Category Archives: Manufacturer news

Tanked works on a Highlander

Tanked is a popular show on the Animal Planet where two brothers-in-law working in Las Vegas make custom fish tanks.  Their skill and ingenuity is enviable.

Toyota Highlander
Highlander morphed by Tanked

Las Vegas

Seems appropriate that the firm is based in Las Vegas, which is also the home for the SEMA Show.  At last year’s show, Toyota showed off a SpongeBob and SquarePants themed Highlander with the interior dedicated to a fish tank.  The 800 gallon tank consumes most of the interior of  the spacious Toyota Highlander.

The engine was removed and replaced with the pumps and filters for the aquarium.

Toyota Highlander

The representatives from Toyota were very pleased with the outcome  and is a big hit with the younger kids.  You had to look close to realize that there were actual fish swimming around in the tank.  Twenty species were in the tank including starfish and clown fish.

The exterior artwork on the Highlander mimicked the SpongBob SquarePants theme as well

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Corvettes at Barrett-Jackson Auctions

Corvettes Rule

The number one manufacturer offered for sale at Barrett-Jackson?  Consistently, year after year – Chevrolet.  The number one model – no contest – the Corvette!

The Barrett-Jackson Auction starts on Tuesday, January 14th, and over the six days of car sales , with over 1400 vehicles offered up for sale – 136 will be Corvettes!  Hands down the Corvette will be the number one model sold.  Of course it doesn’t hurt that the Corvette, covering seven generations (or model changes), has been around since 1953.  But this is still a huge tribute to the American sports car.

Here are just a few pictures to whet your appetite – enjoy the sneak preview and let us know which is your favorite.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Gas Monkey Garage COPO Camaro selling at Barrett-Jackson

Gas Monkey Garage Does It Again

Gas Monkey Garage, from Dallas and the stars of Fast N’ Loud on the Discovery Channel, will be auctioning off their last COPO Camaro at the Barrett-Jackson car auction in Scottsdale on Saturday January 17th during the first of two “prime time” schedules for that day.

Gas Monkey Garage COPO Camaro
Driver side view

COPO Camaro

The COPO Camaro was developed by Chevrolet to be a drag strip car and certified to NHRA certification levels.  Each year Chevy sells 69 units, which are NOT street legal, by way of a lottery system.  This past year Richard Rawlings and his partner bought out an additional 20 chassis’s from Chevrolet which are considered CRC- Certified Race Chassis.  So these come with the power train components.  Gas Monkey Garage then offered them for sale with either the buyer adding on the optional go fast components or leave with just the chassis.Gas Monkey Grage COPO Camaro Interior

Barrett-Jackson Auction

At the 2013 Reno Barrett-Jackson auction they sold a similar COPO Camaro, but one that Rawlings and his financial backer actually had a hand in building and was featured on Fast N’ Loud.

Of the twenty originally available only this one and a rolling chassis are left.  The one being auctioned lists as being the only one with the Gas Monkey Garage decals.  This one is offered at auction with a three speed automatic transmission instead of the more traditional two speeds.  And they stuffed a 454 LSX engine under the hood.

At the auction Barrett-Jackson has set up two time slots for their Salon Collection cars on Saturday.  The first will be from 1-3 (local time MST) and shown on the Fox Channel.  Probably the first time a car auction has been shown on nationwide television by a big four broadcaster.  They then have a second two hour block on Saturday shown on the National geographic Channel from 5-7 MST.

Prediction?

This COPO Camaro will be the third one sold.  The one in Reno sold for $137,500.    What do you think this one sells for?  Their web site shows the remaining rolling chassis originally was selling for $85,000  and now offered for $75,000.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Photos Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson

Corvette’s Jake Logo Revised

With the introduction of a new generation Corvette, the C7, it figures that a new Jake design would be in order.

Jake is the logo for Corvette Racing and featured a modernized skull with the corvette crossed flags as the eyes.

jake-c6r

Picture 1 of 1

Jake Updated

The C7.R (the full on racing version of the Corvette) will make its track debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, 2014.  This is the day after its unveiling at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 25, 2014. When the C7.R takes to the track, it will sport an all-new Jake logo, which has become the unofficial mascot of Corvette Racing.

corvette-c7r-jake-mascot

Picture 1 of 1

Jake logo Black and White

The History of Jake


Jake first appeared in the early 2000s, when the Corvette Racing team was gaining momentum and winning multiple ALMS championships and the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. The team began uniting behind a rally cry of “Take No Prisoners” and a flaming skull logo that represented its unrelenting drive for victories.

