By Fredy Ramirez
2019 SEMA Show Battle Of The Builders Vehicles
Legend or Newcomer: Who Will Be Crowned Champion?
SEMA Battle of the Builders (BOTB) gives opportunities to builders worldwide to showcase their talents. Industry legends and up-and-coming builders go head-to-head as they exercise their skill and creativity at the industry’s premier event.
Many of the builders spend countless hours on their creations. Some work in teams; some work by themselves. The finished products end up being as unique as the builders themselves, reflecting the talent and originality of the custom car industry.
During the competition, a pool of more than 200 contestants is whittled down to 40, with the winner announced on Friday, November 8, at the SEMA Ignited after-party, to be held in the Platinum Lot starting at 4:00 p.m. The vehicles as shown here were still in progress as of press time, so some construction elements may have changed—to see how the builds turned out, visit the booth where they are displayed.
Michael Lawson, ’55 Mercury WagonMaster
Michael Lawson returns to BOTB with a ’55 Mercury WagonMaster. The Merc rides on a full custom chassis that includes Flo Airride and Airlift Performance parts, Wilwood brakes and custom wheels by Colorado Customs. The engine compartment features a Whipple-supercharged Ford 6.2 with Kooks headers and a Black Widow exhaust. The interior is covered by Relicate leather and includes Con2R gauges and a transparent steering wheel.
Justin Brunner, ’70 Chevrolet Nova
Justin Brunner enters this year’s BOTB with a ’70 Chevrolet Nova powered by an LS2 engine engineered to produce 820 hp. The LS2 engine features a Whipple supercharger kit and Ultimate headers, and is backed by a 4L85E transmission. The exterior features tucked bumpers, custom BASF paint and Nu Relics windows. The vehicle sits on a Detroit Speed suspension and is fitted with Baer brakes and Forgeline wheels. The interior has been completely customized and includes Dakota Digital gauges and Vintage Air A/C.
Neil Tjin, ’94 Toyota Land Cruiser
The Tjin Edition ’94 Toyota Land Cruiser is a restoration that features a number of modern modifications, including an LS engine and transmission; custom exhaust and headers; custom wiring; BASF Army Green paint; Japanese lighting and grille; a metal front bumper, side skirts, rear bumper and ladder; a fifth-wheel setup to go with a new rear bumper; and a Tepui tent and ladder. Additional custom modifications include a Roadwire interior, Kicker audio, Baer brakes, Eibach suspension, an Optima battery, a PowerTank system, Delta suspension components and a redesigned center console and tray.
Lloyd Knevelbaard, ’32 Ford Tudor Sedan
Lloyd Knevelbaard’s ’32 Ford Tudor Sedan is an all-original Henry Ford steel car that maintains 90% of the original wood substructure. The sedan is powered by a 406ci small-block Chevy engine with an output of 490 hp and 515 lb.-ft. of torque. Additional modifications include Brodix Race-Rite 200 aluminum heads, an Eagle crank and rods, Edelbrock dual quads, an MSD ignition, Vintage Air, a Walker radiator, Pete & Jake’s suspension, an FTI-built Turbo 400 transmission, Strange rear axles, Wilwood brakes, Tru-Spoke wire wheels and a Rootlieb hood. The interior is by Avant-Garde Design, with leather by Moore & Giles.
Justin Arnold, ’67 Chevrolet C10
After competing in the 2016 BOTB, Justin Arnold has entered a Chevrolet C10 for 2019. The build’s altered profile features a 3.5-in.-chopped cab, a deleted lower body line, an added upper body line and a custom flush-mounted front windshield. The front end was custom built with ’17 Camaro headlights, and the rear end features first-generation Colorado taillights. Underneath the stretched hood with ram air hood vents is a ’16 LT1 engine backed by an 8L90 transmission.
Steven Ellis, ’99 Ford F-350
This is Steven Ellis’s first solo project in BOTB, though he collaborated on other builds previously. Ellis is a 2017 SEMA News “35 Under 35” honoree, and his Ford F-350 will be used for local search and rescue. It is equipped with gear from companies that include CVT, Thule, Line-X, Lightforce and Warn. The truck features custom fabrication work from Ellis’ shop at Urban Garage in Arizona.
Preston Folkestad, ’95 Chevy C10
A previous Young Gun contestant, Preston Folkestad was a Top 10 BOTB finalist at the 2018 SEMA Show, and he’s gunning for even bigger things this year with his racing-inspired Chevy. Under the carbon-fiber hood is an LSR performance engine with Holley injection, heads from Frankenstein Engine Dynamics, current from an XS Power battery, and cooling courtesy of components from GC Cooling and C&R Racing. Toyo tires are paired with American Racing wheels and slowed by Wilwood brakes. A custom No Limit Engineering suspension helps locate a Quick Performance-sourced 9-in. rearend. 515Customs provided additional fabrication, and Zion Designs handled the vehicle wrap and graphics.
