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SEMA attracts builders from all different walks of life, which means that there are a ton of varying tastes represented here, good and bad.
Before you get all mad at me, some of the cars here are actually quite nice, but for one reason or another weren’t my cup of tea. I have very particular tastes. Here are six of the biggest misses for me from this year’s SEMA show.
Ring Brothers 1972 AMC Javelin
This one is going to make a lot of people angry. This is the Ringbrothers’ take on a 1972 AMC Javelin, and while we think the build is really well done and the Javelin is a good-looking car, the whole reason this car is on the list is that it used to be an amazing original 1970s street machine with cool graphics. This car had an incredible life as a street machine in the ’70s and the ’80s, but now that history has been erased by totally changing this car and taking away all the things that made it so unique. The build is amazing, but the unfortunate loss of history to make this showpiece means that it had to make my list.
Stanced BMW with Skyline Engine
This stanced late-’90s or early-2000s BMW has been outfitted with an RB26 engine from a Nissan Skyline GT-R, which is a real shame because the RB26 is an excellent engine that’s been put into this terrible car. The wheels are cambered beyond use, the whole thing is purple (and smelled like grape vape smoke) and the inside is covered in awful Hoonigan stickers. This thing drives me nuts because I know that nobody is going to utilize Nissan’s amazing engine the way it was intended. This is purely a show car.
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai brought a whole bunch of weird stuff to SEMA this year, and it’s great to see they have a sense of humor. Every ridiculous SEMA cliché is present on this Santa Fe — it’s lifted, has awful camo stickers, a light bar, and Rockstar logos everywhere. For the most part, I could totally see myself offroading it and having quite a lot of fun because I wouldn’t feel too bad about flipping it.
1972 Corvette ‘Menace’
They call it the Menace, but we’re calling it the “Wal-Mart Batmobile” because it looks like somebody went to the toy section and decided that Batman should drive a C3 Corvette. The Corvette has yellow/orange and black all over and it doesn’t actually look too bad as a theme, but again, it’s a whole bunch of the same old clichés we’ve already seen: Weird headlights, ugly side vents, momo steering wheel, and a tacky aero spoiler. It could be seen as cool to some people, but for me, the whole package doesn’t work.
This Camaro was in one of the wheel booths, which is where we saw a lot of awful stuff because everybody wants to show that you can put a set of 22-inch wheels on anything. This used to be a ‘70 or ‘71 or ’72 Camaro, but now it has a terrible body kit, has been dropped to the ground ,and fitted with giant ugly wheels. Looking at it from the front, it looks like a Dyson. As far as I’m concerned, looking like a vacuum cleaner isn’t on my to-do list.
ALSO SEE: 2017 SEMA Show Full Coverage
1966 Chevrolet Corvair
Unsafe at any speed and ugly standing still, this is a Corvair low rider. The Corvair is actually a beautifully designed car that’s been ruined here by dropping it to the ground and making it look the like the wheels are broken. They’ve also made the doors look broken by turning them into suicide style, which is a nice departure from Lamborghini style, but still bad.
Admittedly, the paint job is amazing, which is why it’s at a paint booth. It’s got awesome metal flake all over and it looks beautiful. It’s just too bad they did it to a Corvair, which is really not a lowrider’s automobile. What we didn’t get to see because the car was inside and under the lights of SEMA was that this car actually has glow in the dark letters that say love and peace and things like that, so it would be really cool to see this thing cruising the strip at night, but for now, we’re just going to imagine how awful that would be.
Do you think you’re a better driver than everyone you know?