Our favorite muscle cars and classics from SEMA 2018
As we recover from the assault on the senses that is the SEMA show in Las Vegas, we’ve realized that after talking about our favorite engines and the Gran Turismo Award winners, we neglected to mention a whole slew of noteworthy builds.
There’s just not enough time to give all of the beautiful creations the attention they deserve, but we’ve selected a few to highlight. We kept going back to these cars because of their amazing paint, great interiors, and fantastic bodywork. (At the bottom of the page there’s a gallery with even more cars, so don’t forget to scroll through.)
We talked a lot about the widebody Camaro from the Roadster Shop, but this more understated 1971 GTO Judge is also worth mentioning. It features a rear wing and nose made of metal, rather than the factory Endura synthetic, and is powered by a supercharged LS. The interior is finished in a sinister black upholstery that’s modernized just a bit without losing its classic style.
You might not believe us, but this ’58 Impala only looks like it’s covered in quilted bare metal. It’s actually painted to create that illusion. Takahiko Izawa is the talented mastermind behind the three-dimensional process that uses engraved filler primer and a metal-mimicking paint. It’s nothing short of amazing.
We’ve photographed Speedkore’s incredible work before, and this carbon-fiber-bodied Charger is yet another in a long line of outstanding muscle cars. Under the hood is a supercharged Hemi built to Demon specs, and the interior is black with carbon fiber trim and lots of great textures to break things up.
Borla displayed this flat-black-and-red Manta Mirage built by Counts Kustoms. Its Borla-stack-injected Chevy small-block made our list of favorite engines, but the rest of the car is too cool to ignore.
The Dynamat booth featured his black-on-black Cadillac lead sled that looks like it belongs in Batman the Animated Series, driven by a mobster in an Art Deco Gotham City. We’d love to seem more customs like this at the show.
This Plymouth Duster, dubbed Kasper, has a great stance, and the graphics on the rear quarter—which mimic the point at the trailing edge of the body—are fantastic. It’s powered by a Hellcat 6.2-liter Hemi.
Steve Keefer from East Bay Muscle cars brought the shop’s latest build, a 1970 Chevelle convertible with LSA power and a totally custom interior. The metallic brown paint was flawless.