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Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

Looking back at the best builds from the Super Street x Meguiar’s SEMA Ultimate Awards

Sam Du
Nov 10, 2020

The Super Street SEMA Ultimate Awards with Meguiar's has undoubtedly been my favorite part of the annual Las Vegas convention industry event. It gives my co-judge, RJ de Vera and I the opportunity to comb the show row-by-row searching for our top three cars. Unlike other SEMA trophies handed out which cater more toward domestic and hot rod builds, our award recognizes exceptional builders of modified Japanese and European cars. With this year's physical SEMA Show being cancelled, I felt a little teary eyed and decided to take a look back at all of the winners over the last five years. Enjoy the trip down memory lane and also checkout themeguiarsexperience.com to see what new car care products and feature vehicles would've been showcased in the Meguiar's booth this year.

003 super street meguiars sema awards rywire integra type r Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

2015

Honda Integra Type R - Best of Show

Builder: Ryan Basseri

Why we love it: What started out as a JDM DC2 ITR shell picked up for under a thousand bucks became one of the most advanced Honda builds we've ever seen.

007 super street meguiars sema awards rywire integra type r interior Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

Highlights include a sequential transmission, custom pneumatic paddle shifter, Porsche GT3 RS-inspired paint and livery, turbo K-series powerplant, dry-sump oiling system and sophisticated motorsports-level wiring. Read the full feature here.

012 super street meguiars sema awards bmw e28 rusty air jacks Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

BMW 5-Series

Builder: Mike Burroughs

Why we love it: The infamous "Rusty Slammington" stole the show inside the H&R booth, especially considering it caught fire four years prior. Mike Burroughs had to rebuild the entire E28 BMW, which takes on a new identity with a custom chopped and rusted rad rod with FIA Group 5 vibes.

014 super street meguiars sema awards bmw e28 rusty engine Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

There's simply nothing that's original on this car anymore, from its new tube chassis to the repositioned A-pillars, lengthened doors, shorter wheelbase, rebuilt S38 engine, and staggered Porsche BBS wheels.

SEMA

017 super street meguiars sema awards hakotora sunny truck Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

1974 Datsun Sunny Pickup

Builder: Dominic Le

Why we love it: From the front, it looks like you might've just encountered a Hakosuka Skyline. Start turning the corner and you'll be shocked to discover this is in fact a Datsun Sunny Pickup! Nicknamed "Hakotora", the conversion comes from 09racing in Japan and virtually everything is constructed of dry carbon fiber.

019 super street meguiars sema awards hakotora truck bed Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

Builder Dominic Le went the extra mile by swapping in a SR20DET and fabricating a completely custom carbon-fiber truck bed and tailgate, plus fitting a custom Hakosuka dash and center console. Mind blown! Read the full feature here.

026 super street meguiars sema awards datsun 280z chris forsberg Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

2016

1975 Datsun 280Z - Best of Show

Builder: Chris Forsberg

Why we love it: We're often used to seeing three-time Formula DRIFT champion Chris Forsberg at the track, but to actually build a car for SEMA - now this is something special!

029 super street meguiars sema awards rb25 swap forsberg datsun Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

In a year where there were a ton of Datsuns at SEMA, Chris, surprised us all with his gold G-nose 280Z equipped with a RB25DET swap, plenty of billet parts and a completely custom Carbon Signal interior. Read the full feature here.

034 super street meguiars sema awards jdm legends hakosuka restoration Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

1972 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-X

Builder: Ginash George

Why we love it: Restored by Utah-based JDM Legends, Ginash George's Hakosuka might not be a true GT-R but it looks the part (perhaps even better). It features some GT-R styling cues and upgrades, plus a carb'd L20 engine and Watanabe wheels.

036 super street meguiars sema awards hakosuak interior jdm legends Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

It's not a groundbreaking build in the classic Japanese car world but seeing it front and center at SEMA with all of the precision and quality of JDM Legends was a treat. Read the full feature here.

038 super street meguiars sema awards re amemiya rx7 porsche front Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

1993 Mazda RX-7

Builder: Phil Barone

Why we love it: This FD RX-7 probably leaves a lot of question marks in people's heads that have never heard of RE Amemiya.

041 super street meguiars sema awards rotary 13b rew rx7 Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

However, seeing RE's famous Porsche front-end conversion, plus the fenders, GReddy rear, and still retaining a half-bridge-ported 13B-REW rotary makes this one of the most stunning JDM cars to ever display at SEMA. Read the full feature here.

047 super street meguiars sema awards turbo v8 engine bay rx7 Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

2017

1993 Mazda RX-7 - Best of Show

Builder: Sam Morris

Why we love it: The "Pistachio FD" is one of the most bonkers RX-7 builds we've ever seen. Inside is a turbocharged V8 within a shaved bay, titanium piping, Mil-spec harness and V-mount cooling setup.

043 super street meguiars sema awards pistachio rx7 Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

It also wears a Rocket Bunny widebody conversion and lots of other carbon parts; however, its overall execution and the 1,200whp it summons is what really sets this car apart. Read the full feature here.

052 super street meguiars sema awards nissan s15 silvia jdm front Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

2001 Nissan Silvia

Builder: Jason Pham

Why we love it: This S15 Silvia feels like a tasteful blend of a JDM dream car with an import car show champion. Gone is the SR20 replaced by a Skyline GT-R's RB26DETT (built up to 609whp), not to mention the Midnight Purple paint pays homage to the R34.