Darin Smith, ’72 Chevrolet C10 Shortbed Fleetside
Darin Smith is no stranger to BOTB, having entered last year with a ’64 Chevy C10. This year he has entered a ’72 Chevrolet C10 Shortbed Fleetside featuring a high-horsepower small-block. The engine is topped with Hilborn fuel injection, a signature element of his builds. This vehicle includes custom-made inner fender wells as well as a custom radiator cove and fabricated exhaust running through bezels in the bedsides. The interior features a set of ’69 Camaro gauges molded into the dash and a custom console with a custom shifter and handle to stir the six-speed Tremec transmission. The vehicle rides on TCI Autocross suspension and three-way adjustable RideTech coil-overs. Widened rear wheelwells and eliminating a traditional steering gearbox allowed for wide Falken tires mounted on Budnik wheels.
Garret Kitchen, ’68 Barracuda S
Garret Kitchen, founder of Garret’s Custom Rods, has been building cars since he was 14 years old. In 1968, he won the Plymouth Trouble Shooting Contest in his high-school auto shop class. The trophy was adorned with a replica of a ’68 Formula S Barracuda—the exact same vehicle he would build for this year’s SEMA Show more than 50 years later. But this ’Cuda no longer relies on 340 power to get around but a Gen 3 6.1L Hemi V8 topped with a Magnuson supercharger. Body mods on “The Aquarium” abound, including a redesigned front clip with front spoiler, flared fender openings, custom tuck-fit bumpers, a rear spoiler, a custom hood, and a Barracuda logo as the rear-glass fade-out.
Travis Prius, ’68 Chevrolet C50 Crew Cab
After competing in 2017, Travis Prius returns with a ’68 C50 Crew Cab. The first Chevrolet Crew Cab didn’t come until ’73, so Prius constructed his own. He started with a ’70 Suburban and cut it down to a crew cab, then built the fourth door from scratch. He attached the front end of a ’68 C50 for a big-truck feel. A 17-ft. car hauler bed will be attached, and custom running boards run along the truck, including the bed. The truck sits on 22-in., 10-lug semi wheels.
Walter Palencia, ’19 Hyundai Veloster
Walter Palencia enters with a ’19 Hyundai Veloster. The vehicle is designed to be a show car, track car and daily driver. The build features an Injen prototype intake and an X-Force prototype exhaust. The exterior features an Adro carbon-fiber lip kit and spoiler. The vehicle sits atop Keendesign KD06 wheels.
Todd Budde, ’93 Mazda RX-7
Todd Budde returns to BOTB after entering last year with a ’65 VW. He hopes to compete successfully this year with a ’93 Mazda RX-7. The build’s all-aluminum peripheral port houses a Garrett G42-1200 twin turbo setup with custom stainless-steel manifolds and intake manifold, managed by a standalone Haltech ECU—a combination that helps produce more than 1,000 hp. The vehicle includes a custom tubular chassis and Corvette C7 suspension, converting it from rear-wheel drive to all-wheel drive. The vehicle’s steel widebody was hand fabricated from RX-3 and RX-7 sheetmetal. The stock transmission was replaced with a Lamborghini Gallardo transmission and front differential.
Andy Allen, ’56 Ford F-100
Andy Allen, owner of Andys’s Hot Rods and Restoration, enters this year’s BOTB with a ’56 Ford F-100. The profile of the truck is altered because of a 1.5-in. chopped roofline, while retaining the rear glass. The engine is a Jon Kaase 520 with Holley twin EFI and is backed by a 6R80 transmission. The F-truck rides on RideTech suspension components and a Total Cost Involved chassis. The vehicle features a full custom interior that includes touchscreen gauges and switches.
Kevin Misner, ’81 Volkswagen Pickup
Volkswagens seem to grab Kevin Misner’s interest, as this is the second consecutive year he enters a VW build. Last year he entered BOTB with a Mk2 VW Golf, and this year he enters with a ’81 VW pickup. The truck will be based on a full tube chassis—a race-car-inspired build with a custom widebody kit. The engine is from a ’13 Audi TTRS and is fully upgraded, designed to produce at least 550 hp.
Ross Logsdon, ’57 Chevrolet 3100
Ross Logsdon returns for his fourth-consecutive BOTB with a ’57 Chevy 3100. He placed in the Top 40 the last two years and looks to make it further this year. The build features an LT4 engine and a 4L75E transmission. The vehicle rides on a GSI-fabricated full chassis and includes a custom interior.
Roy Wallace, ’65 Jeep M677
Roy Wallace is a Jeep fanatic and longtime hobbyist. He enters this year’s BOTB with a ’65 Jeep M677. The build is powered by a fuel-injected small-block Chevy 350ci with TBI and has a TH400 transmission. The exterior features modified Rampage armor and custom paint. The Jeep is essentially a military forward-control quad cab recovery vehicle, outfitted for long expeditions. It also includes a custom bed, toolboxes, a drawer system and a rack to accept a roof-top tent.
Jason Garcia, ’99 Nissan Skyline
Godzilla enters the BOTB competition in the form of Jason Garcia’s ’99 Nissan Skyline. The build’s profile features a full carbon-fiber widebody. The vehicle sits atop a Knight Racer suspension and features Knight Racer arms and braces. The interior features Sparco parts, and engine output is enhanced with a turbo.
