SEMA Battle of the Builders ‘Top 12’ named

by | Nov 2, 2022 | 0 comments

The SEMA Battle of the Builders top 12 finalists have been announced, pitting Porsche against Pinto, Chevy against Ford, and Nissan against Toyota.

The competition recognizes one winner in four different categories:

  • Hot Rod & Hot Rod Truck
  • 4 Wheel Drive & Off-Road
  • Sport Compact, Import Performance, Luxury & Exotic
  • Young Guns—before crowning the coveted title, Battle of the Builders Champion.  

While a panel of industry experts narrows down the selection of vehicles, it’s the builders themselves who ultimately select the four class winners as well as the overall winner.

The top 4 will be announced Thursday, November 3, at 1:30 p.m., in North Hall #10139, and the winner will be crowned on Friday, November 4, at 3:00 p.m., on Silver Drive.

2022 TOP 12 BUILDER FINALISTS

HOT ROD/ HOT ROD TRUCK

Ringbrothers 1948 CHEVROLET PICKUP LOADMASTER

BOOTH: MOTHERS BOOTH/LOCATION: 22357

This original-cab 1948 Chevrolet loadmaster is the result of 2,500 design-engineering hours and 8,600 construction hours. The vehicle is chopped 4 in., narrowed 4 in., lengthened 2 in., and wedge cut 2-4 in.

Through the cab. Carbon features include a two-piece clamshell hood, belly pan, diffusers, doors, bed sides, spoiler, brake ducts, side air intakes, fan shrouds, door panels, dash, seats, torque tube, headliner and seats. The pickup further boasts an open-wheel design, Porsche 911 pin drive and hre wheels wrapped in 18-in. Race slicks, front and rear.

The Ahlman engineering-designed chassis incorporates a roadster shop cantilevered independent suspension front and rear, a corvette tube-transaxle 480ls transmission, Ohlin shocks and Brembo brakes. Good for 1,000 hp on race gas, the 510ci Todd Goodwin engine boasts a Kinsler fuel-injection eight stack, custom ss headers, titanium side exhaust and a “ton of machined parts.”

Tyler Nelson 1958 FORD F100

BOOTH: MOTHERS SOUTH BOOTH/LOCATION: SILVER LOT

Tyler Nelson’s 1958 Ford F100 specs include: wheel openings pulled forward; a widened box gapped to the cab; extended rockers; custom roll pan; custom billet bed floor inserts; hand-built tailgate with EZ lift design.

The shaved and pancaked roof incorporates flush-mount glass.

Also, incorporated:

  • Custom bumpers; one-piece billet grille; one-off wheels; hood opening changed to open only on top;
  • Extended fenders to meet the hood top;
  • Whipple-supercharged Ford Racing Coyote motor; custom-built chassis; one-off gauges;
  • Custom leather interior; leather floor with carpet inserts on floor; custom-machined pedals and shifter; and custom-machined single-pivot hood hinges.

Tim Devlin 1934 CHEVROLET ROADSTER

BOOTH: HRIA BOOTH/LOCATION: 23295

This vehicle was built as an all-Chevy platform to go up against the Fords in AMBR competition. The roadster was designed by Eric Black to evoke a traditional yet extremely elegant vibe.

The car features all-steel construction using a ’29/’31 Holden-bodied roadster, and the chassis is a one-off Roadster Shop design with cantilever coilovers. Wheels, grille, windshield, trim and interior are also all one-off machined pieces. Power derives from a 650hp Dart LS with hidden EFI and a five-speed manual transmission.

The vehicle’s custom gauges are by Classic Instruments, and its convertible top manually opens into the hinged tonneau sculpted into the body. The paint has no metallic, and the other finishes are Cerakote. Devlin’s roadster was built to be a champion and is succeeding—it is the current AMBR winner and Goodguys Street Rod of the Year, and now a BOTB Top 12 contender.

SPORT COMPACT, LUXURY & EXOTICS

TJ Russell 1991 PORSCHE 911 BAJA

BOOTH: FRONT OF CENTRAL HALL BOOTH/LOCATION: V052

The “BAJA 911” started life as a 1991 Porsche Carrera 4 Cabriolet before receiving the full treatment from Russell Built.

