SEMA 2011: Part Two

Words by Matt Willis

Continuing with Part 2 of the SEMA coverage.

As the week progressed, we kept finding hidden gems that we hadn’t seen before. We made our way to the DUB section outside, where we found some rare exotics…


Platinum Motorsports brought out a Bugatti Veyron. To me, the Veyron looks like the love child of an Audi R8 and a Volkswagen Beetle…puffy and pug-nosed are the first words that come to mind. But the curvilinear shape is necessary for the kind of speeds this car can reach. This is the first time I’ve seen one up close and it was definitely a treat…


I love the recent-model M5s. The aggressive shape and signature sound make them one of a kind.

I take back what I said about M5s. My true love is the new Mercedes CLS. It looks so much more aggressive with the extruded grill and angled front-end. I consider the CLS a poor-man’s version of the S-class sedans. It has some shortcomings (most notably a twin-turbo V12), but still retains the same boss/baller/executive/wealthy-investor look and long wheelbase…LOVE it…

Awesome wide-body M3 by Meisterschaft…the “eye liner” on the headlights flows quite well…

This Silverado reminded me of my old neighbors truck. It was a Silverado HD…and it was all murdered out just like this, with the roof lights, and about fifty more lights along the grill and bumper, all kinds of skid plates and ram bars and wenches and shit..and it never (as far as I know) went off-road once. Instead he would flip on all his lights at 4 in the morning on his way to work and I would freak out thinking there was a damn alien mothership outside…

I’ve always thought of the G-Class as something I would buy if I wanted to go on an African safari in total comfort…and if I were rich obviously….

Meanwhile, over in front of the central hall, we saw smoke in the air and heard the familiar sound of rally cars. Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan were doing some demonstrations for the crowd…








It’s always cool to see these cars in action. The control and finesse of the drivers to tame 600-horsepower rally cars is remarkable. I do wish there was a little more pre-defined course…maybe with obstacles or a planned route. It seemed like they just threw something together and threw out some smoke to please the fans. The challenge of Gymkhana is being able to work the car in tight/narrow spaces, accelerating in short bursts, avoiding or driving around obstructions, stopping on a dime, etc…

There were some cool “survival-ready” utility vehicles out front. For the record, I think the tent on top of this Jeep Wrangler is badass.

Spotted a few more 911s. Here’s a GT2 rocking a beautiful set of TE-37s…

The Top Secret body on this Porsche 996 is ultra rare, and is the only one in the USA. I was drooling over this for a while…

I’m pretty sure the theme of this xB was yellow.

Found some more jewels in the central pavilion. Loved this Montego Blue M3 Coupe.

Cool blue-grey E46 on BBS wheels…

…and this 1-series on CCWs. CCWs are a big hit right now and I think they look great, but they look best on smaller cars like the Honda Fit and similar. I don’t know…I just think have this tendency to make bigger cars look very wimpy.

This was a great M3. Love the wheels, love the brakes, love the fitment. I just don’t get the tacky colored accents. It reminds me of the limited 997 GT3 RS with all the red trim…which I don’t even really care for either.


We headed back indoors and kept scanning for stuff we hadn’t seen…taking it all in…

At the Spectre performance booth, they were showing off their new line of HPR Air Filters…and this…the Spectre Speedliner. This is submarine-shaped vehicle is used for breaking speed records every year at the Bonneville salt flats. It’s powered by race-prepared mid ’60s Cadillac engines, an air-shifted 5-speed gearbox, fully intercooled Garrett turbos and two 25-square-foot chutes in the back to bring it all to a stop. Rated at 2,000 horsepower, this land rocket can climbs to speeds over 400mph and currently holds several Bonneville records…




Hyundai had a couple Forza 4 stations set up at their booth for people to play…

…and their new Veloster. We also saw this car, being driven by Rhys Millen, at the summer X Games 17. While it was getting some mixed reviews regarding its flamboyant appearance, there is one thing that separates the Veloster from many of the other new-era subcompacts – the 208-horsepower engine. The interior was slightly reminscient of the Ford Fiesta, and though I did like the front, the rear is just god awful. It’s like when you go to flip a pancake…the first half comes out great, and the last part gets all mutilated because you were thinking too much about it, then you try to repair it and it just gets worse from there…

Here’s the rear view of the “ARK” Veloster…

Bucky Lasek’s tC at the Scion booth. Bucky has always been a car fanatic. This is his newest addition, alongside his BMW M3 and Porsche 996…

Bisimoto’s 2012 Civic debut at the Honda booth. Fantastic build by the pioneer of many Honda technologies and configurations. This is one of the first builds I’ve seen with the new K24Z7 power plant, and it produces an insane 1,000 horses and 620 lb-ft of torque. You can bet this will be Bisi’s new flagship car.




Supercharged S2000 at the HKS booth…



We ran into to the other RWB Porsche 911…this one belonging to the Hoon himself…Ken Block that is…




It was great to see both RWB-built Porsche’s in-person. I hope Ken uses his in the next Gymkhana video…haha…

Tucked away at the NGK booth was another beautiful 911…this one from Bisimoto Engineering…



Courtney Day and Miki Taka were out representing Need for Speed. Miki is one of my favorite models. She hosted several shows on the Speed Channel a few years back, and made the cover of Import Tuner…she is now a successful DJ and is doing photo and event coverage work for Speedhunters…certainly a jack of all trades!


A pyramid of vintage-style Volkswagen and Porsche wheels from EMPI USA…

Beautifully done-up Corvette ZR1 engine bay by American Car Craft. The mesh paneling and light-up valve cover accents gave the bay a great look…


On Thursday, Vaughn Gittin Jr. was drifting about in the Falken Tire/Monster Energy Mustang RTR doing his thing for the fans…


Locking up those rear wheels…


He ended up with some rear axle troubles that cut the show short…sucks, but part of the game…still awesome to see (and hear) nonetheless…

I will wrap up Part 2 here. Hope you guys are enjoying the coverage so far…there is much more to come. Make sure you kick back, watch football and spend quality time with the family this Thanksgiving…oh and most importantly, FEAST! Back with more soon…thanks for following!   -Matt


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