It wasn’t until after the C5.R completed the final 24 Hours of Le Mans that the unofficial logo was born. Urban lore claims that the sketch started on a cocktail napkin as a skull with crossed flags for the eyes and was named after Jake, Jim Belushi’s character from The Blues Brothers.

Jake Concept Edition

Jake even was honored with Chevrolet concept car that was shown at SEMA in 2010.  It was based on a Grand Sport edition and was liberally covered with sedate Jake logos.

The new Jake, with the seventh-generation Crossed Flag logo for eyes, is more modern and more aggressive just like the C7.R will hope to be.

Artwork courtesy of © General Motors

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

Bumble Bee Camaro Tire with Hollywood Magic

Bumble Bee -the Star of the Transformer Movie Anthologybumble-bee Camaro

The Bumble Bee is one of the main characters in the Transformer Movie Series and is a bright yellow Camaro.  Chevrolet certainly enjoys the publicity that is garnered by the Bumble Bee and Hollywood studios are known for accepting cash or product for a movie “placement”.

bumble-bee-hood

SEMA 2013

At the recent SEMA show, the three “stars” of the upcoming Transformers 4 movie directed by Michael Bay were showcased by Chevrolet at a standalone display.  Present were a new sleek Corvette Stringray, an urban looking Sonic and the yellow Bumble Bee Camaro.  They were highlighting the upcoming Transformers 4 release next summer.

bumble-bee-side

The same three cars were present at Chevrolet’s Media Event.  But after Monday’s event some sharp eyed spectators noted a slight change in the “shoes” the Bumble Bee was wearing. pre-close-up Bumble bee tire It turns out the Hollywood magic must have worn out and the painted on Goodyear logo and Eagle name were removed showing the true brand of these tires – Pirelli.post-close-up Bumble Bee tire

Ah, the magic of Hollywood!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

COPO Camaro, Gas Monkey Garage and Build Your Own

The COPO Camaro is what legends are made of.  And if you watch Fast N’ Loud, the Gas Monkey franchise on Discovery, you’ll learn more about them soon.  They recently sold a Gas Monkey decaled COPO Camaro in Reno, through Barrett-Jackson Auctions.  And are doing some more  by way of Chevy’s “Build Your Own” program.

COPO Camaro

Back in the 60’s, slick dealers could order cars made by Chevrolet in unique configurations using a Central Office Production Order (COPO).  A dealer, Fred Gibb in Illinois, thought making a 69 Camaro with an aluminum 427 ZL1 power plant making 425 horsepower was a great idea.  So ultimately he ordered 69 of these fabled cars, with Chevrolet requiring a minimum of fifty to make a COPO.  With a price tag of over $7,200 (twice what a stocker cost), Gibb could only sell thirteen at his dealership and he sent the others out through a network of dealers.

These cars were intended for racing on the strip and they are rather rare and pricey.  I first saw one owned by Reggie Jackson back in the 90’s.  One sold at Barrett-Jackson in 2012 for $451,000

2012

copo-2012-drivers-side

In 2012 the COPO name and concept was revived by Chevrolet at the SEMA show and was introduced with a white paint job.  Only 69 ( a recurring number you see) were produced.  It sold starting at $89,000 and was strictly for the NHRA’s strips with no VIN being issued and lacking a bunch of NHTSA mandated stuff.  You had a choice of three engines; a 427 V8 or a 327 V8 with a either a 2.9L supercharger or a 4.0L supercharger

2013

copo-2013-convertible

In 2013 it again premiered in SEMA, this time in a unique convertible (which most tracks wouldn’t allow)!  It started at $86,000 and offered again three engine options.  a 352 horsepower V8, a 375 Horsepower 6.5L V8 or a massive 7L V8 making again the 425 horsepower.  Plus along with the racer’s standard Powerglide it came in a 4 speed manual.  The convertible was later sold at auction with only one other convertible made in 2013.

2014

copo-2014-drivers-side

Yet again for 2014, Chevrolet trotted out their COPO at SEMA in a light blue color.  This year, lucky winners can choose from a 427 V8, a 350 V8 with a 2.9L supercharger, or mere V8’s with either a 350 or 396 cubic inch displacement.  For 2014 a solid rear axle appears in place of the independent rear end.