This luxury Prerunner-inspired build merges world-class, race-bred engineering and chassis fabrication with the fit and finish expected from concourse-level show cars.

The vehicle seamlessly merges a purpose-built Baja race-prepared chassis, long-travel suspension, an exclusive AWD drivetrain, and all the modern-day creature comforts into a highly refined luxury dual-purpose Porsche 911.

Shawn Bassett 1991 NISSAN SKYLINE GT-R

BOOTH: MOTON BOOTH/LOCATION: 20555

Competitive as a modern race car but with some serious style points, this 1991 Skyline GTR started life as an Omori Factory-built (NISMO) car but never raced until now, after a full custom rebuild.

The engine is fully built and stroked 2.8L RB26. BMW DCT utilizes 200-millisecond shifts via a custom paddle-shift steering wheel. The custom Winters Quick Change differential dials in the gear ratio. The Skyline rides on special-edition Volk TE37 wheels with 295/35/ZR R888R Toyo Tires. The carbon-fiber body and aero were fabricated in-house. Engine management and PDM are full Motec/Milspec.

The build incorporates custom-built billet suspension arms and Moton three-way coilovers and Air Jacks. The Skyline also has an AP Pro5000 Big Brake kit and a custom dry- sump oiling system. There is also a chassis-mounted APR Performance 70-in. Dual Element Wing.

CJ Pullman 1977 FORD PINTO

BOOTH: FRONT OF CENTRAL HALL BOOTH/LOCATION: V319

This is a 1977 Pinto crusing wagon with a big twist. It’s built on an Art Morrison chassis with IFS/IRS, and powered by a 2.3L Ford EcoBoost with a Precision turbo running through a Garrett intercooler. Mountune supplied the dry-sump system to finish up the engine. For stopping power, there are Wilwood four-piston brakes on all four corners.

The custom interior is by DJ Designs, and the Classic Paint was laid down by Art Hemsiland and supplied by PPG. To wrap it all up, the Pinto sits on a set of classic BFGoodrich white-letter tires. In bringing the vehicle to the 2022 SEMA Show, Pullman said he “wanted to build something that had a very classic look but has all the creature comforts and reliability of a new car.” He added, “I hope you like it, and I look forward to being invited to the BOTB.”

4-WHEEL DRIVE & OFF-ROAD

Ringbrothers 1972 CHEVROLET K5 BLAZER

BOOTH: HRIA BOOTH/LOCATION: 23295

Riding on a Roadster Shop chassis, BULLY’s 6.8L. 1,200 horsepower is transferred to the ground through a Bowler Tru-Street GM 4L80E automatic transmission. The Currie Dana 44 front and Dana 60 rear axles tie to the chassis via a triangulated four-link suspension that employs two FOX coilover shocks per wheel.

Stopping power is provided by Baer six-piston brakes on all four corners. A Holley Dominator EFI system handles fuel- management duties while Motul lubricants keep the engine at peak performance. Flowmaster headers and mufflers customized by Ringbrothers deliver the soundtrack. Inside, the Blazer features fully custom upholstery by Steve Pearson at Upholstery Unlimited. The in-house fabricated seats use an aesthetic based on the theme of “floating” and combine the Blazer’s rugged nature with supreme craftsmanship.

Three individual pods separate the dashboard and house the Dakota Digital instrumentation and custom Ringbrothers carbon- fiber steering wheel.

Cody Dabney 1970 FORD F-250

BOOTH: CENTRAL HALL BOOTH/LOCATION: CO7

The Velocity Modern Classic’s 1970 F-250 build reimagines the iconic classic pickup with modern luxury features. The truck pairs a carefully restored body on a Roadstershop chassis, a Coyote V8 engine with custom exhaust, and a hand-crafted interior with modern creature comforts.

The entire restoration process has been handled in-house by the Velocity team, from rendering and custom Glasurit paint to custom-machined exterior components and hand-finished leather interior. The truck also features custom-valved Fox Shocks, all- new Dana axles, Baer Brakes, an Atlas II Transfer Case, Dakota Digital Gauge Cluster, Vintage Air air conditioning, a Retro Sound Huntington Head Unit, Morel Sound System, Moore & Giles interior materials, and J.W. Speaker Headlights.

