Thursday, November 11, 2010

SEMA 2010 - A Renewed Enthusiasm

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – The 2010 SEMA show was a pretty impressive event. After 2-3 years of doom-and-gloom, the energy and excitement we experienced at the show was a welcome change. One of the most impressive cars at the show was the Bisimoto Honda CRZ hybrid. What you ask can be so exciting about a Honda hybrid? How about 533 horsepower from a turbocharged 1.5 liter engine – sounds almost like the old days of F1! What is really impressive, is that ‘Bisi only had 6 weeks to pull-off his magic. When ‘Bisi was presented with the possibility of preparing a CRZ for SEMA, he chose as his goal to build a hybrid with more power than the Porsche GT3 hybrid racer – 480 hp. He far exceeded even his own expectations and was the hit of the SEMA show. Even the New York Times believed it worthy of print. With a 64mm Turbonetics turbo-charger, Golden Eagle intake, Burns Stainless muffler and StopTech brakes, ‘Bisi is ready to hunt Porsches.
At the Mobil One booth, Underground Racing displayed one of their awe-inspiring Twin Turbocharged Lamborghini Superleggera masterpieces. The low-slung, matte-yellow super car could really draw a crowd. Built and owned by Underground racing, this twin-turbo beast does zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds and the quarter-mile in 9.1 seconds, and has a top speed of 169 mph. UR-owner, KC Howeth was at the booth and recounted their recent experience at the Texas Mile. If you haven’t heard of the Texas Mile, it is one of the premier “go-fast” events in the country. Racers from all-around the country meet just outside of Austin TX for the ultimate drag race. A 1-mile blast from a standing start to see who is the “fastest-one-of-all.“ A UR Lambo driven by Tim Holt holds the automobile speed record of 250.1 mph. The fastest speed this year in a car was also a UR Lambo at 243.0 mph. An unfortunate incident this year saw one of the UR Lambos experience a horrible accident during braking. Thank God the driver walked away with only mild bruises.
Other wild cars included a chopped and channeled ’59 caddy (yeah, the one with the biiggg fins). Known as the “Wild Cad”, this right hand drive car sported a neon-purple and silver paint scheme and another fin on the center console – like there wasn’t enough fin already!
My favorite was the “Mercedes-Bent,” a 2004 MBZ 600SL wrapped in a sumptuous 1961 190SL body painted in Ivory White. The twin-turbo-charged V-12 was tuned by Burns Stainless customer Renn-Tech and included a reprogrammed ECU and intercooler. The 19” custom wheels were the finishing touch with a design hearkening back to the ‘60s Mercedes Benz heritage.

And of course, there were girls, girls girls.

Let’s all hope that the excitement of SEMA will extend into 2011 and fuel a resurgence in the automotive racing and aftermarket industries.

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