SEMA Day 2: SEMA Award Winners Chosen, the Ford Connect, and an Awesome Gran Turismo

11/06/2013

by Eileen Marable

Good morning Velocity friends! Here’s the very latest from the show floor. The SEMA Award winners have been chosen for the hottest car, sport compact, truck and 4x4-SUV. In order, the winners are: the Ford Mustang, Scion FR-S, Ford F-Series and Jeep Wrangler are taking home the honors. Speaking of home, what does this mean for the likes of us at home? These awards are given to the cars, trucks and SUVs that are deemed the best for showcasing ad-ons, new products and general modifications. That means all you tinkerers out there have a guide from SEMA as to what you might buy if you want to customize to your heart’s content.

Now, about the Ford Connect. Ford has six on designs on display and the users can vote as to which is the coolest. We love an audience vote! If we were reading the tea leaves the general idea behind the designed Connects and the audience vote seems to be to send the message to the audience (and flower and pizza delivery shops everywhere) this relatively straightforward, functional hybrid can/van can be cool. Or at the very least a cool marketing tool to display your brand – which still seems pretty functional (until you paint your mobile tattoo shop logo on the side.) Still, the ability to use your car to market your business is an interesting twist on the customization trend so kudos on the display Ford.

Ford Connect 6
Photo: Emily Kaiser

Finally: THE. GRAN. TURISMO. CORVETTE. I have to personally editorialize for a second and say as a gamer and a car lover I can barely look at this car without fainting. Chevy has decided to release a real life version of the Gran Turismo 6, of the famous PS3 Game fame.

Gran Turismo
Photo: Emily Kaiser

The Gran Turismo Corvette is a seventh generation Stingray and here is presented in a stunning blue with yellow headlights, carbon fiber trim and aluminum chassis. Under the hood you’ll find an LT1 6.2L V8 engine, seven speed manual providing 460hp and 465 pound-feet of torque.

No release date has been given for the real life Gran Turismo, but for gamers the long awaited Gran Turismo 6 will be released on December 6th.

Gran Turismo 2

Don't forget, today is our SEMA panel with a wide selection of our automotive experts. We'll be filming the panel and bringing it to you as fast as we can turn it around, and if you happen to be a SEMA, make sure your check the program for all the details and drop in and join us.

SEMA Day 1: Crowdsourced Design, Soccer Mom Car Shaken Up and an Insane Toyota Build

11/05/2013

by Eileen Marable

What’s got everyone talking at SEMA as it kicked off yesterday? Lexus and its 2014 IS sport sedan that will receive a radical tuning based on a concept that has been sweeping everything from science projects to solving health problems: crowdsourcing. After all, who better to dream up what a car could and should be but a group of potential drivers, and in this case it is the largest online social network, deviantART. These are some creative and edgy designers and that’s exactly what Lexus was looking for in a winning design, so they put out the call to the community to see what they would come up with, and the result was WOW.

We were lucky enough to have our on-site reporter, Emily Kaiser, take a picture of what the car looks like pre-build. And don’t worry – we’ll be there to try and elbow our way to the front to get the photo of the finished product. It’s kind of a must when you see the design Lexus has put out showing what the winning design looks like.

Here's the before:

  SEMA Day 1.7 deviantART Lexus set up

 And here's the design for the "after" - will it live up to the wicked styling. Man, we hope so!

Lexus1
Photo courtesy of Jalopnik

One of the other things that caught our eye is the Toyota Camry that’s been totally tricked out into a rally car. We let our minds wander back to our youth and picture our mom’s coming screaming over a hill complete with the fog lights blinding everyone in her path to pick us up from school… What can we say. We LOVE rally cars as you can tell by our Eurosport coverage on the weekends.

2013-sema-show-toyota-camrally-main
Courtesy of SEMA

But back to reality, this rally car is just one of an insane Toyota 2013 Dream Build Challenge  where NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman designed the above rally car, and BMW rider Drew Bezanson dreamed up a killer Corolla that apparently could temporarily arrest your hearing with all the gear in the trunk. Supercross stars Justin Brayton and Josh Grant were thinking outdoor action with their Moto Tundra tricked out with every possible need to take over a desert or the snow covered mountain for some action, and lastly Freestyle skier Simon Dumont with a 4Runner designed to be an awesome ski friendly machine.

Check back with us later as we post an exclusive gallery from Emily’s wanderings of the show floor. There are some sexy – and sensible – rides out there. We may love the flash but it takes all kinds in the automotive world, right?

Velocity is Going to SEMA: And We’re Bringing Friends

11/02/2013

VelocityLivePosterWe will be roving the massive showroom floor looking for what might be on car lovers’ holiday lists this year, tweeting out the latest news via @VelocityTV1 #SEMA and providing more in depth coverage here. We can’t wait to see what the manufacturers are rolling out this year…we’re thinking lots of technology but that’s just us.