Greg Ward 1971 TOYOTA FJ40 LANDCRUISER

BOOTH: NORTH HALL BOOTH/LOCATION: 10215

Greg Ward says, “This Landcruiser has to be one of the nicest versions we have released to a customer to date, with about 3,000 hours [going] into building it.” One of the major reasons this truck is so stunning, he added, “is because the customer understood how hard it is to build a custom vehicle.”

Not rushing the process allowed the end product to be that much more amazing. The Landcruiser boasts a GM Performance LS crate motor bolted to a new late-model Toyota H55F five-speed transmission and a new OEM transfer case. From a distance, the vehicle looks like a stock FJ40, but up close you’ll start noticing all sorts of hidden features from the custom sound system to cold air intake.

The refinements include True Dual Systems exhaust, an electric e- brake, Vintage Air air conditioning, custom paint, Black Rhino wheels, Raptor-lined interior, a power-steering swap, a new HFS steel tub, M8274 Warn Winch, Bilstein shocks and more.

YOUNG GUNS | 29 & UNDER

Cameron Cocalis 2015 SCION FR-S

BOOTH/LOCATION: TOYO TREADPASS

This Scion boasts a tube chassis and interior cage to replace the original structure with a nearly completely space-frame design. It features cantilever/pushrod rear suspension, fabricated paneling throughout, an LS3 376/525 long-block enhanced with aftermarket accessories, a custom equal-length 8-into-1 header, Tremec Magnum F transmission with sequential conversion, and a hidden rear-mount radiator setup.

Additional upgrades include Haltech Elite 2500 engine management, a Radium fuel system, an FDF Fab suspension arms and angle kit, Wilwood six-piston front and dual four-piston rear brakes, a Pandem V3 widebody kit, and Work S1 3P wheels. An Airlift 3P suspension, custom exhaust, custom two-tone paint job, and numerous other parts and fabricated components round out the package. All fabrication, engine work, paintwork, installations and overall design were done by Cocalis.

Austin Phipps 1966 CHEVROLET NOVA

BOOTH: BATTLE OF THE BUILDERS BOOTH/LOCATION: 10139

Austin Phipps’ 1966 Chevrolet Nova specs include: an LS3 engine with a BTR stage 4 PDS cam, a Whipple 2.9 Supercharger, a custom titanium dual filter intake and a 3-in. stainless oval exhaust.

The interior has one-of-one Custom TMI seats, door panels, a headliner with an all-metal ’59 Impala dash and Restomod air vents. It also has a Sparc Industries steering wheel with a custom center console, custom pedals, custom Wilwood pedal arms and a custom hardline airline display.

The body has shaved door handles, a shaved wiper cowl, custom inner fenders, a shaved custom firewall, custom-mix blue paint, and burnt- bronze Cerakote with a color-matched bedliner on the bottom side. Wheels are a one-of-one set of Rushforth Prowler, Nexen Nfera AU7 tires, and Wilwood four-piston brakes. The suspension has a Scott’s Hotrod front clip.

Josh Michels 1966 CHEVROLET CORVETTE

BOOTH: BATTLE OF THE BUILDERS BOOTH/LOCATION: 10139

Josh Michels’ 1966 Corvette specs include: a ’19 Corvette ZR1 755hp LT5 motor with a GM 8L90 paddle- shifted automatic transmission; ’19 Corvette ZR1 spindles and control arms, ‘19 Corvette ZR1 carbon ceramic 15-in. rotors; and ’19 Corvette Brembo carbon ceramic calipers. It also includes a Camaro ZL1 independent rear with 3.73 gears; a McLeod dual disc clutch; a Roadster Shop Spec 7 chassis; ’17 Corvette Laguna Blue paint; Forgeline custom-built rims, 19×9.5 front/19×12 rear; 275/30/ZR19 front tires, 355/20/ZR19 rear tires; custom tucked bumpers; Vintage Air air conditioning, Dakota Digital gauges, Lamborghini Italian creme leather interior; custom-made center console and dash; custom rear floor and tubs to accommodate 355-series tires in the rear; a new front clip, quarters and taillight panel; and a custom TIG-welded exhaust.

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