- the specialty equipment market association (sema) industry show in las vegas every fall showcases creative custom cars and features a battle of the builders. sorry, none of it is open to the public.
- sema's young guns challenge lets the public vote online for their favorite vehicle from builders under 27; online balloting ends on october 4.
- the winner and his or her vehicle get an all-expenses-paid trip to vegas to appear at sema, which runs from november 5–8 this year.
the annual sema show in las vegas is a great place to see some amazing builders who have whipped up crazy and inventive creations. it's also a great place to see the next generation of car builders, thanks to sema's young guns challenge for builders under 27. the event is part of the prestigious battle of the builders competition at the show, which runs from november 5 through 8.
sema is making an effort to shine a light on the upcoming generation of builders who put time and effort into some truly spectacular vehicles. young builders could enter just about any vehicle that qualified for one of sema's regional shows throughout the past year, and there are entries from all over the united states.
although the show is not open to the public, fans outside the industry can vote to decide who gets to go to the 2019 sema show from among a group of 21 entries on the sema young guns website. there are eight in the hot-rod category, eight trucks or off-road vehicles, and five sport-compacts. there are so many great builds that we couldn't decide on just one, so here are our four favorites.
1946 chevrolet pickup
calvin schoch’s 1946 chevy pickup is a rat rod to the core, with an 800-hp cummins engine, exposed engine parts, low-riding body, and mad max–style interior. schoch took the body of a 1946 chevrolet truck and put it on the frame of a 2004 dodge ram. the attention to detail is amazing; just take a look at the (purposely) ratty interior and beautiful bodywork.
1965 ford mustang
this is the cleanest-looking of all the cars in the hot rod category. it's a full body-swap mustang, with the body of a 1965 over a 1999 mustang gt chassis. griffin had to widen the body by as much as four inches to have the fenders fit over the wide wheels and tires. another cool feature: there's no rubber surrounding the glass. it goes straight from paint to glass.
2013 scion fr-s
perhaps the most quickly built car on the list is chelsie lesnoski's purple 2013 scion fr-s that is the first toyota 86 chassis vehicle with an rb25 engine swap. it was built in a single month, all in a garage, and has a rocket bunny widebody kit.
2006 subaru wrx wagon
it's no secret the editors at car and driver enjoy both wagons and manuals, so when we saw ian rogers's 2006 subaru wrx wagon, we short-listed it immediately. everything has been customized with virtually no part left untouched. the entire interior was redone and features a roll cage with proper bucket seats. the exterior is finished in teal blue and features a big spoiler on the back.
online voting is open for those who want to help one of these four cars or any other entries make it to sema. voting is allowed once per day, and the winner will be announced on the voting site on october 10.