SEMA Show 2012: Part Three

Words by Matt Willis

By Thursday, just when we felt like we made some progress, we began to realize there was still a massive chunk of the central hall that we had yet to sweep through, as well as the booths in the north hall. So we’ll keep on going…

The next couple posts will reflect some of the most notable builds of the SEMA Show as well as other highlights we’ve yet to see.


One of the booths we initally glossed over was Honda/Acura, and the adjacent Honda Performance Development. Here, they had the Le Mans “Muscle Milk” car that won P1 at Long Beach earlier in the year…





The iconic #50 Honda-powered Dallara of four-time IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti.


Honda Fit built by HPD to SCCA specifications.


Turbocharged Honda IMA engine, slightly different in design than the one we saw here last year…


Acura NSX teaser concept that we’ve been seeing a lot of in the media lately. I’ve mentioned before with concepts; they look great when they’re built to perform. I’m more eager to see something closer to production. Hopefully soon…


I enjoyed this ILX touring car build. Neither Tim nor I are really impressed with the actual production ILX, being that it doesn’t stray very far from the bland Acura formula we’ve seen for the last decade or so. But it’s different seeing them all built up, like the Realtime Racing Acura TSX’s of today or the FIA WTCC Accord Euro R (TSX) from a few years back.




Simple take on the new 9th-generation Accord sedan.


The Sedan’s back side is definitely more pleasing to look at than the 8th generation…


And here’s the 9th-generation Accord coupe, with styling that looked to be adopted from a Porsche RS model or something…



Fiat 500 Abarth built by Romeo Ferraris USA…



Beautiful Meisterschaft exhaust on a new Porsche 991…



FR-S from Wilwood Brakes…



Jeeps on top of Jeeps…



R33 at the DSPORT booth…



The Lovefab NSX that ran at Pikes Peak earlier in the year. This was definitely one of our favorite cars at the show. The aero on this thing is just so insane. If you haven’t seen Speedhunters’ August feature on it, be sure to check it out for all the details…






Custom widened Camaro at the Mobil 1 booth.



Love this track-ready BRZ from Motul…




Last year, NGK had a blue Carrera twin-turbo hardtop from Bisimoto Engineering on display. This year, they walk along the same lines with another crazy Bisimoto Porsche build – this one an air cooled, twin-turbo widebody cabrio.





Satin blue FR-S on Rotiform Wheels and Airlift suspension technology…



Another FR-S. This one brought to us by AEM. Love the simple yet effective splitter on this one, as well as some of the new AEM products being developed/tested for the platform.


Crazy Camaro build from K&N…


S2000 build from Team Hybrid at the Energy Suspension booth. First time seeing 99-00 Civic fog lights retrofitted into the S2000 bumper like that. Now that I think about it, though, the cutout is essentially the same…haha…


Hotchkis Suspension FR-S with plenty of mods, including a custom ram air intake, HRE wheels and Stop-Tech brakes…





Very sharp Audi Avant at the Accuair Suspension booth. The widebody and wheel fitment is just flawlessly executed here…


Beautifully modernized Corvette on display by Barrett-Jackson auctions.



As we meandered about show floor, we heard the reminiscing sound of rally cars outside…


Tanner Foust, the recently crowned 2012 GRC Champion, was out doing some hooning in the action course out front.








Ford teammate Brian Deegan also had some fun…









Out next was Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s drift exhibition…










Tim getting a glimpse of this OMSE Fiesta kit car…





There was this cool EG at the Hankook Tires booth. The artwork is all engraved into the body…





AC 378 GT Zagato. Never seen one before in person…


Here is a pristine Camaro we saw back at a local San Diego gathering towards the beginning of the year. When I saw it for the first time, I thought “this car should be at SEMA…”. Well, here it is…


I love classic cars that are brought up to modern standards. To me, its more challenging than just restoring the vehicle to it’s factory condition. At the same time, it simplifies things for the owner in addition to allowing the use of current technology.



Fully restored and modernized Ford F-series…



StanceLab FR-S with a crazy custom body kit…


One of a few original Shelby Cobras on display at Ford’s outdoor stables…


Air Force themed Mustang brought out by the guys at Galpin Auto Sports…


…they took the theme very seriously…


Lucra LC470 participating in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge. We saw one of these at SEMA last year and had trouble identifying it at first sight, because it sort of looks like an AC Cobra, but it’s much larger and has sort of a stingray-esque front end. These cars are basically custom from the ground-up, built to the buyer’s specifications. This one is equipped with a 550-horsepower GM LS3 and features a fully tubular frame with carbon fiber body. Rumor has it that it will also be featured in the upcoming Universal film ‘Fast & Furious 6’…


Going to end this post with a tribute to the late Carroll Shelby, who left us and the industry this year. There was a piece of the North Hall with cars and builds in his honor…


One of which is none other than the Cobra…


This car was built to out-race any other car on the ladder, and Carroll always pushed to make the car faster and more maneuverable in its racing sanctions. It has had victories against comparable Ferraris, Maseratis, Corvettes, Maseratis, Jaguars and Porsches. Shelby and the Ford Racing team would often beat one and then focus on what they could do to try and get the next…


Mustang Shelby GT 1000…



The Shelby GT350 fastback, one of the most iconic Mustang’s in it’s history in the cream/blue stripe color scheme…




History of the AC/Shelby Cobra…


There was a board where people could sign, honor and commemorate Carroll…


He was truly a racing icon and an inspiration to automotive enthusiasts everywhere. There’s no question he will be missed by not only those who knew him, but to the community as a whole…


Thanks for reading. Next part coming very soon…


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