Lucasz Granicy, ’64 Chevrolet Impala SS
Needfulthings Hot Rod and Fabrication Shop owner Lukasz Granicy enters this year’s BOTB with a ’64 Chevrolet Impala SS. A 450hp ZZ engine with a custom air intake lives underneath the hood and is backed by a 700-R4 transmission. Wilwood six-piston disc brakes in front and four-piston disc brakes in the back provide stopping power. The build rides on Intro billet wheels and Mickey Thomson Street Comp tires. The interior features an Intro steering wheel, personalized QuietRide Solution kits and Dakota Digital gauges. Viewed from the rear, you’ll notice a MagnaFlow X exhaust and LED sequential taillights.
Jesus Lopez, ’69 Chevrolet Camaro
This ’69 Camaro will be Jesus Lopez’s first complete build on his own. He comes with plenty of experience, as he has been in the hot-rod industry since the age of 14. The build’s carbon-fiber engine bay is filled with a Mercury SB4 7.0, 750hp engine backed by a Tremec six-speed T56 transmission. Baer brakes are tasked with bringing the machine to a stop. The custom body rides on a Roadster Shop Fast Track chassis with HRE wheels. The interior is also customized and includes continental ICD gauges, and flush-mount glass is used all around.
Steve Keefer, ’68 Chevrolet Camaro
A Top 40 contestant last year, Steve Keefer returns in hopes of cracking the Top 12 at the 2019 Show. This time he brings the finished version of the ’68 widebody Camaro that he debuted at last year’s Show. He has since made subtle modifications to the body, which features many one-off parts. The interior also includes one-off designs. The chassis and suspension come courtesy of Chris Alston’s Chassisworks.
Paul Jurewicz, ’57 Studebaker Golden Hawk
Mattel Hot Wheels Legends Tour Detroit and the Select Six Winfield award at the Syracuse Nationals are just a couple of the accolades Paul Jurewicz has picked up on his way to the SEMA Show. He intends to add another in BOTB. His ’57 Studebaker Golden Hawk features a ’57 Studebaker cowl/windshield, a ’60s Pontiac front clip, a ’60–’63 Chevy Corvair rear panel, a ’60 Thunderbird hood, and a ’80s Audi station wagon sunroof used as the trunk lid. The build sits atop ’80s Jaguar rear suspension and ’90s Corvette front suspension that was chrome plated. Power comes from a ’96 Lincoln modular four-cam V8 with a modified intake manifold, a Demon three-barrel carburetor and an MSD distributor. It’s also fitted with a C4 automatic transmission and an ididit steering column.
Troy Gudgel, ’69 Chevrolet Camaro
A previous participant in BOTB, Troy Gudgel enters with a ’69 Chevrolet Camaro. The body features a hand-built aluminum lift-off top, custom-built rear sheetmetal, hand-built bumpers, and a widened rear end. The Camaro also includes one-off taillights, custom BASF paint and a flush-mount windshield. A supercharged LT4 engine that pushes out 700 hp powers the build. It sits in a custom-built engine bay under a hand-built aluminum hood. The interior features a hand-built aluminum dash and custom-built interior panels wrapped in high-end Italian leather.
Troy Seyfer, ’62 Ford F100
Troy Seyfer enters BOTB with a ’62 Ford F-100. This truck is repowered with an R2.8 turbodiesel and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle also features a second engine displayed in the bed of the truck, which is heavily reinforced. The vehicle is equipped with four-wheel Baer disc brakes and RideTech coil-overs.
Ricardo Lopez, ’71 Chevrolet Chevelle
Ricardo Lopez looks forward to sharing his craftsmanship at the Show through his ’71 Chevrolet Chevelle. The build features a custom body and paint job and a custom interior. An LS engine with a serpentine pulley kit, custom intake and headers powers the vehicle. The build sits atop a RideTech suspension, and Wilwood disc brakes are tasked with stopping it.
Curtis Larsen, ’70 Plymouth Barracuda
Curtis Larsen turned heads in Philadelphia with his ’70 Plymouth Barracuda. The ’Cuda is powered by a Viper V10 engine and backed by a Tremec T56. It also features a Magnum Force Transformer K-member conversion, and its exterior includes a custom-fabricated hood, decklid, front valance and rear diffuser. The build rides on a RideTech four-link rear suspension fitted with Wilwood brakes. The interior is custom and features ’14 SRT Challenger seats.
Keenen LaCour, ’03 Mitsubishi Evo
Keenen LaCour’s Evo is modified from head to toe. The build features Clevite race main and rod bearings, R&R 156mm solid-beam aluminum rods and L19 bolts. The engine pushes out more than 1,100 hp. The exterior consists of Seibon and Rexpeed carbon-fiber parts that include the hood, trunk, front lip, side skirts, spats and rear bumper. The interior includes a Blacksmith Fab chromoly 10-point rollcage, G-Force six-point racing harnesses, a Pro EFI CAN display and other components.
