Viva Las Vegas: The SEMA Show Is Go!
Hello Sin City

Well here it is, the melting pot of global car culture all under one roof. Well many roofs … and lot of open air spaces too, but you get the point! The annual SEMA Show is a monster in its own right – a huge, intimidating show that will take you days upon days to walk through, and even then there’ll still be cars that you’ll probably miss.


So even though between Mike and myself we probably haven’t physically seen half of what the 2014 event has to offer so far, I thought we would share a quick post of the coolest things we did manage to uncover during the first day…


I haven’t visited Las Vegas since my last SEMA Show back in 2008, and while the tangible energy and overall atmosphere is very much the same, this time around I’ve been enjoying the wider mix of cars that are now on the scene. And as you can imagine, coming from Japan I was naturally drawn to those machines that had an obvious JDM feel about them, like this VIP-styled Lexus LS sporting full K-Break aero.


It should come as no surprise that Miura-san has been rather busy of late shipping out countless bodykits for cars that Rocket Bunny has either built or collaborated on. Case in point: this cool FD3S RX-7 – one of at least three that I saw in and around the Las Vegas Convention Center. I didn’t actually realise just how big of deal overfenders have become in the US scene, but I’ll touch on that in some of my other coverage from the show.


Another FR-S? Sure, there are tons at this year’s show, and all sporting their own twist on the attractive modern-day FR offering. What stood out the most for me on this particular build is that finally someone has come up with an elegant way to hide the ugly stuff in the engine bay. Plus all those covers are made out of carbon fiber, so double points for that in my book!


Okay, I’m biased, but I just love what Keith, Andy and the rest of the team and sponsors have done with Speedhunters’ Scion Tuner Challenge entry. The MAXIMUM ATTACK FR-S oozes details, from the Cosworth supercharger in the engine bay, to the shaved bolts on the KM4SH aero kit, to the shaved door handles, and the beautifully appointed interior – not to mention the overall ’70s IMSA style and retro TRD coloring. The fender mirrors get a huge thumbs up from me, but it’s all down to the judges now and they’ll be casting their final votes tomorrow.


GoPro has the Roadster Shop Camaro on display at their both, and it’s an impressive, detailed build which Mike will be telling you all about in one of his upcoming Spotlight-O-Rama posts.


I admit that I’ve always politely disregarded the Mustang – I’ve just never been a fan personally. But that just changed. Ford has been doing some awesome things lately – first going with the twin cam 5.0L engine, and then with this new car even offering rear independent suspension. I also have to say that this is one hell of a nice looking car; even out of the box it has a ton of potential.


And there are ton of tuned versions on display, showing just how many different routes you can take with this new 2015 car.


However, the one that’s turning the most heads is easily Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s all-new 2015 Mustang RTR demo car, which was just unveiled at the show. Obviously you will able to see and read about this beast in full detail in an upcoming feature. As always, we’re hand-picking the coolest stuff for you guys!


As cool as the new car is, some, however, still prefer the older look. But really, that’s where it stops with Ken Block’s new Gymkhana car, because this thing is off-the-chain crazy and packed with new tech. And yep – we’ve got a full feature on this 845hp all-wheel drive machine coming up soon too!


One car that I’d been hearing a lot about on the lead up to SEMA was the Ring Brothers Chevelle, and here it is. We definitely need to take a closer look at this one!


If you prefer your classics to be of the German variety, then this tasty RSR replica should go down nicely. It was hiding – well attempting to at least – a little shiny surprise up its back side!

JDM Is Strong

If there’s one trend I’ve got a lot of time for it’s running Japanese wheels on German cars. And RAYS are really teasing us with this brand new BMW M4 sitting on equally new Volk Racing ZE40s. With Vorsteiner details and some big Brembo brakes to replace the puny stock stoppers the M3/M4 comes with standard, I’m loving the direction here.


The M4 killer? Well, while we’ll need to take the new Lexus RS F out for a spin before we can pass judgement, there’s certainly no doubting that it’s lacking anything in the looks department against its Bavarian rival. Finally the Japanese are pumping out daring designs! This blue example was built by GReddy and was sitting in the Yokohama wheels booth. The carbon front lip and side skirts – very nice!


Leave it up to Miura-san to extract the most out of a car’s design though… This RC F, also built with in conjunction with GReddy, brings the Rocket Bunny look to what will be one of the most important Japanese cars of 2015. Anyone care to guess how many different flavours we’ll see this Lexus in at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January?


If you haven’t checked out Larry and Mike’s feature on this 700hp 997 Turbo built by BBI and CSF with help from Liberty Walk, I suggest you do as soon as you’re finished here. It’s an amazing machine!


