Automobiles Iron & Air’s Picks for the Best of SEMA 2022The biggest custom auto show of the country did not disappoint. We picked some of our favorites that rolled on to the show floor.
- Words Gray Van Dyke
Each year, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show draws automotive enthusiasts from around the world. As much an exhibition of tricked-out cars as it is a celebration of industry talent, it demonstrates the passion that unites us all.
That being said, the tradition is not without its fair share of friendly competition. Builders spend years – if not decades – masterminding their creations, ever in search of something that will one-up the other attendants. (Think of it like those neighbors down the street who are a little too into Christmas decorations). As a result, you can expect to see pretty over-the-top entries. Here are six of our favorites from SEMA’s 2022 event that ran from Nov. 1-4.
Formula Drift vet Ryan Tuerck has a knack for completing some outrageous custom projects, and what he brought to SEMA this year is certainly no exception. Penned by digital artist Jon Sibal and sponsored by the likes of TRD and Mobil1, it’s a 1966 Toyota Stout pickup that’s slammed, tubular, and ready to shred some rubber. Under the hood, it hides a race-built 3SGTE that makes north of 600hp. Arguably more impressive, though, is the rear – the truck’s bed has been replaced with a Corvette-based cantilever suspension setup.
If you know Mike Burroughs from his appearances on the StanceWorks YouTube channel, then you won’t be surprised to see him featured here. If you don’t, well, his Ferrari “244 GTK” is about as good an introduction as any. When the car entered Burroughs’ garage, it was an ‘81 Ferrari 308 GTBi, running and driving with just 38k on the clock – not exactly the likeliest of donor candidates. As if that wasn’t enough, though, Burroughs ditched the Prancing Horse’s beating heart in favor of a revvy Honda four-banger. The build’s magic is sure to be lost on purists, but we couldn’t be more pleased with the end result.
Ringbrothers came out in force at SEMA this year – assembling no fewer than four incredible customs – but it’s their ENYO build that really stole the show. What rolled off the factory floor as a 1948 Chevy Loadmaster pickup is now an aero-focused F1-ready super truck. Open-wheeled, tube-framed, and cantilevered fore and aft, it’s made only better by heaps of carbon fiber and a 1,000hp tall-deck LS engine. The more you look at this one, the more you notice, so we won’t spoil things and spill it all here.
Not enough juxtaposition for you? Try to wrap your head around this one from Chris Steinbacher of B is for Build, then. If you can look beyond the car’s sumptuous bodywork, the shell is still undeniably a 1967 Mustang fastback. Underneath the car’s classic Americana, however, you’ll now find the chassis from a Bugatti Veyron — specifically, the one from the Need for Speed movie. Rounding out the automotive menagerie is an LS V8 sitting midship mated to a Porsche transaxle.
Okay, we get it – EVs aren’t for everyone, and electromods are a matter even more contentious. But hear us out when we say that this sweet Sunny swap by Tommy Pike Customs takes the cake. Around the outside, it wears a Hakosuka Skyline widebody kit and a sharp red, white, and blue Brock Racing Enterprises livery. To give its flashy looks some racing chops, the team swapped in the front suspension from a 240SX, also fitting a pair of heavy duty leaf springs at the rear. Top it all off with the motor and battery pulled from a LEAF (good for twice the power and three times the torque of the stock setup, mind you), and you’ve got a next-level Nissan build that’ll rip around the track, eerily silent save for the squeal of tires.
If getting sideways on loose surfaces is more your thing, this last build from Randy of Adventure Jones Rigs should do just the ticket. Aptly dubbed the AWDROLA (or, as he calls it, the odd-rolla), it’s a 1989 Corolla GT-S that’s been thoroughly remade for off-road exploration. How did he manage to turn a FWD icon into a rally-ready 4×4 you ask? Why, by merging the car’s drivetrain with that of a relative: an AWD Corolla All-Trac wagon. From the eye-catching 80s paint job to the cargo racks and skyward rear-end, this is one ‘Yota that we wouldn’t mind taking out for a spin ourselves.