Steven Nadaskai, ’11 Volkswagen GTI
Steven Nadaskai stamped his golden ticket to the SEMA Show at Long Beach as the winner of the Young Guns regional competition. He enters BOTB with a ’11 Volkswagen GTI. The car features Ingo Noak widebody flares, Rotiform three-piece YVR wheels, a custom one-off front bumper and a custom shaved carbon-fiber hood. The exterior also includes an Enforced Aero one-off chassis-mounted front splitter and Enforced Aero one-off side skirt extensions along with an Enforced Aero one-off rear diffuser and RG-style side skirts. The interior features Corbeau seats and a custom-made wood trunk setup with a false floor.
Cheyenne Foster, ’15 Chevrolet Tahoe
BOTB will be an easier fight when compared to the open-heart surgery Cheyenne Foster has experienced. Nonetheless, her ’15 Chevrolet Tahoe is in the competition with a matte-green armadillo liner coating and a 6.5-in. SuperLift kit stretched to 8.5 in. The wheels are 24x14 RBP Scorpions on 35-in. Interco Super Swamper SSR tires, held on by True Spike lug nuts. The exterior also features an ARE Ascend roof basket, a Rhino Hitch held in place by a BOLT lock, Anzo headlights and taillights, and a RBP grille. The interior includes Katzkin double-diamond leather seats, power subwoofers and Husky Liner floor mats.
Eddie Pettus, ’56 Volvo TP21
Final-four 2018 BOTB contestant Eddie Pettus is gunning for the number-one spot this year with his ’56 Volvo TP21. Pettus improved from a very successful Top 12 2017 BOTB campaign by winning the truck/off-road category in 2018. The 2019 build is an off-road truck with a late-model Dodge suspension on a custom chassis and Dana front and rear axles. It is powered by a built Cummins Diesel 6BT with a Custom Compound turbo and an intercooler setup. The interior includes a custom hand-made dash and a Kicker stereo. The truck’s profile features custom bumpers, winch mounts and a spare-tire carrier.
Glenn Vogel, ’29 Ford Roadster Pickup
The ’60s Southern California dragstrips influenced Glenn Vogel’s ’29 Ford Roadster pickup. The hot rod is powered by a ’56 supercharged and carbureted 354 Hemi. The frame has been stretched 5.5 in., and the channeled cab has been stretched 3 in. The truck will be hot-rod black, with a reserved amount of pinstriping. The suspension will be satin nickel, and all components feature a matte finish.
Jeremiah Proffitt, ’88 Toyota FJ62
Top 12 builder Jeremiah Proffitt returns this year hoping to take the next step with his ’76 Toyota FJ62. The engine is an LS 430, and is backed by a 4L70E. The FJ includes PRLC dual swing-out bumpers with Rigid truck lights and auxiliary lighting. The vehicle sits on Bilstein suspension components and Nitto 33 tires.
Matt Gurgone, ’67 Chevrolet Chevelle
Matt Gurgone travels to the SEMA Show in a ’67 Chevrolet Chevelle. He hopes to challenge others in BOTB with a custom-built steel exhaust and a custom rear bumper with a diffuser. The build also features an LSX418 engine with a D1X Procharger intercooler and a TR6060 transmission. The exterior includes a custom hood with inserts, a custom spoiler, LED molded marker lights and a custom grille.
Ronnie Blain, ’66 Ford Bronco
Luke Merrill, ’27 Chevrolet Two-Door Sedan
Former Top 12 Young Gun Luke Merrill is building this vehicle for his mom. It laid dormant in the family garage since 1990, until he recently decided to bring it back to life. The build’s profile features a widebody front and rear. The engine is a 5.7L V8 with FiTech injection. The interior features a one-off dash with AutoMeter instrumentation.
David Jeffery, ’27 Essex Sedan
David Jeffery travels from New Zealand with his ’27 Essex Sedan to enter BOTB. The vehicle’s body has been chopped, channeled and widened. It sits on a custom hydraulic deck with two 18-in. front wheels and four 22-in. rear wheels. The chassis includes four boxed chassis rails. The build is powered by a 454 big-block and is controlled by a R700 four-speed. The interior features a transparent driveshaft tunnel.
Talbert Goldman, ’65 Chevrolet Chevelle
Talbert Goldman enters this year’s BOTB with a ’65 Chevrolet Chevelle. The exterior of the build features a ’67 Chevelle roof chopped to fit flush. It also includes back glass with one-piece real curved glass. The front seams are reshaped to flow off the roof line. The hood is a longer ’67 SS hood that bulges with custom vents. The Chevy features a one-off billet grille, and the front and rear bumpers are recessed into the body.
TJ Russell, ’91 Porsche 911
A Baja prerunner Porsche 911 is the build TJ Russell hopes takes deep into the BOTB competition. This car started life as a 911 Carrera 4 cabriolet. It features a full race cage from bumper to bumper, with entirely custom billet and chromoly suspension. The widebody composite body kit with a removable hard top is hand crafted. The interior is designed to offer a luxurious look with modern amenities.
