By Fredy Ramirez
Steven Ellis’ ’99 Ford F-350
SEMA is gearing up for the 2019 Battle of the Builders (BOTB) competition, set to take place during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, and the list of competitors keeps growing longer as the Show approaches. SEMA eNews will highlight three vehicles each week leading up to the Show. This week's featured builds include Steve Ellis’ ’99 Ford F-350, Preston Folkestad’s ’95 Chevy C10 and Garret Kitchen’s ’68 Barracuda S.
Steven Ellis, ’99 Ford F-350
Scheduled to Appear: Covercraft #23143
This is Ellis’ first solo project in SEMA Battle of the Builders. A 2017 “SEMA 35 Under 35” honoree, Ellis’ Ford F-350 will be used for local search-and-rescue missions and will be equipped with gear from several companies, including CVT, Thule, Line-X, Lightforce and Warn. The truck will feature custom fab work from Ellis’ shop at Urban Garage in Arizona.
Preston Folkestad’s ’95 Chevy C10
Preston Folkestad, ’95 Chevy C10
Scheduled to Appear: GC Cooling # V254
A previous Young Gun competitor, Preston Folkestead 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, spark from an XS Power 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. rear end, 515Customs provided additional fabrication and Zion Designs handled the vehicle wrap and graphics.
Garret Kitchen’s ’68 Barracuda S
Garret Kitchen, ’68 Barracuda S
Scheduled to Appear: Ron Francis Wiring #23479
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 truck he would build for this year’s SEMA Show more than 50 years later. This ’Cuda, however, no longer relies on 340 power to get around; instead, it is powered by a Gen-3 6.1L HEMI V-8 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 fadeout.