Top Extreme Cars
Michael Leeds and Randy Grubb, a.k.a. the Blastolene Brothers, have earned a rep for building custom vehicles (such as Jay Leno’s “Tank Car”) for an elite clientele, and the B-702 that was on display at SEMA before being auctioned at Barrett-Jackson in January shows why. At 19.5 feet long and 94 inches wide, and with fat front and rear fenders and flowing silver headers, the B-702 looks like something out of every car guy’s dreams. Under its immense hood is a 702-ci V12, and the car’s handmade aluminum body rides on a custom frame. Add to this glass grille bars, hand-blown glass taillights and maroon leather interior, and you have the most elegant and unique ride at SEMA ’07.
Pop Art Scion
Pop artist Ron English is known for subverting billboard advertisements to attract attention, and there’s no way that the Scion tC he tweaked couldn’t attract a crowd in the foyer of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Central Hall. The car is covered with dozens of decals featuring English’s ying-yang artwork that light up in random patterns using electroluminescence, while a hologram covering on the windows makes it appear as if the interior is filled with goblins and other creatures. The tricked out tC is also lowered 1¾ inches with Eibach springs and rolls on 19-inch custom Coddington billet wheels.
One Hot Vette
There’s no shortage of hot Corvettes at SEMA, but Rod Saboury’s ’63 Twin Turbo Vette parked in the Moroso booth was the hottest—as well as the world’s fastest street-legal car, according to Saboury. The elongated engine bay houses a 2200-horsepower 400-ci small block engine, while the back end has a sheet metal “floater.” The exterior is covered with wild graphics on the sides and hood. But even with all of this customization and speed, the car is still street-legal—and still has factory roll-up headlights, power windows and even cupholders.
Down Under Merc
Cool hot rods are a dime a dozen at SEMA, but the “Mercules” in the House of Kolor booth was the coolest, and not just because it came all the way from Australia. Owned by Aussie Bruno Gianoncelli and built on the chassis of a ’50 Mercury, the cool blue rod saw 175 body mods including a 4-inch roof chop. And its 6.8-liter V10 supercharged powerplant ensures it can literally leave other rods in the dust.
Something about the Pontiac Solstice SD-290 concept car invites climbing in, strapping into the four-point harness racing seat and hitting the track. The sleek Solstice has a covered passenger cockpit, no windshield, a built-in roll bar and custom front fascia, grille inserts, front fenders and rear spoiler. It’s coated in candy-apple red paint and shod with custom 19-inch wheels and Hoosier Racing tires. Under the custom hood is an Ecotec 2.0 liter turbocharged engine that produces 290 horsepower.
Dazzling SL 600
While the D.A.D. Mercedes SL 600 didn’t make its debut at SEMA ’07, it’s still a showstopper, as the constant crowds snapping pictures around it attest. There are over 300,000 reasons it’s so popular, which is the approximate number of Swarovski crystals attached to the vehicle’s body to give it its sparkle. The crystals not only cover every inch of the car’s exterior, but also parts of the interior, including the center console, door trim and rearview mirror. Sunglasses are recommended for drivers, as well as for passers-by.
Every year Alpine’s Advanced Application R&D team comes up with a one-of-a-kind vehicle, and every year they outdo themselves. This year’s model is a Mercedes R500 dubbed the Imprint RLS to show off Alpine’s latest signal processing technology. But it also showcases the abilities of Alpine’s best installers. The vehicle’s suicide doors are attached to the front seats, which swivel outward for driver and passenger ingress and egress. Motorization is also used on an amplifier rack that holds six Alpine PDX amplifiers and rotates out of the back of the vehicle. And those wheels? They’re custom 26 and 30 inchers from TIS.
Several crazy “donks” could be spotted over in the South Hall among the wheel manufacturer booths, but the most outrageous among them was an ’88 Caprice lifted to fit 30-inch Asanti 143 wheels. All of the car’s suspension parts are chromed or painted to match the House of Kolor Violet Kandy body color, while the interior is wrapped in white Coach leather, white ostrich skin and purple suede. Rearing its head out of the engine compartment is a massive blower crowning the 400-ci small block engine, which is further fortified with a Weiland supercharger and fed by two chromed Holley Dominator carburetors.
Across the aisle from Asanti’s Caprice donk was Rolling Big Power’s giant ’05 Ford F-250 Super Duty truck owned by Jeff Jansen of Diamond Bar, California. The truck is lifted 40 inches and rides on massive RBP 902 20 x 12 RBP wheels wrapped with 54 inches of rubber. Added to the 6.8-liter V10 engine is an RBP air intake and a RBP power programmer. Out front is an RBP two-tone, black-trim grille with a chrome center, while an RBP turbo-back dual exhaust brings up the rear.
The Camry may not be the first car that comes to mind when you think of a lowrider, but the Camryder in Toyota’s booth could change that. The rear doors of the Camry are molded into the body of the car, while the front doors are lengthened and modified to open suicide style. The center of the roof is cut out and the door handles and mirrors are shaved. The colorful exterior is courtesy of Kolor Kings of Pomona, California, while the murals were done by famed lowrider artist OG Abel. The custom fiberglass interior features hand-stitched seats and a Pioneer sound system that’s perfect for blasting Santana.