Neil Tjin, ’19 Ford Ranger
The Tjin Edition ’19 Ford Ranger will be one of the only lowered, brand-new ’20 Rangers in the Ford booth. It features a custom Air Lift suspension, Rotiform wheels, Baer brakes, Falken tires, RTR fender flares and an Optima battery. Additional custom features include Speed Yellow BASF paint, a Katzkin and Recaro interior, Kicker audio, a full-race turbo kit, a wood bed and LED lighting.
Brian Bergeron, ’84 Porsche 944 Widebody
One of Brian Bergeron’s builds was featured at the 2018 SEMA Show as part of the Hot Wheels Legends exhibit, and this widebody 944 will debut a host of Porsche parts. An LS V8 conversion utilizes a supercharger for extra oomph and is backed by a converted Audi 01E six-speed transaxle spinning custom three-piece wheels running Widerstandfähig lightweight centers. A Fabspeed/Project Nine full dual exhaust setup will be making its debut on the car, as will a Project Nine Speedfreak front end and a P9 Ducktail rear spoiler. A dual-brake master setup and a custom pedal box are a P9 and Racing Pedal Boxes collaboration, and Classic 9 provided a full leather treatment to the interior.
John Klebaur, ’17 Ford F-250
First-time BOTB competitor John Klebaur hopes to make a splash with his ’17 Ford F-250. The build’s exterior features custom two-tone paint and powdercoat as well as custom headlights and an AWC Gravel Empire custom grille, and it features bodyguard front and rear bumpers. The vehicle rests upon 12 Wicked custom suspension, TIS forged wheels and Fury Off-Road tires.
Austin Haynes, ’70 Chevrolet C10
Young Gun regional winner Austin Haynes enters with a ’70 Chevrolet C10. The build features handmade billet taillight bezels, a flipped rear end with a C-notch, and custom-plenum carburetors that protrude from the hood. The battery is located under the custom wood and stain-finished bed. The interior includes a custom console, orange and black upholstery, hand-fabricated polished hard lines, and a wiring block cover constructed from a piece of a door threshold.
Edward Fitzgerald, ’60 Simca Chatelaine
Edward Fitzgerald enters BOTB with a ’60 Simca Chatelaine that he and wife Amy built. They cut a ’60 Simca Chatelaine three-door wagon in half, widened it 8 in. and put it atop a ’07 Cadillac STS chassis. In addition, the rear fenders are widened to allow for the rear wheels to have the best fitment for autocross racing. The interior features a custom rollcage, and the gauges and the pushbutton start are from the Cadillac. The car is powered by the entire, intact Cadillac powertrain and drivetrain and includes an upgraded suspension that features custom QA1 components.
Another Young Gun golden-ticket winner, Shane Durrence impressed with his ’91 Toyota MR2. The build is covered in a unique paint combination of Inferno Red Crystal Pearl and PPG Prismatique flake. The exterior is enhanced via a Veilside body kit, LED under-glow lights and LED headlights. The interior features A1 Corvette leather seat covers on factory seats and a ’02 Corolla S steering wheel. The build rides on Rota Grid wheels and Yokohama tires. A JDM 3SGTE Gen 5 ST246 Caldina engine with a CT15B turbo and a TCS stainless intake, charge pipes, downpipe and side-mount intercooler powers the vehicle.
Eddie Pettus, ’63 Chevrolet Corvette
Truck/off-road vehicles are Eddie Pettus’s specialty. He finished in the Top 12 in 2017’s BOTB and won the truck/off-road category in the 2018 BOTB, so his ’63 Chevrolet Corvette will undoubtedly turn heads. The build is powered by an LT4 engine and backed by a six-speed transmission. The vehicle rides on Detroit Speed suspension with Billet Specialties wheels. The interior was custom made by Gabe’s Upholstery and includes a top-of-the-line Kicker Q-class stereo.
Jim and Mike Ring, ’69 Chevrolet Camaro
Ringbrothers hopes to catch lightning in a bottle again with a ’69 Camaro. Adding aggressive stealth styling while retaining its iconic beauty, this Camaro has been completely redesigned in CAD, machined in high-density foam and produced in carbon fiber. The body has been widened 4 in. Aside from custom billet details, the body is 100% carbon fiber, and the car is powered by a Wegner 416 LS3 with a Whipple supercharger to develop 890 hp. The wheels are HRE units, and the interior is by Upholstery Unlimited.
Telly Violetto, ’73 Chevrolet Camaro
Telly Violetto enters this year’s BOTB with a ’73 Camaro. The exterior modifications include custom flares, a tucked-in bumper, a one-off hood, and in-house taillights. The paint features a mix of Porsche Riviera Blue and Mexico Blue with ice-blue pearl. The build is powered by a supercharged engine that pushes out 700 hp, and it sits on RideTech suspension with Forgeline wheels fitted with Wilwood brakes.
