Tag Archives: Las Vegas

Chevrolet SEMA-Corvettes+COPO Camaro

Chevrolet always has a strong presence at the yearly SEMA show held in Las Vegas. Besides the factory presence on the SEMA floor, many enthusiasts bring out their personal designs based on Chevy products and have them at various vendor’s booths and displays.

Chevy Bowtie

But before the SEMA show even opens to the public, Chevrolet holds a media event the night before and gives the press sneak peeks at various models. Here we’ll present our four favorite performance Chevy cars

COPO Camaro

We have been HUGE fans of the COPO Camaro and love Chevrolet’s commitment to the drag strip by providing these cars in limited production, with only 69 being handmade each year. Past versions were mentioned here.

COPO Camaro

This year’s version was enthusiastically received and has lots to applaud. The 2015 version of the COPO Camaro on display at the SEMA Show featured a white exterior with gray and orange accents including an all-new style of COPO graphics – and was fitted with a 350 “LSX” V-8 engine topped with a 2.9L Whipple supercharger.

These production race cars are fitted with a pre-approved NHRA roll and a full on racing chassis and suspension components – including a solid rear axle system in place of the standard independent rear axle.

Racers can select from a variety of supercharged and naturally aspirated LS-family engines based on their racing NHRA Stock and Super Stock classes, including the 350, 396 and 427 naturally aspirated engines and a supercharged 350.

But you can’t just waltz into a showroom for these beauties, you have to enter into a lottery and hope you are one of 69 selected.

Jimmie Johnson’s 1971 Corvette

NASCAR racer Jimmie Johnson resto-modded a vintage 1971 Corvette with both exterior and interior updates, plus an all-new Gen V LT1 crate engine. The crate engine is rated for 460 horses. Jimmie came out in person to tout this powerhorse.

Jimmie Johnson

Johnson chose a Super Magnum six-speed manual transmission also offered by Chevrolet Performance. Johnson’s resto-mod Corvette also has an updated chassis, with adjustable coil-overs replacing the original front and rear suspension components, for more precise handling. A set of C6 Corvette Z06 brakes were bolted to this Corvette to help slow it down in record time. The 18 inch wheels help to emulate the rally wheels of the day.

1971 Corvette Driver's Side

Kiss’ Paul Stanley 2015 Corvette Stingray

Frankly the exterior treatment of the Corvette left me wanting more, but I can’t deny that during the show plenty of folks were checking it out. This red beauty had the Z51 package added to it; so it came rolling in with a dry-sump oiling system, electronic limited-slip differential, monster front brakes and a cooling package for both the differential and transmission. The transmission is an eight speed paddle shifter bolted to a 6.2L Gen V LT1 engine, rated at 460 horsepower and 465 pounds of torque.

Blue Devil

For Corvette aficionados, they can name off all the historic and record breaking cars. so a few tears welled up when the Blue Devil drove out.

ZR! Corvette

The ZR1, nicknamed the “Blue Devil,” is the first of the cars swallowed by the famed Corvette Museum “sinkhole” to be restored. You know, the hold in the ground that ate up eight Corvettes?

Technicians from Chevrolet took it under their wing and fixed some body panels, cracked doors, some broken glass and some bent control arms. The first public viewing for this iconic Corvette was here and then it was going to be whisked away back to Bowling Green, KY to be put back on public display.

So tell us which car makes your heart flutter?

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Barrett Jackson Auction Tops Records in Las Vegas

top-5-at-barrett-jackson-bannerBarrett-Jackson

Congratulations to our friends at Barrett-Jackson who took Las Vegas by storm with another record setting auction at Mandalay Bay on September 25-27, 2014. During those three days Barrett-Jackson had the largest number of vehicles in their Las Vegas history, with more than 700 vehicles offered up with sales exceeding $33 million.

