-- 1955 Chevy Wins Top Spot --

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (Nov. 11, 2021) -- Robert Matranga of Matranga Hot Rod fabricators took the top prize in the eighth-annual SEMA Battle of the Builders® competition on the final day of the 2021 SEMA Show, Friday, November 5. Now in its eighth year of competition, the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition is widely known as one of the elite platforms for builders to showcase their work and compete for the coveted top honor.

The 1955 Chevy aptly named ‘Brute Force’ beat out more than 240 in the internationally recognized competition that unfolded during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Every part of Brute Force has been scratch-built or heavily modified to reward viewers with a seemingly infinite number of details. Brute Force gets its name from the Mike LeFever-built 540ci Merlin engine that is topped with Arias hemi cylinder heads and force-fed by a pair of Garrett turbochargers through a custom-built Hogan intake. The 1,400 horsepower powerplant is detuned to a drivable 800 horsepower.


In addition to Matranga, the three finalists who round out the top four for 2021 included: Eddie Pettus with his 1061 Austin Healey Sprite (Sport Compact), Bryan Thompson with his 1934 Ford Pickup (Truck/Off-Road), and Young Gun Dayton Jacobson with his 2000 Chevrolet S10. Each builder brought their best builds to this year’s competition and were recognized with trophies in their respective classes.

The four finalists of this years’ competition will be highlighted along with other featured builders in a new TV special 2021 SEMA: Battle of the Builders, scheduled to premiere on the History Channel in early 2022.

The 2021 SEMA Battle of the Builders competition included submissions from seasoned builders as well as new customizers representing up-and-coming stars who demonstrated extreme talent, creativity and craftsmanship in modifying cars, trucks, and SUVs. The Young Guns (builders 27 years and younger) category continues to evolve and expand, providing the next generation of builders with an opportunity to get their vehicles into the Battle of the Builders competition.

Industry experts narrowed down the field of 240-plus entries to the Top 40 in the remaining categories, before selecting the Top 12 builds overall which included two women for the first time. The 12 finalists then took over judging duties and named Robert Matranga the overall winner.

For more information about the 2021 Battle of the Builders competition or the SEMA Young Guns program, visit, or SEMA's YouTube channel.

About SEMA and the SEMA Show
The SEMA Show is a trade show produced by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a nonprofit trade association founded in 1963. Since the first SEMA Show debuted in 1967, the annual event has served as the leading venue bringing together manufacturers and buyers within the automotive specialty equipment industry. Products featured at the SEMA Show include those that enhance the styling, functionality, comfort, convenience and safety of cars and trucks. Additional details are available at or, 909/396-0289.

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