12 of the Best from SEMA 2011

Best Booth Cars – PPG

Getting to what we all care most about… cars! Although new Camaros and Mustangs dominated in terms of numbers – there were some excellent classics and hot rods scattered in among them. The most impressive collection was featured in the PPG booth. Not only did they have a massive Chrysler, they also had a sick Wagon, and an amazing retro-active concept car – the “Imperial Speedster.”

1957 Chrysler LeBaron

1957 Chrysler Lebaron, sema 2011 cars, custom chrysler lebaron

This 1957 Chrysler Le Baron was too huge to fit into one picture, but I can insure you that every inch of it was amazing.

1957 Chrysler Le Baron, sema 2011 cars

Not only were these cars amazing, their engines were some of the prettiest I’ve seen! The Chrysler was sporting this 392 Hemi with Retrotek Electrome Fuel Injection. Made to look like Stromberg 97 carbs, eight of them are perched on a Weiand Drag Star manifold.

1959 Ford Ranch Wagon

1959 Ranch Wagon, custom ranch wagon, sema 2011 cars

Being in PPG’s booth, the huge body of this 1959 Ford Ranch Wagon lent plenty of metal to let its paint shine. The 100% customized wagon’s owned by California native Norm Ricardo. The paint and bodywork was laid down by paint master Darryl Hollenbeck.

1959 Ranch Wagon, sema 2011 cars

Equally impressive was the 292 Y Block under the hood. I loved the cool contrast of the vintage gold finish on the three 200 cfm Demon 98 carbs.

Imperial Speedster

Imperial Speedster, sema 2011

As you know, there never was a roadster version of the Chrysler Imperial – but this “Imperial Speedster” was made to look like what it would’ve been if the guys in Detroit decided to make one. With over 10,000 hours going into body customization’s to make a 4-door Chrysler into a speedster – my favorite detail was that all the work was accomplished in a 2 1/2 car garage with help from about every skilled set of hands in Detroit.

Imperial Speedster custom cars sema 2011

I’m not sure if that’s a rocket or an engine powering this Speedster, but it sure is good lookin’!

Best Ride

1969 AMC AMX at Centerforce Clutch

sema 2011, custom 1969 amc amx

Showcars are usually just that – for show. So it isn’t very often you get an offer to sit in a booth’s car. But this 1969 AMC AMX is a different story – I would expect no less from its owner, Jimi Day, organizer of the annual Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational (the race held the day after SEMA to give the “real” cars a chance to prove their stuff!)

When the fellas at Centerforce Clutch, where this car was shown, asked me to take a seat I was happy to oblige. With so much passion behind their engineered performance clutches, you can’t blame them for trying to convert a gal who drives an automatic! They wanted me to feel how smooth and easy the clutch felt – and as you can see by the smile on my face, it felt great!

sema 2011 cars, 1969 amc amx

Not knowing much about muscle cars, I looked up some info on the AMC AMX. Produced only between 1968-1970, the AMX was the only all-American steel-bodied 2-seater being made during the time. A rival for the Corvette, this speedy car gave it a run for its money – not only back in the day but also at the OUSCI race on Saturday where it held its own.

sema 2011 amc, 1969 amc amx, ls2 engine

With a 550 horsepower LS3 engine under the hood and a host of goodies from Centerforce twin-disc clutch, Wilwood 6-caliper disc brakes, and Heidt’s Pro-G suspension and more, this car was made to drive.

Need more of the cars?! Check out some of my other SEMA show floor favorites in the MyRideisMe.com gallery – More SEMA 2011 Pictures!

And here’s one more set of SEMA 2011 Pics…

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