Plus, we are bringing our friends to SEMA – the hottest automotive experts on TV. We'll have them in our booth and walking the show floor when they can. Here's the line up of our friends:

Chip Foose, Chris Jacobs, and Arianny Celeste from Overhaulin’

Mike Brewer and Edd China from Wheeler Dealers

Wayne Carini, from Chasing Classic Cars

Jessi Coombs from All Girls Garage

Ray Evernham, from AmeriCarna

Dan Short, from Fantomworks

Mike Seate, from Café Racer

Lou Santiago from Car Fix

 

 

Plus, we'll have some of our experts as special guests on a panel on Wednesday. We are partnering with our buddies over at Rev3’s to bring you video of the panel just as soon as our fast fingers can upload it here. Why would you want to see this panel? You'll get wisdom from:

Ray Evernham, Wayne Carini, Chip Foose, Chris Jacobs, Mike Brewer, Edd China, and Jessi Coombs,

 

These people are the real deal and will be telling us where they see the trends heading and talking about their love of cars. It’s absolutely amazing to have all these automotive experts with their wisdom in one room. We are just as excited as you are!

So, keep an eye out for all our posts, tweets, and video from Sunday, November 3 through Friday, November 8.

Are you one of our fans who happens to be attending? We’d love to see you at the panel on Wednesday, November 6th. Check the program for more information.

Muscle Car Memories

10/26/2013

Muscle Car Memories

By Ken Visser

I grew into automotive consciousness in the mid 70’s.  As a 12 yr old I would seek out interesting cars.  My first real photoshoot took two years to lock down since he was in a 66 427 cobra, I on a Schwinn.  And the die was cast,  I am a car nut.  I drew them, I photographed them, I chased them.

My friends and selected schoolmates had muscle cars in high school.  The lucky kids had Trans Ams and GTO’s and Camaros.  I had my Schwinn Super le Tour.  So the muscle car thing is embedded in my memory banks.  The sounds of an American V8 rumbling past the Wyomissing pool, nothing like it, never forget it.

I graduated high school in 1980 so it was the end of a decade of muscle car atrophy.  The oil embargo changed the way people felt about big horsepower.  The Mustang and the Corvette had been emasculated.  My tastes were focused on European stuff.  (For an interesting debate on the origin of the muscle car, check out this article by John Aible.)

I eventually came back to muscle cars by hanging out with my hot rod buddies at the Church of the Holy Donut in Burtonsville, MD.  That V8 sound rumbled back into my heart.  Here are some samples of good ol’ American Muscle. 

Bpfc09 66 shelby gt350 003 sm
A 1966 Shelby GT-350 photographed at the Eastern Concours of the United States.

By 1966, Caroll Shelby had accomplished more then most.  He had won the 1959 24 hours of leMans in an Aston Martin.  A heart condition took him from behind the wheel and towards the creation of the Cobra.  From there he was plucked to make the Mustang sexy for Ford.  The 65 Shelby was raw, fun and fast.  For 1966 the GT-350 lost the Mustang moniker and gained back some refinements like an optional back fold down back seat.

Continue reading >

The most expensive car in the world, crazy eh?

10/03/2013

The Most Expensive Car in the World

by Ken Visser

 

It is simply astounding, just how much some cars have increased in value.  There seems that there is no shortage of gazilliares that are willing to bet big on a finite amount of specialized cars.  And why not?  They perform better then the stock market, as long as you pick the right ones.   

One name dominates the auction market, (both financially and speed wise) Ferrari. Certain vintage Ferraris have been increasing 15% in value yearly, for the past 30 years.  Let's see any stock that can match that!  

The GTO is the king of this particular hill. They were built in very small numbers, 36 to be exact.   I leave it to others to debate whether the 330 LM's should also be counted as GTO's.

The GTO's are the last in the line of cars that you could drive to LeMans, win, then drive home (Maybe second to last, you could include the 275 in this rare club as well.  Nuts, third to last, include the Daytona Competizion.  You get the point.).  It might not have been ultra comfortable, but… what a car! 

And now a Ferrari 250 GTO has been reported to have sold for an astounding 52 million dollars!

Aic12 62 Ferrari 250 gto 3387gt 023 sm
Originally designed as the natural evolution of the 250 SWB (Short Wheel Base) the GTO kept the same dimensions with a surprising adherence to tradition. Using a live rear axle was a typical Ferrari pragmatic engineering, it works, it's reliable, let's use it.  Let the other guys prove that independant suspension is the way to go.  

And history proved this decision right, Ferrari took the International Championship for GT Manufacturers in 62, 63 and 64!

 

Continue reading >


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