Think the 997 deserves a more colourful hue? Well, the other LB Works Turbo might just do the job! I really like the front bumper design on these cars; Liberty Walk showing that there’s room for other takes on the widened Porsche look for the street.


When in Rome… you know the saying goes. Let’s just say that it’s pretty hard to not take notice of all the crazy domestic builds that feature on every other booth at SEMA. This Stingray is parts of the massive Chevy display, and it stopped me dead in my tracks. The execution of its resto-modding is absolutely first class.


There are, of course, many different takes on this – anything to suit all the styles and tastes that are out there.


I really have to take my proverbial hat off to all these builders – you guys truly redefine what this scene is all about. The attention to detail, the innovation, and all out-of-the-box thinking that I witnessed on the first day has simply blown me away. In my mind, the US scene is definitely where we should all still be looking towards for inspiration.


You name it: fabrication, custom work, prep, paint – it all really stands out no matter where you look. Even in the most unexpected cars that the show has to offer…


If the good old hot rod and custom scene wasn’t enough, there is one area that the US still impresses in: power. Just like our friends Down Under, power is a big deal and people aren’t afraid to push those boundaries. That’s when you not only see crazy builds like this Formula Drift Honda S2000, but how the entire industry supports and promotes it.


Our friend Jon Sibal has been a busy man this year and this Beetle is one of quite a few cars that he designed for the 2014 SEMA Show. I think this VW could potentially represent where these sort of body conversions may be leading to in the near future. Could we possibly be witnessing the departure of visible bolts that hold fender flares to stock bodywork? Perhaps not just yet, but it makes you think!


I was really happy to finally get a glimpse of the car that Toyota has been teasing us with for quite some time. Nothing much to say except, make it. Please make it. Seriously, Toyota, you have to make this!


There’s been a lot of talk about Japanese driver Kenji Yamanaka making a return to Formula Drift next year, and he brought out his new V8-powered, pearl white S15 for the crowds to see. Of course, the V8’s there so that he can keep up with the current pace in FD, but that aside, the style couldn’t possibly be more Japanese.


The Rocket Bunny kit is a must to get the wheels to sit just right, and those too are 6666 Custom items from Miura that compliment the look perfectly. Yamanaka-san ended up having his car wrapped right in the middle of the show during the afternoon – something that attracted a lot of attention from the media.


This is our first glimpse of this year’s SEMA Show, and really only represents a small fraction of what the halls have in store for us. But there is much resting that needs to be done before we head back in the morning for yet more ‘hunting. If there’s anything in particular you guys want to see, make sure you speak out in the comments below and we’ll do our best to bring it to you. Until then, we really need some sleep…

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino

Additional Photos by Mike Garrett 
Instagram: speedhunters_mike



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One word heaven




How much I hate the RC-F grille...


Heaven on Earth! And guys... guys... Don't miss the GT-R's haha!


"M4 killer" - you're so funny, but you're not.
"Leave it up to Miura-san to extract the most out of a car’s design" - were you paid to say this? If you mean by transforming interesting lines into boring inflated fenders - totally agree.


@Danyutz oh don't be such a ball-sack. If you wanna sprout hates, try Youtube




There is a certain pinky something, looks  like a beach watch house/tent thingy in the outdoor picture, lower left corner. Anyone know what it is ?


More muscle cars!


More muscle cars!


I would like to see a post like the one you did some time ago from a japenese parking lot meeting. At that meeting you felt that there was simply too many beautiful cars to not show them all, so you made a post with multiple cars in each. Well, that's me anyway :)


I am beginning to think I am the only one that does not like the looks of the Toyota FT1 concept.  There isn't a single angle that I think that car looks good from.


@Dino @Mike -- If you can, try and find Cartel Customs' Targa  FR-S. I know there are a ton of them, but I've seen a few pictures of this thing and it's truly unique. Has some great throwback touches. Kinda like a certain SpeedHunters FR-S that's also at SEMA this year... ;) Keep up the great work, guys!


Dino, sent you an email, hope you can help.  Thanks for the coverage though, this is great!


There is just too much awesomeness going on right here! More!! More!!


Shaved bolts are becoming a thing! Yes! Now make them out of metal and you're on a winner
(and yes I do know how hard it is, that's the point)


a clean full on side shot of Miura-san's red Rocket(Bunny)C!


a clean full on side shot of Miura-san's red Rocket(Bunny)C without the description signboard in the way!


That Roadster Shop Camaro and Gittin's new Mustang are pretty sweet. I especially like the intake on the Camaro.

See, you don't need covers - just do the top end of the engine right, and the aesthetics handle themselves.


