A moment of honesty: we always feel a little surprised hitting up the Toyo Treadpass—that strip of car enthusiast nirvana in between the Las Vegas Convention Center's Central and South Halls—at the SEMA Show each year. Lately, the tire co.'s media people have sent out a bulletin days in advance of the event supposedly outlining the display cars in the booth, but then we get to Las Vegas and see they've brought so much more! It's like they were holding out! And not substandard filler, either—this is the good stuff, some of the cleanest builds around.
Yesterday we gave you the teaser, today is the full Monty, including getting up close and personal with the vehicles in the press release, like John Sarkisyan's 1955 Mercedes Gullwing bodied SLK32, the Exoticar 1988 Ferrari 328GTS, and Shawn Bassett's V8-time attack Datsun 240Z.
Sarkisyan gained SEMA Show fame last year with his two vehicles in the Treadpass, a gray 356 and a matching 912 Porsche. Both cars were over-the-top in their design and workmanship, much like this year's Gullwing—the cabin upholstery alone will leave you speechless. A KW suspension lowers the Gullwing's stance, while HRE 305 wheels are wrapped with 18-inch Toyo Proxes Sport max performance summer tires.
Exoticar's 328GTS was a long-term project abandoned for several years by a previous builder but today rocks a carbon Kevlar widebody kit and original carbon fiber 458 GT3 side view mirrors, the mods tied together with Ferrari PPG Grigio Medio paint. JRZ struts combined with an AccuAir e-level air ride system lower the car over the 18X9.5-inch front and 19X12.5-inch rear Rotiform DNO wheels finished in Matte Death Bronze with Satin Black hardware.
Bassett built his S30 240Z in his home garage, which is pretty remarkable considering it sits on a full FIA spec tube chassis outfitted with an all custom or aftermarket S13 240SX suspension and BC Racing ZR coilovers. The 240Z has a full custom carbon fiber body that is approximately 12-inches wider than a stock 240Z and includes a custom carbon wing, hand-fabricated carbon fiber dash with Autometer gauges, Titan seats, Wilwood pedal box, and a handmade brake. Under hood is a mildly built aluminum Chevrolet 5.3-liter LS engine mated to a T56 transmission. A custom Driveshaft Shop carbon fiber driveshaft delivers power to the rear axle. To help stop the car, a Wilwood big brake kit is used up front along with dual rear calipers and EBC brake components. Custom-built 18-inch BC forged wheels are wrapped with 295-front and 315-rear Toyo Proxes RR two-groove DOT competition tires.
Other cars in the booth but not covered in any of our posts so far include a pretty mean-looking Mercedes-AMG C63 on Rotiform CVTs, an ITB'ed Porsche Speedster, and a Varis bodied Mk4 Supra on multi-piece Work VS-XXs. But arguably the biggest scene-stealer from the Toyo booth was Streetfighter LA's widebody E46 with supercharged V8 swap—but the power plant was not from GM! That there, folks, is a Mopar Hemi 8-pot, going way outside the norm—but then this is coming from the guys who shoehorned an RB26 into an E36, so you know they're always looking to shake things up. Our friends at RAD Industries worked on the car—often as we were visiting the shop—but we never once noticed the unusual mill, nor did they ever point it out to us. If this thing is going drifting, we can't wait to see it slide in anger; who knows, Streetfighter LA may by onto something big.