054 super street meguiars sema awards rb26 dett s15 silvia Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

There's also a parts list filled with brands like ARC, GReddy, Vertex, M Sport, RAYS, Bride, Nismo and Cusco. The icing on the cake is the full stereo system in the trunk, which I haven't seen since the 2000's. Read the full feature here.

060 super street meguiars sema awards rywire s2000 rear mugen Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

2000 Honda S2000

Builder: Ryan Basseri

Why we love it: Our first two-time winner of the Super Street SEMA Awards goes to Ryan Basseri who's the mastermind behind this sweet S2000.

064 super street meguiars sema awards rywire engine bay s2000 Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

It features an authentic Mugen kit that's been widened, built and stroked F-series engine with a wild ITB setup and motorsport plumbing and electronics all around. Read the full feature here.

068 super street meguiars sema awards pandem mazda rx7 fc3s Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

2018

1990 Mazda RX-7 Turbo II - Best of Show

Builder: GReddy

Why we love it: This is the ultimate FC RX-7 and a car RJ and I couldn't ignore. Slammed to the floor, this Mazda screams hardcore JDM vibes with the debut of the Pandem FC conversion made up of the fenders, front bumper, rear diffuser, wing and quad driving lights. What follows next is truly quite beautiful because it didn't need anything over the top.

073 super street meguiars sema awards mazda rx7 interior Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

The modifications are cleanly executed from the engine bay, stripped interior, custom rollcage and reconditioned 13B turbo rotary. This car looks as if it should've broken ground at Tokyo Auto Salon but the fact that it made one of the biggest headlines at SEMA made it well-worthy of our Best of Show award. Read the full feature here.

076 super street meguiars sema awards bmw e30 m3 Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

1988 BMW M3

Builders: Cory Rowan, Zach Lagarenne, Justin Burch, Parker Brown, Reese Cochran, Isaac Gesundheit, Peter Golledge

Why we love it: This is one of the most uncompromised BMW E30 M3 builds in history with a bare metal restoration, F80 M3 S55 engine and transmission swap, custom tubular suspension and Cardinal Napa red leather interior.

080 super street meguiars sema awards bmw m3 e30 s55 engine Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

Best of all, it's been put together by a group of six young students from Colorado all inside of a 1.5-car garage using basic tools and with little to no experience building cars. Let's just say they put their names on the map and then some with this BMW masterpiece that stood up against SEMA's best. Read the full feature here.

085 super street meguiars sema awards mazda rx7 fb Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

1985 Mazda RX-7

Builder: Jesus Lopez

Why we love it: It's not often we see first-gen Mazda RX-7s, but Jesus Lopez' example was one that wasn't just done well, but also tells a story. Jesus is still a young guy but he picked up this FB to try and recreate the RX-7 that his father had once owned in the early '90s; however, Jesus went the extra mile by overhauling a bridge-ported 13B rotary, then strapping a BorgWarner turbo to it.

083 super street meguiars sema awards fb mazda rx7 Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

The semi-shaved bay is easily one of the coupe's biggest highlights but there's also custom bits like the lip kit, rear window louvers and carbon fiber headlight covers that make this one of the coolest old school Japanese cars that've popped up in Las Vegas. Read the full feature here.

089 super street meguiars sema awards greddy supra a90 pandem Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

2019

2020 Toyota Supra - Best of Show

Builder: GReddy

Why we love it: We didn't want to give GReddy another Best of Show award but when they bring something like this drift-themed A90 Supra (in the "Year of the Supra"), it was hard not to give credit where credit is due. Instead of swapping in a 2JZ (which everyone wanted them to do), GReddy was able to take the BMW-based B58 engine along with a MoTeC full standalone ECU, BorgWarner turbo and one-off GReddy components to create 650hp, which was monstrous for that engine at the time.

090 super street meguiars sema awards greddy supra a90 engine Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

Other impressive additions include the Samsonas sequential, M3 rear differential with OS Giken LSD, Formula DRIFT-spec 'cage and Pandem widebody conversion. To this day, even after the new Supra has been out for a year, this Supra by GReddy still is the best A90 built, period.

094 super street meguiars sema awards tcp magic mazda rx7 side Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

1994 Mazda RX-7

Builder: Jonathan Grunwald

Why we love it: This RX-7 is a prime example that you can continue to evolve your project car year after year. Veteran builder Jonny Grunwald has been on the cover of Super Street as well as won countless car show awards, but he shocked us all when he returned to SEMA with a 720hp 13B-REW rebuild and updated TCP Magic aero that features a bunch more carbon.

096 super street meguiars sema awards mazda rx7 interior Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

The new look is finished off in a satin blue wrap that transforms the entire persona of the RX-7 without taking away from its functional track-ready theme and JDM origins. Read the original feature here.

098 super street meguiars sema awards nick higgins honda civic Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

1989 Honda Civic

Builder: Nick Higgins

Why we love it: Because you never come across a well-engineered old school Honda Civic parked front and center at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Nick Higgins had been featured in Super Street years before and even went MIA for a couple of years, but he returned with his epic Civic that might look simple to some, but every inch has been touched and its theme repurposed for time attack.

100 super street meguiars sema awards honda civic ef Photo 135/135   |   Top 15 JDM & Euro Feature Vehicles from the SEMA Show

Under the hood is an all-motor K-series that makes 280hp. Nick's also added a rollcage, custom carbon front splitter, Gram Lights wheels and Porsche brakes. Like many winners of the Super Street SEMA Awards, this is a result of many sleepless nights and countless hours in the garage. Read the full feature here.

By Sam Du
1024 Articles

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