Most Outrageous Rides at SEMA 2011

Monday, 7 November 2011

Everything is more outrageous in Las Vegas. The hotels are massive theme monstrosities, the people are over-the-top and often out of control, and the nightlife is uninhibited they don't call it Sin City for nothing. Its car shows are bonkers, too, especially the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association Show. Not only is it supersized compared with most SEMA has more than 2 million square feet of exhibits but the vehicles on display are some of the craziest and most devilishly innovative custom-made creations in the world.

Speed by Spectre

Totally ludicrous and without a doubt the fastest thing at SEMA this year, this streamliner is a one-trick pony. That trick? Be the fastest wheel-driven vehicle on Earth. With an enormous piston engine capable of unleashing close to 2,000 horsepower, combined with incredibly long gearing and a jetlike aerodynamic body, Spectre's Speedliner has cracked the hallowed 400-mph barrier, leaving the gas-powered beast sitting alone in a field of jet-powered competition. The way this thing stands out is truly remarkable you simply can't look at this 38-foot-long missile without a sense of awe.

Xcaliber Auto Badillac

This striking, green Badillac is a prime example of the level of detail required for a proper restoration. Builder Pete Pettenton at Xcaliber Auto Restorations spent more than six years creating this tastefully 'rodded masterpiece from the dilapidated shell of a 1956 Cadillac DeVille all from home, thanks to a total lack of room at his shop. Intent on building the car as a personal project, Pettenton had full control over the design, helping him to realize his vision of an old-school hot rod. Part of this package involves an enormous supercharger sitting atop a big block 468-cubic-inch Chevrolet engine, good for a stout 850 horsepower.

500 SL Dragster

Have you ever looked at an older Mercedes-Benz 500 SL and thought, "The only thing wrong with this car is that it's not a dragster?" Well, we haven't either, but luckily, Rick Lefever has us covered. Born into a family of racers and not content with mere street-car quarter-mile times, Lefever went the full nine yards with his Benz, creating an entirely custom, stretched Pro Mod dragster, weighing just 1,800 pounds. As you'd expect, little of the original 500 SL remains, although the shell is unmistakable, right down to the surprisingly original paint scheme. The German powerplant was ditched in favor of massive 526-cubic-inch big-block mill, complete with four yes, four turbochargers.

Dominator Tornado Chaser

The Dominator is a different kind of outrageous. It's not your typical flashy SEMA rig, with brighter paint and more horsepower than the next guy. No, it's a purpose-built Chevrolet Tahoe, designed to chase down tornadoes. What kind of person chases down tornadoes, you ask? Our first guess is the clinically insane. If you fall into this category, here is a vehicle for you. It comes with bullet-proof Lexan windows and is draped in brown Line-X truck-bed liner to help protect it from the, uh, elements.

Illest Porsche 911 C4

To you, the Porsche 964 (911 C4) may well be old news. But for enthusiasts, it's ripe for modification. But that's not what this particular car is all about. You see, there's a tuner called Rauh-Welt in Japan that has become something of a legend over the past five years or so. Some have described his work as pure art, and this C4 is one of those creations. We don't know about the art thing, but we do know this car is cool. It is equal parts show and go, with a turbocharger that claims to increase the power output to 400 horsepower.

2010 Pro Stock Dodge Avenger

We thought all Dodge Avengers were in rental fleets. We were wrong. This dragster tips the scales at a featherweight 2,350 pounds, which isn't much when you consider that it's packing a 1,230-horsepower 499-cubic-inch Hemi engine under the hood oh, and it can run the quarter-mile in just over six seconds, at speeds of more than 200 mph. So to recap, that's zero to 200-plus mph in a hair over six seconds.

D3 Cadillac Le Monstre CTS-V Coupe

You just can't look at this 1,001-horsepower monster and tell us it isn't awesome. The name is said to pay homage to wait, who cares? This is a car that the devil himself would drive. The flat-black body couldn't be more appropriate. The perfectly flared fenders just pop over black wheels with subtle yellow accents. And D3 Cadillac has managed to squeeze 1,001 lb-ft of torque out of the engine, too, which should make for a wild time when the car makes its racing debut on the Time Attack circuit. We can't wait.

1960 Cadillac DeVille

OK, so it turns out that a lot of our outrageous picks are Cadillacs. Who knew? We'll bring back the term "Lead Sled" for this unbelievably slick 1960 DeVille, which owner Justin Carrillo has restored from the ground up and dubbed Cruella DeVille. It is our opinion that there is no better vehicle to cruise the Vegas strip, under any circumstances, at any time.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500, the Head Hunter

You know the ride is going to be outrageous when it has an outrageous name. Like, say, the Head Hunter. Sure, this one started life as a Ram 1500, but today it has a 16-inch suspension lift and a 3-inch body lift helpful to fit 46-inch tires under fender. We didn't want to ask how much the custom paint job by Ed Williamson of Kustom Paint cost, but we're sure it wasn't cheap. As you can imagine, the truck has a modification list longer than "War and Peace," so we aren't going into the details. If you're curious, though, it's for sale.


Yep, you read it right it's a Runamucka. Designed and built by Lonnie Gilbertson as a tribute to the Flying Tigers, World War II's famed pack of P40 pilots, this rod has a Jaguar V12 engine (the P40 had a V12), a shark-jaw paint job up front oh, and check out the nose. It's said to be a 1940s Ford cab with a 3-inch chop. But the grille shell is from a '32 Ford, and that has a 2-inch chop. The military theme abounds elsewhere, with WWII gas cans cut to fit over the gas tank, and custom bomber seat upholstery made from Army tent material
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