Besides the volumes of cars, being Las Vegas meant plenty of celebrities and quasi-celebrities were there. Last year was packed with stars and more were seen this year

Barrett Jackosn in Las vegas
US flag at Barrett Jackson

Charity Cars at Barrett-Jackson

As is the case for all the Barrett-Jackson auctions, some cars were auctioned off to benefit specific charities. The auction house always waive their fees, so the full amount goes to the charities. You might have heard that the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat sold for $825,000. In addition another group matched that bid so the local charity received $1,650,000! Rick Hendricks bought that car, like he has bought numerous charity cars at the auctions. That’s the most money raised for charity from one car at any of the Barrett-Jackson auctions ever.

Las Vegas welcome sign
Welcome Car Auctions

Future Auction Coverage

This auction also marks the end of the Barrett-Jackson auctions being broadcasted by the Fox Networks. After years of being on SPEED and Fox, in 2015 the auction will now be covered by the Velocity Channel, part of the Discovery brand.

Can’t wait until January when all the auctions converge in Arizona! What about you?

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SEMA Car Cruise Ignited

SEMA’s Friday Night Cruise

SEMA Cruise

SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) is the car show of all car shows, held in Las Vegas each year.  But because SEMA Show is a trade show, only qualified attendees may go past the security guards.

Friday Night Cruise

But one of the secrets of SEMA is the cruise out on Friday night.  For years the Las Vegas locals would hang out at the driveways of the Las Vegas Convention Center to see the cars and trucks roll out from the convention floors.SEMA Cruise 32

A few years back, SEMA latched on to this phenomenon and made an official event for the cruise starting at 4 PM on Friday, the last day of the SEMA Show.  Last year was a hoot as we mentioned in this article.

SEMA does it right with bleachers brought in specifically for the cruise.  Mix in a DJ, an emcee and some personalities like Chip Foose and you have all the makings for a fun event.  Chip Foose at SEMA Cruise

And nowadays every event needs at least pone drone sighting!SEMA Cruise 38

 

SEMA Cruise 2014

SEMA just announced that for this year, the vehicles will cruise over to a lot at the “Linq Promenade“, where the public is invited for one last change to check out the cars.  SEMA is calling this event the SEMA Ignited and promises to be a nice event with manufacturers getting one more chance to promote their products, cars and gear.

While not all the thousands of vehicles inside the SEMA Show go out in the cruise, those that do make for an awesome display of lights and sounds.

Here’s just some of our favorite car shots from last year’s Cruise

Which is your favorite?

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Studebaker and Suburban Featured in Hot Rod Magazine

Studebaker rearHot Rod magazine’s August 2014 highlighted two cars that we first saw at the SEMA Show.  Funny how some cars just stand out and end up being touted by all?  Out of the thousands of cars at SEMA, some just naturally are just dang drop dead perfect and deserve detailed views and attention.

66 Suburban

Our friends at Hot Rod Magazine For August, 2014 devoted three pages (page 108-110) on Mr. Gasket’s Lime Crush – a 66 Suburban.  We gave you our view of this awesome build here.  Great attention to detail and just about every body panel was massaged to some degree.Lime Crush Low Shot

51 Studebaker

In the same issue, they take a look at a 51 Studebaker owned by Dennis Varni.  It too was at the SEMA show and drew plenty of admiring glances in its prime aisle spot.  Eight pages don’t do it justice, so we had to add our pictures too.

The Studebaker actually passed through three sets of hands before completion.  It sits on an Art Morrison frame.  A Ford 427 engine has fuel injection and uses a GM 700R4 transmission.  The wood work is spot on beautiful.  Lots of onlookers took double takes trying to figure out if Studebaker ever made a woodie!

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Count’s Kustoms Boat & 35 Chevy at Barrett Jackson

Kounts Kustoms7Count’s Kustoms painted a Laveycraft speedboat to match a customer’s 35 Chevy Master coupe in season one of History Channel’s Counting Cars.  It isn’t often you see a boat, trailer and classic all painted with the same paint scheme but it was sold at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale in January, 2014.Kounts Kustoms1

Package Deal

The trailer, boat and Chevy sold in a package deal.  One bid won all three items.  After all what would a seller do with a boat trailer after he sells the boat?Kounts Kustoms6

 

Count’s Kustoms

Count’s Kustoms is a hot rod shop based in Las Vegas and featured in a reality series on the History Channel.  The show focuses more on the people and their stories than the actual builds.  We had the chance to meet the Count and his shop’s manager Kevin at SEMA and they were genuinely nice, friendly folks.

