By Fredy Ramirez
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 several vehicles each week leading up to the Show. This week's featured builds include: Todd Budde’s ’93 Mazda RX-7, Brian Bergeron’s ’84 Porsche 944 “widebody,” Omar Cabrera’s ’95 Nissan 240SX and Shane Durrence’s Toyota MR2G.
Shane Durrence, Toyota MR2G
Ever since watching The Fast and the Furious, Durrence has wanted to build a car that sets his apart from the pack. He has been working on his Toyota for nearly seven years now, and even signed up for an auto body class so that he could learn how to paint it with his own custom color. Durrence has “touched” nearly every part of his second-generation MR2 during the build, including restoring the body kit, suspension work, custom wheels and a reworked interior. He even swapped out the original engine with a fifth-gen 3S-GTE from a Toyota Caldina. His skill and accomplishments clearly paid off as he was chosen as the regional winner at the Street Machine Nationals in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Todd Budde’s ’93 Mazda RX-7
Brian Bergeron’s ’84 Porsche 944 “widebody”
Omar Cabrera’s ’95 Nissan 240SX
Todd Budde, ’93 Mazda RX-7
Scheduled to Appear: Toyo Tire #V65
Todd Budde returns to BOTB after entering last year with a ’65 VW. He hopes to compete this year with a ’93 Mazda RX-7. The build’s all-aluminum peripheral port houses a Twin Garrett G42-1200 turbo with custom stainless-steel turbo manifolds, an intake manifold and a standalone Haltech ECU that helps produce more than 1,000 hp. The vehicle includes a custom tubular chassis and a Corvette C7 suspension, converting it from rear-wheel drive to all-wheel drive. The vehicle’s steel widebody is hand fabricated from RX-3 and RX-7 sheetmetal. The transmission is replaced by a Lamborghini Gallardo transmission and front differential.
Brian Bergeron, ’84 Porsche 944 “widebody”
Scheduled to Appear: Racingjunk.com #24621
One of Bergeron’s builds was featured at the 2018 SEMA Show as part of the Hot Wheels Legends exhibit, and this wide-body 944 will display a host of Porsche parts debuts. 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 Widerstandsfahig lightweight centers. A Fabspeed/Project Nine full dual-exhaust setup will make its debut on the car, as will a Project Nine “Speedfreak” front end and P9 “Ducktail” rear spoiler. The dual brake master setup and custom pedal box are a P9 and Racing Pedal Boxes collaboration, and Classic 9 provides a full leather treatment to the interior.
Omar Cabrera, ’95 Nissan 240SX
Scheduled to Appear: Mackin Industries #22813
Omar Cabrera enters BOTB with his ’95 Nissan 240SX. The build is powered by a 2JZ-GTE and controlled by a 370Z transmission. The engine also includes a Driftmotion 6262 turbo. The interior features a Cusco harness, Cusco Cage and an LRB rear-seat delete, and the driver now sits on the right. The build’s profile includes a wide-body kit, 75mm front and rear fenders, D-Max LED taillights and a Big Country Labs spoiler. The vehicle sits atop of an Airlift suspension and CTSV brakes bring it to a halt.
For more information, visit the SEMA Battle of the Builders website.