SEMA News - November 2010

Builder’s-Race Pinewood Cars to Be Auctioned for Charity

By Chad Simon

Photography By Darryl Dennis

All of the custom-designed pinewood cars from the Builder’s Race—part of the annual HRIA-sponsored Pinewood Drag Races that were held in conjunction with SEMA’s Leadership Days on Saturday, July 24, 2010, in Pasadena, California—will be autographed by the builders and displayed at the 2010 SEMA Show. They will then be bid on for auction via eBay, and the proceeds will go to children’s charities Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp.

The competition in the Builder’s Race pitted 20 professional, well-known hot-rod builders against one another. They were given four months to complete their build with no design limitations or rules except that the car had to fit the track’s dimensions and no propulsion systems were allowed.

Alan Johnson’s Hot Rods and Pinkee’s Rod Shop created its hot rods from billet aluminum, while Rich Evans Designs and Street Vizions went with a more traditional wooden approach. Other builders looked for loopholes in the rules, as Rob Ida Concepts and Cotati Speed Shop entered hot rods with only three wheels.

SEMA News-November 2010-Pinewood Drag Races    SEMA News-November 2010-Pinewood Drag Races    SEMA News-November 2010-Pinewood Drag Races 
Rich Evans Designs   Derrick White, Street Vizions      Rob Ida Concepts
         
SEMA News-November 2010-Pinewood Drag Races    SEMA News-November 2010-Pinewood Drag Races    SEMA News-November 2010-Pinewood Drag Races 

Art Morrison

  Alan Johnson’s Hot Rods       Hot Rods & Custom Stuff
         
 SEMA News-November 2010-Pinewood Drag Races   SEMA News-November 2010-Pinewood Drag Races    SEMA News-November 2010-Pinewood Drag Races 
Carl’s Custom Cars     Cotati Speed Shop     Boerne Stage Customs  
         
SEMA News-November 2010-Pinewood Drag Races     SEMA News-November 2010-Pinewood Drag Races   SEMA News-November 2010-Pinewood Drag Races 
Pinkee’s Rod Shop     Clay Smith Cams     Fesler Built  
         

The cars built by Clay Smith Cams and Carl’s Custom Cars embodied the spirit of traditional hot rods, while Boerne Stage Kustoms paid tribute to the land-speed bullets of the past. Builders from Hot Rods & Custom Stuff and Fesler Built showcased their paint skills, and Art Morrison engineered the most unique and advanced pinewood car in the race, fabricating an actual chassis and suspension along with ball-bearing wheels.

But it was Derrick White of Street Vizions who captured the HRIA Cup by leaving all the other entrants in the dust with his traditional hot-rod pinewood car.

Eric Saltrick, vice president of marketing for Steele Rubber Products and an HRIA member, has been involved in the Pinewood Drag Races since their inception in 2008 and coordinated the hot-rod builder event. “Everything was shrouded in secrecy,” Saltrick said. “One of the builders showed up with his car inside a locked briefcase. We didn’t see any of the cars until the day of the race.”

The Builder’s Race came to fruition at last year’s SEMA Show when Saltrick and fellow HRIA members Rick Love of Vintage Air and John Menzler of Comp Performance Group decided to walk the Show floor and ask every well-known hot-rod builder to participate in the event.

“They all jumped at the opportunity,” Saltrick said. “We wanted to get the hot-rod community involved, and we have many hot-rod builders lined up to do it again next year. We’ve also got young builders involved to help give them some exposure.”  

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