10 top picks from SEMA 2022

Some of our favourite metal on show at this year’s bonanza

Photographers: Mark Boxer

The 2022 SEMA Show is in full swing over in Las Vegas, which means an influx of rad cars from many of the world’s most talented builders. As COVID worries fade and more punters head to Vegas, there’s a proper feast of great stuff on offer. Here are 10 of our favourites so far!

It takes a major set of ’nads to restomod an original Plymouth Superbird, but that’s just what Salvaggio Design did to this Petty Blue stunner. It’s now got a Hellcat 707 donk up front, topped with a chunky Hellephant-spec blower courtesy of Direct Connection.

Power comes through an eight-speed ZF auto, and the whole shebang is bolted to a Detroit Speed chassis. Pleasantly, the interior retains lots of old-school charm.

Comedian Kevin Hart is known to have an eye for modded muscle, and he’s just added this Caddy-powered ’87 Buick GNX to his stable. Dubbed ‘The Dark Knight’, this Dave Salvaggio build packs a turbocharged LF4 V6 (normally found in Cadillac ATS-Vs), now good for about 650hp through an eight-speed auto.

Other sweet touches include a four-linked rear, 19-inch HRE hoops that pay tribute to the original meshies, and a carbonfibre and leather interior.

Major roof chop aside, the Maniacs Garage crew sliced seven inches from the body of this 1949 shoebox Ford to plonk it atop a 2008 BMW 335i. Power comes from the factory N54 straight-six, with a Garrett G30 snail sitting proud.

Much of the BMW’s functionality remains, from air con to the modern gauge and steering column set-up. Those massive flares (barely) hide 305- and 345-wide rubber on custom Hostile 20s. They call it ‘Born 49ain’, which admittedly works better on paper than when spoken.

From the tube chassis to the sheet-metal cab, Sean Puz’s ‘Excalibur’ truck is all hand-made, with a mid-mounted crate LS3 and 700R4 auto tucked under the acres of immaculately polished stainless steel and aluminium.

The truck is Sean’s second tilt at a self-built body, while Frankland Racing supplied a quick-change rear end. Harley-Davidson Daymaker headlights and Viper tail-lights are just about the only OEM bits.

How do you make the only Hellcat Redeye-swapped Dodge Durango SUV even more bad-arse? Just hand it off to drag racer Tom Bailey and the crew from Sick Co. What results is a completely fabricated race car with an SUV body draped over the top, powered by a screw-blown Gen III Hemi that should easily go sevens after the expo.

Known as a Datsun 1200 ute here, this Nissan Sunny truck built by Timmy Pike is more than just an EV swap. Both the motor and batteries are from a Nissan Leaf; however, in an awesome twist, they’re still connected to the original four-cog manual ’box. The front end is taken from a Hakosuka Skyline, and the wheels are 17-inch one-off units from Rotiform.

Built by Flat Out Autos in Arkansas, this ’68 International Travelall owned by Randy Wilcox offers old-school cool with all the new tech underneath. The skeleton is a Roadster Shop chassis, with a crate LT4 donk up front backed by a Bowler transmission. Baer brakes sit under the bigger Forgeline wheels, and it even has rear air con!

Mike Borough’s Ferrari 308 is more than just a widebody and wing deal, unveiled with a K24 Honda four-pot swap in place of the original Italian V8. The grunt is fed through a five-speed sequential gearbox, and the car sits on hand-built suspension with AP Racing brakes.

Fed by a Garrett G42, the little K24 is said to be capable of 1000rwhp!

Pro-level drifter Ryan Tuerck joined forces with TRD for this build, taking an oddball 1966 Toyota Stout and turning it into a Formula Drift-spec sliding machine. Awesome bits include a full tubular chassis, cantilever rear suspension, Holinger six-speed sequential manual and a Toyota 3SGE turbo four-pot.

The ‘PistachioFD’ RX-7 built by Gooichi Motors in Florida made waves at the show this year, as would any car with an M197 Mercedes V12 shoehorned under the bonnet! This one also wowed crowds at SEMA way back in 2003 with an LS swap, back when those were still a wild thing. Other highlights include the ITBs and the unique widebody.