitted with a built-in solar panel and auxiliary batteries for even greater range. For recreation, a Thule bike rack resides in the back, along with a custom Super 73 bike.

C10Bryce Adams, Tucson, AZ

’83 Chevrolet C10

Category: Young Guns

Even a cursory glance at this “frame-off nut-and-bolt restoration” reveals an extensive amount of custom exterior work, starting with the doors, which were gapped to fit, the drip rail delete, and mini tubs welded into the fenders to match the curve of the bead-rolled inner fenders. Inside, custom fabrication includes seat brackets and kick panels, as well as a custom bulkhead for the Vintage Air HVAC system. The suspension was also reworked, with modified front A-arms and a custom-shortened four-link built into the rear, with custom tabs to mount the coilover shocks. The rear C-notch and custom cross brace add strength to the chassis, and other custom parts in the build include the fan shroud, intake and upper radiator hose, column mount and firewall.