Ryno Lieberman, ’71 Chevrolet C10
Ryno Lieberman is a veteran of the industry with more than 20 years of experience. He enters BOTB with a ’71 Chevrolet C10. The C-truck sits on a custom air-ride chassis and custom wheels. The bed work features custom sheetmetal, and there are hanging amps in the roof for the audio system.
Samuel Hard ’70 Dodge Charger
Sam Hard travels from the United Kingdom to enter BOTB with his ’70 Dodge Charger. The Charger may look familiar to some, as it appeared in the movie The Fast and the Furious. The vehicle has since been modified. The build features a Carl Edwards NASCAR chassis and running gear from 2012. The racing engine produces 560 brake hp and features a custom Pypes exhaust that incorporates the NASCAR system. The interior includes a custom Arc Audio system, a JL audio marine head unit and Cobra seats.
Abelardo Armendariz, ’67 Chevrolet Camaro
Traveling from Mexico, Abelardo Armendariz enters BOTB with a ’67 Chevrolet Camaro. The keyless-start button turns on a 6.0 LS with FAST LSX manifolds and a camshaft kit from Comp Cams. Wilwood brakes provide stopping power. From the fenders to the trunk, the Camaro has been extended 2.5 in. in order to integrate an Airlift Performance suspension and an Art Morrison chassis. The build rests atop Lexani wheels and Pirelli Zero Nero tires.
Jeremiah Proffitt, ’76 Toyota FJ40
Top 12 builder Jeremiah Proffitt returns this year hoping to take the next step with his ’76 Toyota FJ40. The build includes PRLC dual swing-out bumpers with Rigid truck lights and auxiliary lighting. It’s also fitted with a rollcage, ARB Lockers and a dual compressor. The engine is a rebuilt 3FE and is controlled by an H55F five-speed transmission.
Jamie Orr, ’89 Volkswagen Saveiro
Some five days is all it took Jamie Orr to build his ’89 Volkswagen Saveiro. The build features hand-made fiberglass body parts made by using CNC and 3-D printing. The original 1.6L engine now produces more than 200 hp and runs on only pure ethanol fuel. The interior features Recaro seats, and the vehicle sits on vintage magnesium German motorsports wheels.
Sean Puz, ’36 Packard Coupe
Jason Ludwin, ’36 Chevrolet Low-Cab Pickup
For more than 20 years, Jason Ludwin has designed and built custom cars. This year, he enters BOTB with a ’36 low-cab pickup. The vintage Chevy is powered by a 5.3L engine with a FiTech fuel-injection system and twin rear-mounted turbos. The vehicle sits on a custom chassis and Ridler wheels. The vehicle also includes Ron Francis wiring, an Icebox Performance radiator and a custom intercooler. The interior features a custom IronClad Performance interior.
Bobby Schumacher, ’68 Chevrolet C10
Bobby Schumacher first built the ’68 Chevrolet C10 with his father-in-law in 1991. His father-in-law passed away earlier this year, and Schumacher decided to name the truck Shreddy—a nickname his wife called her father when she was a child. Since his work in 1991, Schumacher modified the build’s interior with a Ring Brothers dash and mirrors and Clayton Machine Works pedals. The build also features Holley Sniper EFI and a Zycoat exhaust. The vehicle sits on RideTech suspension with Billet Specialties Bonneville G wheels and uses Wilwood brakes.
Chris Chapman, ’47 Ford COE Truck
Chris Chapman’s history with cars started in his grandpa’s wrecking yard, where he pulled the wheels off of vehicles before he even knew how to ride a bike. He enters BOTB with a ’47 COE truck that will feature a kitchen. He started the project in 2013 and has used gear from Classic Instruments, Edelbrock and Vintage Air, just to name a few.
Peter Fitzpatrick, ’35 Chevrolet Business Coupe
Traveling from Australia, Peter Fitzpatrick enters BOTB with a ’35 Chevrolet Business Coupe. Fitzpatrick reworked the body using coach-building techniques, utilizing aluminum fenders, running boards and a CNC grille replica. The coupe is slightly chopped at the top to highlight the wider track of the Z06 Corvette underpinnings.
Eric Peratt, ’36 Ford Roadster
For more than 20 years, Eric Peratt has collected accolade after accolade, including his recent win with the 2019 America’s Most Beautiful Roadster at the Grand National Roadster Show. He enters BOTB with a ’36 Ford roadster in hopes of adding to his list of accomplishments. Peratt modified all of the panels on the build and created more than 300 CNC parts for the roadster.
Ross Nichols, ’69 Ford F100
Jack’s Speed Shop owner Ross Nichols enters BOTB with a ’69 Ford F100. The F-100 is powered by a Coyote 5.0L twin-turbo engine that is engineered to produce 1,800 hp, and sits atop a Lays frame and body rocker. The suspension features an MRC-fabricated IRS mandrel-bent chassis with Mittler Brothers Hydroshox and Detroit Steel wheels. Wilwood brakes are tasked with bringing the vehicle to a stop, and Dakota Digital handles all the gauges.