Guess the customer was tired of the trio and opted to sell the set at Barrett-Jackson and play up the association with the Count and Counting Cars.

 

1935 Chevy Master Coupe

The Chevy coupe had the matching paint scheme of white flames on a baby blue sheet metal.  It had a tube frame and is powered by a Chevy 502 with a Mustang front end and a four link rear suspension.Kounts Kustoms5

The boat had been out of the water for a while and was a display model.  Overall all three pieces sold for $45,100 (with commission).  To my eyes the seller got a nice ride with a boat and trailer to boot.  As long as you liked the paint scheme it was nicely bought for and a bargain, especially given its connection to the Count !Kounts Kustoms3

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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

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Kosmic Outcast -Indianapolis Bound

Kosmic Outcast

Kosmic Outcast 40 Ford Pickup
1940 Ford Pickup

We first saw the Kosmic Outcast at last year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas.  It was kind of hard not to notice this 1940 pickup with a lime green color and a Ed Roth vibe.  Now we learn it will be seen in Indianapolis at the upcoming Hotrod and Restoration Trade Show.  The Kosmic Outcast is billed as  “An Intergalactic Weapon of Destruction”

 

SEMA

It’s always nice to see cars that were at the SEMA show being featured at other car events.  It helps spread the wealth for car enthusiasts who can’t make it out to the SEMA Show.

Kosmic Outcast Builder

This beauty was built by Hot Rod Chassis & Cycle in Addison, IL and shows their talent and eye for perfection.  Plus it is hard to figure out what year this was originally, when you learn about all the parts borrowed from other cars like:

Kosmic Outcast Transplant List

Body modifications to the pickup include a 5-inch chop, 6-inch section,

  • ’34 Chevy truck cowl
  • ’57 Chevy hood skin
  • ’34 Ford Tudor rear window
  • ’57 Olds dash
  • ’60 Pontiac quarters
  • ’60 Plymouth Valiant tailgate and
  • ’53 Ford truck grille.

When you look at the interior, you have got to be floored.  Not sure how comfortable it is but this is a homage to Ed Roth for sure!

The pick up, if you can still call it that, is motoring around on a Olds Rocket 371 with a TKO600 tranny.   It is sure to be a hit at this upcoming show and many more!

Comments?

Can you decipher where those tail lights came from?  Post your guess in our comment section

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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!

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Double Down Deuce by Bryan Fuller at SEMA Show

Bryan Fuller’s 32 Ford Roadster – Double Down Deuce

double-down-deuce-3

We’ve always been a fan of the work and craftsmanship that Bryan Fuller demonstrates.  Last year at SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) he dragged out the ultra-long “Thundertaker“.  Now this year at  SEMA  we were once again impressed by his “Double Down Deuce” Ford.  And we weren’t the only ones – Hot Rod Magazine did not just one but two entries on the deuce.

Fuller – All Wheel Drive

After all when’s the last time you saw a quick change gear set – in the FRONT end??  Yep this is an all wheel drive beast!  This metal roadster is powered by a Ford Boss 429 producing 600 cubic inches and huge horsepower with a GMC Denali transfer case and a clutchless five speed. from G Force.

Slick is Sick

The “Slickest” item might be the Goodyear 28.5—14.50-16 Goodyear Eagle slicks to provide the traction to the asphalt or even the salt flats. This roadster will be at home on the auto cross, with pro tourers or at Bonneville.

double-down-deuce-4

While still “a work in progress” this “Double Down Deuce” in bare metal is still awesome.  Plus we had the chance to see it again in November at the Jet Hot display at the Goodguy’s Southwest Nationals show in Scottsdale, AZ.

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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

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