It has been another amazing year in Las Vegas at the annual SEMA show. What is SEMA and why is it so significant to a little hot rod shop in Washington State? SEMA is the leading aftermarket trade show for automobiles in the world. Ford, GM, Audi and every other manufactures are represented here. Every form of automotive customizing is also present from lifted trucks and jeeps to imports and hot rods. We formed a relationship five years ago with the amazing people at Rancho Dynomax. Each year we have the opportunity to debut a new creation from our little shop in Washington State. See the connection? It is a great platform to show off a new build each year.
This year was one of the best times yet. We wrapped up the 1956 Belair just hours before it was loaded up into the transport truck. Jeff the owner didn't get to see it completed until it was under the lights of Vegas which added to the excitement. So many people came through in the final hours to get everything wrapped up. There is a certain high about the teamwork and dedication that happens during those final days. The staff of CHC led by Mark Ahrens was put through the test again and worked until He drove it into the trailer.
The car was well received when the doors to the convention center opened on Tuesday morning. The pride of craftsmanship showed throughout from the stainless trim polishing to the impeccable red leather interior. The black paint was buffed to perfection and the mechanics were all dialed in. They had to be, with zero miles on the car(because of the bad weather in Washington) I loaded up the car owner and drove in the SEMA cruise in front of 20,000 spectators on Friday night! The car preformed flawlessly.
A special visitor stopped by Wednesday afternoon wearing a GM badge and invited the crew to the GM awards banquet the following morning. This little breakfast is given to recognize top builds in 8 categories. I found myself sitting in a room with friends and heroes alike. The car was recognized by GM with a "Best Exterior" award. The design team asked how I came up with such a stunning combination that stopped them in their tracks. I couldn't take much credit as the car was built through a group effort. Jeff, the owner came up with the colors and even the paint code of grey. Doug Wright's crew crafted the panels straight and laid out the amazing paint. Jamie McFarland nailed the perfect red leather interior with the right twist of factory and updated styles. It really was a group effort including the right Forgeline wheels and translucent Baer brake calipers. The Dynomax exhaust was coated to a perfect shine to match the powder-coated Art Morrison frame. In all, nothing jumped out at you. It all just flowed together like the team that made Jeff's car possible.
After being home for two weeks and life becomes normal again one thought begins to emerge.....Let's build something for SEMA 2016!