Dwayne Wiltshire, ’47 Diamond T Model 306h
Dwayne Wilshire travels from Canada to enter BOTB with a ’47 Diamond T Model 306h. The build features a Detroit diesel mated to a 2500 Allison automatic transmission, and sits atop a JK Motorsports wheel and tire package with Brakequip brake lines. The suspension includes a RideTech HD four-link in the rear and Slam Specialties SS7 bags in front. The build also features Grote lighting, an Icebox Performance radiator and New Vintage USA gauges.
Louis D’erasmo, ’68 Chevrolet Chevelle SS
Louis D’erasmo makes his way from New York with his ’68 Chevrolet Chevelle SS to enter BOTB. The SS body is made completely from steel and has been widened. The Chevelle is powered by an 800hp LT5 engine backed by a six-speed transmission. Baer brakes are there to bring it to a stop. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the build is the new prototype Hotchkis computer-controlled coil-over suspension.
Andrea Garcia, ’07 BMW 328i
Andrea Garcia enters BOTB as a Young Gun with her ’07 BMW 328i. The build’s profile is enhanced via an MFR aero kit with a carbon-fiber wing spoiler and a modified front lip. The paint is a custom Grabber blue. The face of the car includes DTM headlights with LED switch-back eyebrows.
Dominic Cape, ’54 Buick Wagon
Buick released some 1,500 wagons in ’54, and BOTB competitor Dominic Cape is entering with one. The Art Morrison chassis features Strange adjustable shocks and sits atop Detroit Steel wheels and AccuAir air-ride suspension. A GM LS3 533hp engine powers the build, and a GM 4L70E transmission puts power to the wheels. Visible under the hood is FiTech retro fuel injection and a Griffin radiator. Brakes are Wilwood items.
Anthonnie Quizon, ’15 Subaru WRX
Young Gun contestant Anthonnie Quizon enters BOTB with a ’15 Subaru WRX. The vehicle’s exterior enhancements include a Varis non-widebody kit and a Voltex GT wing. An R1 Concept big-brake kit is in place to keep the WRX’s 380 hp and 360 lb.-ft. of torque under control. The WRX features a flex fuel system that has been E60 tuned.
Jeff Farina, ’66 Pontiac GTO
Car enthusiast Jeff Farina brings a ’66 Pontiac GTO to BOTB. The Goat is powered by an LS3 engine and mated to a 4L65E automatic transmission. Wilwood brakes bring the build to a stop. The GTO sits on GT performance wheels and a Hotchkis suspension. The interior includes Dakota Digital dash gauges, Nu-Relics power windows and a Flaming River column.
Marty Fox, ’67 Chevrolet C10
Marty Fox has been building vehicles since the age of 14. He enters BOTB with a ’67 Chevrolet C10. He converted a ’69 C10 to a ’67 by changing the front end. The C10 is powered by a 383ci stroker motor with dual FiTech fuel injection and an All American billet serpentine setup. A 700-R4 transmission passes power to the wheels. The ride sits atop Air Lift suspension and USA Mags wheels. The C10’s interior features full custom Italian leather and Autometer gauges.
Greg Bauchat, ’15 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
After three years and thousands of hours, Greg Bauchat is ready to reveal his ’15 Hyundai Veloster Turbo in BOTB. The engine features a completely rebuilt, 600hp 1.6L four-cylinder with a custom transmission from Level 10. Ksport front and rear brakes are tasked with bringing the vehicle to a stop. The Veloster’s profile features a SCGW custom front bumper and carbon-fiber fox grille, a VIS Racing carbon-fiber hood, SCGW carbon-fiber wide body, custom rear bumper, carbon-fiber wing and NEFD carbon rear diffuser.
Song Toh, ’97 Honda Prelude
Song Toh spent more than 600 hours on his BOTB entry—a ’97 Honda Prelude. Toh did a DIY pickup conversion to the Prelude, so it now features a bed in which he can store items such as his bike. The ’Lude includes an AccuAir Endo-CVT with air management. It also includes Yellowspeed Racing air struts and six-piston front brakes.
Derek Granison, ’15 Volkswagen Golf
Derek Granison makes his way from Florida to enter BOTB with his ’15 Volkswagen Golf. The exterior features a Mk7.5 face lift. The suspension is based on Airlift components and an AccuAir controller. The Golf also includes a Rawtek exhaust with a Kerma tune. Rotora brakes bring the vehicle to a stop.
Omar Cabrera, ’95 Nissan 240SX
Omar Cabrera enters BOTB with his ’95 Nissan 240SX. The car is powered by a 2JZ-GTE engine backed by a 370Z transmission. The engine’s output is enhanced via a Driftmotion 6262 turbo. The interior features a Cusco harness and cage and an LRB rear seat delete, and the driver now sits on the right. The exterior touches include a widebody kit, 75mm front and rear fenders, D-Max LED taillights and a Big Country Labs spoiler. The vehicle sits atop an Airlift suspension, and CTSV brakes bring it to a halt.