@radiohead869 I think the car just above from SH FRS photo :p
just look the colour though :p


Wow that was insane lol. How not boring. It looks ugh till the "top" goes up then surprise!

turbo BEAMS ae86

@Danyutz show respect young trout.  His shoots, his words, his opinion.   The wise view the photos and drink the words. The ignorant cry like rats.

Gianluca FairladyZ

Wow!!! Very nice S15 and E36! Like the DTM Touch!


Great show!! SEMA rocks, is the grey car dodge charger? looks dope!!


Dhikaz That most certainly is the SH FRS above. The Cartel Customs car draws some timepiece elements in common--louvers, mesh wheels and other interesting bits. :)


FrankCastiglione the only problem i have with the new concept is the front. It doesnt flow well with how the sides come up to it. It just kinda sits there.


Will we get a full feature on that Formula Drift S2K? That thing looks badass!!


Kindly requesting full features for the Rocket Bunny RC F, NSX and every single pro touring ride within the Sema show facilities including Ken Block's Mustang. I am gonna say it. 
Sema has surpassed TAS by a huge margin. I am like "hell yeah". These are some of the fliest builds I have seen in a considerable amount of time. 
With regard to the coverage itself, post as many rides as u can and add short annotations if you have to. You go get me pictures, I will give you my appreciation.


Would be nice to see an old supra or an early lancer not that Evo X. And ofc. Muscle cars.


An article showcasing all of Muirasan's work in Sema this year to piss off the haters. That would be swell.


A 2007 auto-otaku style blog post with a bajillion pictures.


MikeYee Exactly! Tons of pictures. No text or short annotations.


AsgerFriisNielsen YES!!!


Am I the only one who don't like the overfenders?...

it was ok at the begining... with those sutil ones... but now... its just too much...

have a great one everybody!


Certainly can't complain about lack of variety at SEMA, Hopefully I can make it out there one of these years to experience the madness firsthand.




d_rav Hope Dino can get this camry a feature!


d_rav Hope Dino can get this camry a feature!


Mr Mnchk I'm just not a fan of tucking the wheels in said fenders. Seems to be the flavor of the year with over fenders, oh well.


I would love to see some builds based on affordable cars (5th or 6th gen Civic, sw020 MR-2, GC Impreza etc.). Just the cars someone with a normal budget will build, not only the multi-million-sponsored-based-on-a-brand-new-car builds. Basically the cars that everyone picked when te Tuningcraze started somewhere in 1999 or early 2000's. Or don't they exist on the SEMA? :p Would be cool to see how a well executed build in current style looks on those.


Love that end E36!


Am I the only one here who thinks that VW beetle is the sickest looking car out of all? I want one!


I need more~
Gotta love the overfender craze!


Bolt-on overfenders + muscle cars is the thing I've been dreaming about! Get more of this please! (^O^)/


I love how Mr. Miura is making these huge fenders for all cars except the s14. whats the deal with that? s13s have them, s15s, skylines, rx7, but the s14 is missing....kinda depressing guys


any time attack cars there?
I would really like to see them!


SkanderFekir was thinking exactly the same - what about this? :)


Yes! Give me some of that for a zenki and I'll be the happiest person on the planet.


We helped sponsor the Mint colored Turbo Scion FR-S with the carbon fiber engine bay. 
Yes, the FR-S at this point has been done to death but Kendall White ( @stayminty ) did a great job with his. It was done tastefully with all quality parts. Plus many custom made and custom painted parts. You should see the trunk and his air suspension management system. Car is 100% legit and worth checking out if you're at SEMA 2014.

We helped him with Wilwood Rear Brakes, Sparco EVO III Racing Seats, Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 tires and some Perrin Performance engine bay parts. 

If anyone needs parts. Let us know! Follow us on Instagram @fontmotorsports


Anyone know where I can find that RB wing to bmw e36? Sexi as fuck. :D


Anyone know where I can find that RB wing to bmw e36? Sexi as fuck. :D


I'd like to learn more informations about the grey Dodge Charger. Especially the wheels !


I hope the clean wide body conversions are coming back. Something that looks like it rolled out of the factory that wide is nice and clean.


Rocket Bunny RC is a RC350 F Sport not RCF. Nice coverage


It's gotta be mental for Miura to come from his tiny ass shop in Japan to the massive convention center hall and see his fenders bolted to half the cars there. He's gotta be laughing his way to the bank. I mean, it was past the point of indecent a few years ago, but it's just bonkers.


Sir, I think u became one of my favorite people on the planet. Send muira-san a draft so i can finally have me some over fenders!


Sir, I think u became one of my favorite people on the planet. Send muira-san a draft so i can finally have me some over fenders!


Going with the Canadian vote, I still think we need to have someone dress up the RC F with a Lancaster bomber WW II look, and just slip an "A" in the middle (RC-A-F) is all I can think of each time I see the car.


