There's a helluva lot that goes on during SEMA week, including a number of award ceremonies. We won't bore you with who won SEMA's New Product Award or all the muscle cars nominated in other competitions. What we will tell you is the 411 on a rivalry we've paid close attention to for the last 13 years—the Sony Gran Turismo Awards.
The GT Awards puts five cars from different worlds against each other (Asian Import, Euro, Domestic, Truck, and Hot Rod). This year, I had the honor of judging "Best Asian Import." After my tally, the final score sheet read Sung Kang's 240Z, and what happened next wasn't quite unexpected…
After each car is nominated in its respective category, head honcho of Gran Turismo, Kazunori Yamauchi, picks the overall winner. The grand prize? The winning vehicle becomes an actual car in a future Gran Turismo game that players can actually drive.
It's been years since a Japanese car won the entire competition, but low and behold, Sung's FuguZ just happened to take the gold. It's nice to know Kazunori and I see eye to eye... He's got good taste!
Congrats to all the winners, and if you're building a car for this year's SEMA, don't forget to register early for a chance to be featured in one of the most respected driving simulators in video game history!
Big ups to Kenji Sumino and the rest of the GReddy team—one of the reasons the FuguZ came together!
Did we mention Sony knows how to throw one kickass party, too? This year's was poppin' off until 3 a.m. at Marquee Nightclub at the Cosmopolitan!
OVERALL WINNER, BEST ASIAN IMPORT
Sung Kang's '73 Datsun 240Z
HIGHLIGHTS TRA Kyoto widebody kit; GReddy-built RB26DE; Volk Racing TE37V wheels; owned by a guy everyone knows as Han
David Salvaggio's '70 Dodge Charger
HIGHLIGHTS custom carbon-fiber exterior and interior; full custom frame; twin-turbo 9.0L Mercury Racing engine; 1,650 hp (Holy shiznit!)
BEST HOT ROD
Brett Behrens' '78 Ford Mustang
HIGHLIGHTS V-10 power; rear-mounted transaxle; C6 Corvette suspension; 50/50 weight distribution; 396 and 475 lb-ft of torque; simply badass
Terry Rose's '68 Chevrolet C10 Pro-Touring
HIGHLIGHTS supercharged LS3; 700 hp; custom chassis on coilovers; more than 50 custom body modifications; '55 Chevy dash swap; classic looks with race car performance
Michael Burroughs' '85 BMW 535i
HIGHLIGHTS Group 5–inspired widebody; tube chassis; race-prepped S38 straight-six engine; BBS centerlock wheels; resurrected from the dead