Build Your Own

Each year only 69 COPO’s are offered by way of a lottery system.  But that is not the only way to get a COPO.  Chevrolet has offered a “Build Your Own” program were you can open a parts book and build up from a rolling chassis.  Again these are designed for the strip and lack a VIN and are definitely not “street legal”.  For 2013 they were offered at a starting price of $55,000.

That’s essentially what Gas Monkey Garage did.  They got their hands on twenty of these babies and offered them for $89,000 minus a engine and transmission.  So far they have sold 14, with one more set to be auctioned in January at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale AZ.  Keep an eye out for more information about the COPO on their show soon.  In the mean time, enjoy some views of the recent editions of the COPO Camaro

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cruise at SEMA Show on Friday Night

Friday Night Cruise

Cruise SEMA BannerFor the past three years, at the end of the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show on Friday, some of the cars on display drive out of the show onto the surrounding street in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center.  It has become known as “The Cruise” and has become very popular, even amongst weary, dog tired show goers.

Origins of The Cruise

In fact, the cruise started years earlier as an unofficial event.  After the show closed on Friday afternoon, some cars would drive off to get to their trailers and either get locked up for the night or head back home.  So locals and attendees would camp out along the drive ways and watch some of the cars drive away.

cruise22

You can admire the individual cars and appreciate a static display of cars, but nothing beats seeing them now drive off, under power, lights on and with exhaust bellowing.

Sanctioned Cruise

The Cruise just sanctioned this drive off and became a recognized, official event.  Early Friday afternoon, before the show closes at 4 PM, portable bleachers are maneuvered into position along a driveway that had been the point of access for the taxi’s.  The stands fill up hours before the cruise starts and the actual driveway gets lined with interested folks as well.

Cruise EmceeThis year SEMA had an emcee and a DJ spinning some tunes.  Because it gets dark early in Las Vegas, SEMA even arranges for some portable lights so the cars can be easily seen.

Cruise with Chip FooseSome cars tossed out sponsor t-shirts or hats to the crowd and Chip Foose came over to say hi and thanked the crowd for attending.  SEMA was even selling a limited number of hats, embroidered to commemorate the Cruise

Cruise Hat for Sale

The Cruise and the Stars

Of course, the stars of The Cruise are the cars.  Now most of these cars have already been parked outside of the convention center and on display all week long.  But nothing takes the place of seeing the cars actually start up and drive off.  We saw the WyoTech Ford truck/roadster, that we had previously highlighted, make a pass through the crowd after maneuvering out of the indoor display hall.

Cruise WyoTech's Ford

I never had seen so many LED’s on some of the 4X4’s and they were all blindingly lit.  The cars were often packed with more than just the driver, so their friends could enjoy the experience.  And of course many vehicles had more than one camera attached to their car, probably to help make a video for YouTube?  There was even a drone flying overhead.

cruise-drone

Many media folks were there including our friends from Hot Rod magazine.  It was refreshing to see so many gear heads come out to see the cars cruise, and great to see so many owners take their cars on the road!  Even the French builder of the 57 Bel Air themed Harley Davidson motorcycle drove out.  This is a great way for SEMA to wrap up the week and was one of our highlights.

Enjoy some of our selected shots from the SEMA Cruise.  Which is your favorite?

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Dare to be Different at SEMA and the Hot Vehicles Winners

This year’s SEMA Awards for the top trending vehicle models in four categories were announced on Tuesday November 5, 2013 at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The Ford Mustang was named Hottest Car, the Scion FR-S took the Hottest Sport Compact honors, the Ford F-Series won Hottest Truck and the Jeep Wrangler received the Hottest 4×4-SUV award.

I was pulling for the Chevy Silverado and the Corvette Stingray, so I guess I struck out; there but no complaints with the Scion FR-S and Jeep Wrangler winning.

Dare to be Different

One of the fun parts of SEMA, is the over the top, just because I can, attitude of many of the cars.  Enough said

Enjoy the Views

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

Chevy Cranks Up for SEMA

At the world’s largest convention of automotive aftermarket parts and accessories, the SEMA Show –Specialty Equipment Market Association – one of the highlights is the Chevrolet display; and the chance for a sneak preview at the Media Party held on Monday night before SEMA opens.

Besides catching up with various executives and seeing some great cars, Chevrolet brings in a few celebrities to spice up the night.  Fortunately these celebrities have straight connections to the cars featured at this press event.

