The Engines Bays Of SEMA

As I was going through my photos from the 2018 SEMA Show one last time, I realized there was a lot I hadn’t shared.

With some 5,500 shots taken over the course of a week, that’s to be expected; you can’t share everything. Nor would I want anyone to see all of my screw-ups and shortcomings in their totality. But, sifting through these shots I noticed a trend. A shot here, a shot there, just of an engine bay. No accompanying shots, no complete story to tell; why did I do this? What was I thinking? Regardless of what was going through my head at the time I figured I’d better shake out my favorite shots of swaps and interesting engines from SEMA.

So, here we are, and we’ll start with that V8-powered R35 GT-R and move on to an eclectic mix of other things.


It’s not just any V8, mind you, it’s a VK45 Daytona Prototype from MA Motorsports. If you aren’t familiar — and I wasn’t — this is the powerplant used in IndyCar’s development series, Indy Lights. Already no slouch, the engine has been fitted with two 91mm BorgWarner turbos and a Holley nitrous system. Just in case.

Converted to rear-wheel drive and apparently the base of something that you can purchase yourself, it’s a shame that the finish wasn’t quite there on this example at the show. Still, it’s a really wicked concept and I’m curious to see if anything comes of it.


Continuing the theme of two big turbos where they don’t belong, here’s a 4,000 horsepower Lexus RC F. It’s worth mentioning this is the EKanoo Racing-built Lexus capable of a a 3.615-second eighth mile and a 5.379-second quarter mile. Built in Bahrain, it’s been purchased by an American who will continue doing American things with the car, I’m sure.


And if you aren’t satisfied with two turbos, perhaps two engines will do?


Or, just maybe, if you have two engines and two turbos, you’ll be able to get four times the work done? I really wish I knew the story behind what I was looking at, which appears to be a diesel block up front, a turbocharged industrial power plant out back for tools and the like, all bolted down to a totally custom frame that happens to have a cab attached.


The level of craftsmanship on display is easily matched by imagination at a show like SEMA.


These wild ideas extend to all genres, evidenced by this Super Trofeo-kitted street legal Lamborghini Huracán, complete with the Sheepey Race treatment. Completely outrageous but right at home at the SEMA Show.

Clean & Simple

Of course, not everything at the show is completely unobtainable. There were plenty of really clean cars at SEMA that wouldn’t necessarily cost your first-born to get your hands on, and make really good sense to boot.


Outside, I noticed this 13B-powered RX-7 in one of the show lots adjacent to the main halls. Every time I see one built, I can’t help but think that the FB/SA is a really under-appreciated platform.


Back inside at the Holley booth I spotted Tom Bailey’s twin turbo Coyote 5.0-swapped Ford Talladega. It’s not a showstopper so to speak, but instead makes use of clean and simple execution to get its point across.


The best part of this car is the fact that the 1969 Torino Talladega is really a NASCAR-bred homologation special from Ford, with less than 800 ever being built. Tom said he had the car set up specifically for burnouts, so I know who I’ll be calling next time I’m in Detroit…


It was cool to see the trend of SEMA excess perhaps being dialed back a bit, with a number of cars that stood out because of their build quality and attention to detail rather than by hopping on the latest hype train.


When it comes to power plants there’s really no shortage of options at SEMA, and in all honesty, I sometimes didn’t even have the words to describe what my eyes were seeing.


In my opinion we’ve already covered a number of what I believe to be the best engine bays from the show in other stories, some in quite extensive detail, so you’ll probably recognize the first few builds in the gallery below.

If not, head into the archives to see what you missed from the 2018 SEMA Show.

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto

Bays For Days


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That rat-rod where you made the craftsmanship-comment was build by/for a cancer survivor, which is why it has black roses up front gradually going to red, and the pristine white interior.
It's meant to symbolize recovery.


I believe local Vegas shop Welder Up garage built this, correct?


Very cool, I love when cars carry that sort of meaning. It's not exactly a build I'd ever do myself, but knowing that I can't help but enjoy it all the more.


The rat rod truck with two engines and stacks. The second engine at the back drives a generator/ welder. The whole truck has a welder theme to it. I want a compound turbo diesel generator now.


What, no Cummins ISF in the Volvo 122?


does anyone have any details on the FB/SA RX7 headlights?


they are chinese LED’s made for Jeep’s and Harleys, and I love them on any build. Just search “Jeep JK LED headlights” or “7 inch led headlights”


sweet, thanks! i guess that means that they should fit miatas and 944's as well.


Lets see some more of that FB! Any details on who the owner is? Shop maybe?


Owner's name is Jesus Lopez. Instagram @projectfbrx7


That R35 in the beginning is real bad quality work.


All show, no surprises.


For anyone who wants to know more about that red R35 from the thumbnail there's this video


The owner of the Ekanoo Lexus is Daniel Pharris of Pharris Motorsports. Local guy to where I'm from and he puts that Lexus to good use.


I think everything that has been shown from SEMA was absolutely worth mentioning. I will be honest though, I am utterly shocked the M5 powered 240z from B Is For Build did not make it on at least this list.
Its not a normal build for you guys and i get that, but what he pulled off in his garage in the time frame he had is amazing.
Still thank you for all the great content


It's in the gallery at the end, as well as the full feature I already did that Dave just linked here. Such a cool car!


is that a magnuson zl1 supercharger i see?


Thanks, Trevor Ryan!!!
Red hako Gold engine bay.

Instagram build @72gonzuka

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

The blue twin-engined car is a 1:1 replica of the Hot Wheels scale model called "Twin Mill".


What is the car with the flame job and Honda B-series under the clamshell hood?


A mini, 2002 or so. It was pretty over the top.


Yeah, a Mini was the first thing that came to mind just because that swap is so common, but the fenders looked off. Maybe it was just the photo angle. Must have been wild.


Any more info on the Super Trofeo kitted Huracán?


I think we have a full feature coming, check the Speedhunters Instagram story right now ;)


"The finish wasn't quite there?" Trevor, the finish on that red R35 is APPALLING, and beating around the bush is an insult to all other entries who actually put effort into the finish. For anyone who doesn't know what I am talking about, it is truly a sight to behold for SEMA!


There's no sense in publicly sandbagging a car when plenty of negativity already exists - the video has already been posted here a couple times. But that is why I only posted a couple shots of it.

Like I said before I showed up to SEMA (after being more closely involved during the week before SEMA) I understand why and how these things happen. The concept is cool, the engine is cool, and I'm sure they just ran out of time rather than that they didn't put any effort in.


I really want dat boosted GReddy K-series for my Civic wagon.....pronto.....