Those retro modded American builds are amazing. The Stingray is on point!. Keep the coverage coming Mike.


More on the VIP scene...mostly because I would like to see more takes on the new Lexus.


I hate to hate....but I couldn't possibly be more over the whole flare/LB walk/RBunny's become so damn boring and predictable.


Spaghetti The overfenders have definitely become overdone ..IMO anyway.


The rocket bunny RCF !!


bhop73 Spaghetti Agreed. If you look on the homepage, half of the stories are either about these types of cars or the cover photo is of one. I mean, WTF????


What happened to posts on car culture from Speedhunters? This is just commercial spotlights and product placement..


If you're taking requests, anything Subaru related! Also very interested to some more M4's!!


FrankCastiglione We are on the same boat here


Can anyone recommend better websites akin to what Speedhunters used to be? Such a shame it used to be a great thing.


I would love to see another feature of Elvis Skender's LS400 now that it has a new look


Adrian Sutil made overfenders? I did not know that!


It is pretty cool. Idlers stamped onto tires? Rwb referance right there! I wonder what Nakai San thinks of it!!


Does it come in black?


Alright, I've found the webpage on this Dodge Charger. It's came from the Roadster Shop :

Enjoy it !


A pic of the 918 on HRE wheels please. Everyone else keeps saying it was a highlight if the show...maybe you are saving it for a feature?


D4k0t4 It's an acquired taste but I like it as it's different. And being different is good in a world where all car manufacturers copy from each other


BeeJaa d_rav Yeah that was a funny one!


SeBaBunea Oh don't worry....


@Danyutz Not funny at all, this is the closest they have gotten to eating away at the M4's (M3s) ground.  Maybe you have driven both cars and you can share your opinions?


AsgerFriisNielsen You know I was thinking about this, but after seeing a couple of the lots here at SEMA the pick ups, SUVs and regular stuff far outweighs the cool stuff. Don't forget this an industry only show, so not open to the pubic so you don't get the same showing of cars in the lots as you do at TAS.  But I'll be hunting those in 2015 of course ;)


AlanChrisK FrankCastiglione I know what you mean, but when you see it up close it make sense


Jjaeger240 Sorry not sure I got it?


TokyoCarGuy More is coming!


econti LOL yes, see my latest feature on the Weld FRS


koknyol I'm sure you might be able to persuade Larry to shoot it :)


MikeYee LOL, well we can't quite ignore it so I guess much pissing off will be done


DPer4mance There are a few around, but not many at all


SkanderFekir LOL


Chris Nuggets Yes my bad


sean klingelhoefer Sure is lol


Spaghetti bhop73 It is getting pretty crazy, but we can't possibly not share it with you. It's not like we aren't balancing it out with other stuff from the show. Just give us time to get all posts out there first! ;)


clevernamehere It's showing what's happening, we aren't making things up here ;)


BSides Check my next post then, the pink car!


gmr Care to be more constructive with your comment?


speedhunters_dino Spaghetti bhop73 I agree, you guys are showing a good balance.  There are a lot of nice non-fendered cars in your coverage too.  I guess I just meant that overall in "the scene" it seems to be a little excessive (the fenders/widebodies).


speedhunters_dino gmr 
You, me and everyone who was a fan of Speedhunters 2 years ago understands.
SH is just a commercial exercise now :(.
The creativity, beauty and ingenuity that made it what it was is gone.


That Silver Widebody Mustang is just fantastic. It really shows what can and should be done in terms of styling. The smooth lines make it look like it came out of the factory that way!
Now compare to the RTR Mustang with it's riveted on flares and unfinished body lines. If anyone prefers the latter, I'm sorry, but your Mother has been spiking your breakfast cereal with essence of handicap, and a dash of Down's.


the gm parade of progress truck please, some details and good pictures. would enrichen the beautiful trucks history


the gm parade of progress truck please, some details and good pictures. would enrichen the beautiful trucks history


clevernamehere How is SEMA "not" car culture?


speedhunters_dino Jjaeger240 I just sent it again to the email address at the end of the article.  It's titled 'RTR Demo car feature'.  Hopefully that time worked?  Thank you sir!


angenzo Haha you mean the GM Futureliner??


SadReally What made it the HIGHLIGHT of the show? That it was sitting on a set of aftermarket wheels but otherwise stock? This is SEMA, there are many more qualified cars to be showcased than a brand new supercar from Porsche.


Where I'm from you have to use the Internet to see any of these builds or to see a supercar. Stock or not one of the first 918's on display and on aftermarket wheels is exciting.


What's up with some of the ugly wheels being put on these cars?