Dave Lane, ’32 Ford Victoria
For more than 20 years, Dave Lane has been building cars, and his list of accolades is impressive. For this build, Lane flush-fit the roof to the body line above the windshield. He then lowered and chopped the windshield. The Zephr dash has been reshaped and features a one-off gauge panel. The hood has been reshaped, and the front and rear aprons are handmade.
Tyler Nelson, ’56 Chevrolet Pickup
Tyler Nelson opened his own shop about 20 months ago but has built multiple cars for the SEMA Show previously. He enters the 2019 BOTB with an LS3-powered ’56 Chevrolet pickup. A 4L65E transmission backs the 525hp LS3. The suspension features an AccuAir air-ride kit and an Art Morrison chassis. The pickup includes a custom aluminum bed floor, shaved drip rails, one-piece side glass and flush-mounted bumpers.
Ron Hinshaw, ’69 Chevrolet Camaro
Ron Hinshaw enters BOTB with a ’69 Chevrolet Camaro. The Knish Kustoms interior uses Douglass Interior Products leather and a replica Impala fiberglass dash stuffed with Autometer gauges. The Camaro is powered by an LS3 and backed by a 4L60E transmission, and Baer Brakes bring the vehicle to a stop. The builds rest on a Detroit Speed chassis with Asanti wheels.
Jeremy Johnson, ’16 Chevrolet Express
Jeremy Johnson used his 20 years of metal-fabrication experience to build this ’16 Chevrolet Express van for this year’s BOTB. The rig is designed for overlanding adventures. It features a 4x4 coil-over conversion and front and rear air lockers. The front bumper includes a 12,000-lb. Warn winch, and the rear bumper includes a tire carrier and box. The interior features leather seats and a hardwood floor.
BJ Barger, ’59 Willys Overlander
BJ Barger managed to build his Willys Overlander for BOTB in 90 days. He started with a Jeep vehicle and grafted ’46 Chevrolet fenders onto it. The fenders have been widened 4 in., and the vehicle features a stretched body channeled over the frame.
Joe Riley, Project Outkast
After graduating first in his class from Wyotech in 1984, Joe Riley is putting his 35 years of automotive design and fabrication experience to the test in BOTB with his Project Outkast build. The 4WD’s suspension includes a full-tube extreme chassis and a triangulated four-link with billet links. MRAP axles and King 2.5 coil-over shocks allow for suspension travel during off-roading. An LSX454/L485 engine powers the drivetrain, and a Hero three-speed transmission passes torque to the wheels.
John Ubalde, ’93 Mazda RX-7
John Ubalde enters BOTB with his ’93 Mazda RX-7. The RX-7 doesn’t carry its traditional rotary engine. Instead, it features a built LS1 that pushes out 415 hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine features Patriot cams and titanium retainers. The car features a 99-spec OEM Mazda JDM front bumper and Legsport carbon-fiber front canards.
Marcel Horn, ’89 Volkswagen Rallye Golf
Marcel Horn worked as a VW performance car builder for 29 years. He enters BOTB with his ’89 Volkswagen Rallye Golf. The design pays homage to the original AWD Rallye Golf. The car is powered by a turbocharged 3.2L VR6 mated to a custom four-shaft, six-speed gearbox. The engine provides 800 lb.-ft. of torque and 700 hp.
Paige McKown, ’18 Ford F-250
Paige McKown began building vehicles young. At the ripe old age of 27, she enters BOTB with her ’18 Ford F-250. The build rides atop a 12-in. Stryker off-road kit, with Sword hydraulic coil-overs and a rear four-link suspension. The build’s exterior features bodyguard front and rear bumpers with Rigid light bars.
Josh Croll, ’04 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
Josh Croll enters BOTB with his ’04 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. He has converted the vehicle to right-hand drive and utilized an APR widebody. The vehicle sits atop Airlift performance suspension with D2 racing neochrome front and rear big brakes. The engine includes an IAG magnum short block with a built head and transmission.
Lyon McClenahan, ’49 Chevrolet 3100
Lyon McClenahan has competed in BOTB for four straight years. In his fifth, he enters with a ’49 Chevrolet 3100. The truck is being built to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease. The unique build features his in-house-designed air bag over coil-over shock suspension, which can be swapped back and forth the between coil-over shock and bag-over shock. The vehicle is powered by an LS engine.
Phil Gerber, ’69 Ford Bronco
Top 12 finishes at BOTB are normal now for Phil Gerber after reaching that plateau four times. However, he wants the number-one spot and hopes to gain it with his ’69 Ford Bronco. The early Bronco is powered by a twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost by RMB that passes power to a 4L80 ATD transmission. Baer six-piston brakes with floater rear hubs on Forgeline wheels are tasked with bringing the 1,000hp vehicle to a halt. The Bronco sits atop an IFS long-travel 4x4 Pre-runner RS4R Roadster Shop chassis.
Christopher Malloy,’91 Nissan Pao
Christopher Malloy enters BOTB with his ’91 Nissan Pao. The engine is a four-cylinder in-line MA10 and is controlled by a three-speed transmission. The engine pushes out about 51 hp, but the vehicle weighs only about 1,600 lbs. The suspension features four-links in the front and rear.