This year NASCAR racers Ricky Carmichael (and AMA racer and X Games champ) and Jeff Gordon were there to delight the crowds. Some of the featured cars were:

Ricky Carmichael’s Chevy All-Activity Sonic concept

The All-Activity Sonic concept was introduced by Carmichael and had a cold air induction, a lowered suspension and enhanced braking.Spark EV Tech Performance concept

Sonic Chevy
Ricky Carmichael’s Sonic

Chevy Spark EV Tech Performance concept

Chevy “powered up” this all-electric tire smoking mini-car, the Spark, with an instant on 400 lb-ft of torque –http://route66pubco.com/wp-admin/post-new.php more than the classic 1969 Camaro SS muscle car with a 350 V-8 – for exhilarating acceleration. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in only 7.5 seconds.

Electric car
Amped up Chevy Spark

2014 Chevy COPO

It seems that Chevrolet always has a new version of the legendary COPO drag cars for SEMA, and they didn’t disappoint this year with a light blue version.  Very well designed and ready for the drag strip as is.  This year will feature new front and rear fascia and be limited to the fabled 69 cars.

Light Blue drag car
2014 COPO Camaro

Gran Turismo C7 Corvette Stingray

A flat blue Corvette that will be featured in the latest version of Playstation’s Gran Turismo was promoted.  All week at the Chevy display show goers will be able to play an advanced version of the game.

blue Corvette
Corvette Stingray from Gran Turismo

Restored 1978 pick up

This truck was a restored beauty and featured a new crate engine package from Chevy.  The E ROD 5.3 L package is a plug and play emissions compliant powertrain.

Black truck
Restored Chevy Pickup with E ROD power

Jeff Gordon’s SS

His SS came with a red satin (flat) finish was an awesome car with subtle power touches.  A LS3 engine and a 6 speed automatic transmission were the power plant for the SS.

Red SS
Red Satin SS from Jeff Gordon

2014 Camaro Z28

The road worthy Z/28 in all black was released at this event.  Featuring Brembo brakes, less weight and a LS7 engine helps make this track car a worthy competitor and lives up to its namesake.

Black camaro
Black Z/28

Transformers 4

Three cars from the 2014 Transformer movie were on hand to be admired; a new Bumble Bee Camaro, a Sonic and bright Green Corvette Stingray

 

Green Corvette
Green Transformer Staingray
Yellow Camaro
Transformer 4 Bumble Bee Camaro
white Sonic
Chevy Sonic from Transformer 4

Good times, good cars, good people.  SEMA cranks up in full power mode in a few hour son Tuesday November 5th.  More details at Chevy Performance.

 

 

Predictions for SEMA Show 2013

SEMA Signage
SEMA

SEMA – the Specialty Equipment Market Association – show starts officially on Tuesday November 5, 2013 in Las Vegas.  Car Nirvana is spread over 2 million square feet of interior space and even more cars are positioned outside.  I figured if Hot Rod Magazine can prediction what the SEMA 2013 will highlight, I can predict too.

Predictions for SEMA

I’ll be more modest and only give you five trends to be spotted at SEMA this year.

Prediction #1

Car of the Year – Has to be the Corvette Stingray.  This is the after-market convention after all and there has been no more pent-up demand, than seeing the Corvette C7 hit the streets.

prediction corvette is SEMA's car of the year
Corvette Stingray

Prediction #2

Flat is back.  We’ve seen variations of flat paint jobs in the past, and that trend is going to explode.  Both from the mainstream manufacturers but also the specialty shops.  And contrary to some opinions, it takes as much prep work on a car body to spray it flat as it does for the shiny clear coats.

Prediction #3

Step up the transmissions.  Used to be standard to row through four speeds, but not that Detroit is issuing out sheet metal with 7 speed transmissions to help up the EPA gas mileage, so will the aftermarket.

Silver truck
Sweet Trucker

Prediction #4

Truck of the year?  Got to be the Chevrolet Silverado.  Demand is back up for trucks, that’s where the money is and that’s where General Motors has hit a home run.  It might be apolitical to have two winners from the same manufacturer, but the Silverado deserves it!

Prediction #5

Retro is back with a passion.  Clothing, accessories, and cars will all be showing an old fashioned look.  Woodies, rat rods, salt wagons will all be highly visible.???????????????????????????????

Stayed tuned and we’ll see how many of these predictions you might agree with after Friday and the show wraps up.