For a show that isn’t open to the public, the annual SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturer Association) show sure attracts a lot of public attention.
But with literally thousands of vehicles showcasing the fringe of the aftermarket industry, it’s one that keeps catching eyes, from all over the world, for its outlandish and impressive displays.
This year in Las Vegas was no different, and with one of our snappers pounding the pavement, we’re here to treat you to our top picks for the weirdest, wildest, and most wonderful cars we came across.
As if Nissan’s Murano Crosscabriolet wasn’t offensive enough in factory form, someone thought 34-inch wheels would cure the car’s aesthetic woes. Obviously, two wrongs don’t make a right.
When released the Smart car nailed its product brief well. But it was the antithesis of a performance car, and no matter what lurks underneath this example’s dwarfish body, it’ll never help those ghastly aero additions produce a kilo of downforce.
Put the chainsaw down. There’s no supercar waiting to be saved underneath all that horrible pink bodywork. In fact, this monstrosity was once an Infiniti G35, which by now has given up hope on a happy life.
While we love the concept – a street-legal off-roader that looks like it might have just competed in the Dakar – we’re not sure Local Motors knows the real reason why its Rally Fighter has “stare inducing” styling. We do. It looks like the love child of an X6 and trophy truck.
Shield your eyes, no, literally. This Nissan R35 GT-R modified and wrapped by Savini Wheels is so bright that if it’s ever driven under the sun, it’ll be a rolling, blinding, disco ball.
If this looks like the remains of a badly burnt 5-Series, that’s because it is. Owner Mike Burroughs rebuilt a rat-rod styled 5 Series after it caught fire, keeping the core bits and completely revamping everything else, including its now-353kW straight-six from an E34 M5.
Chevrolet Camaro COPO
This Camaro started life as COPO factory drag special, which is ironic, as it's clearly outgrown the drag strip. With two and a half times the power of a Bugatti Veyron, this 1864kW monster’s searching for airport runways. There it'll crack some flying speeds too, as it's said to hit 361km/h.
Misha 458 Italia
Wrap, re-style, and widen a Ferrari 458 Italia? Brave, even if a little bit controversial. Misha, the creators, have limited the aero package to 20 units, meaning you won’t be seeing this car on a road near you. A bad, or maybe good, thing.
Accuair BMW i8
It will wreak havoc on the countless hours engineers spent on perfecting the aerodynamic, and suspension, package of the BMW i8, but Accuair’s idea to airbag the eco supercar does look delicious.
Diesel Power Ford 'Super Six'
Few trucks speak about America like the F-series. It’s huge. But not big enough for the boys at Diesel Power, who stretched a F550 Super Duty with a triple-cab, six-wheel steering, and fully independent suspension. Oh, it also carries a trophy truck on its rear deck.
DSport Ford Fiesta ST
Yes, that’s a roll-cage in a Ford Fiesta ST. The driver will need it, since this Fiesta has been modified to produce over 300kW while being the size of a bumble bee. Owners DSport completely revamped its turbocharger arrangement, and gave it some serious rolling stock.
Ford Mustang Cobra Jet
You’re a drag racer, but don’t have the time to build a car for yourself. Well the nice folks at Ford have you covered. Its Ford Mustang Cobra Jet is an eight-second weapon, with cage, seats, 5.0-litre supercharged V8 and all. Fifty will be made for US$99,990.
Ghost Motorsports S63 AMG
While tyre wall markings and gold rims miss the point of an S-Class coupe, we’re partial to one treated to the lowered VIP treatment – especially when it’s a S63 AMG.
Mazda Speedster concept
When manufacturers try and fit in to the wild and creative showroom that is SEMA, good things happen. Mazda’s Speedster concept was a case in point, reviving classic D-Type looks on the MX-5.
Liberty Walk Chevrolet Camaro
We’re all familiar with Camaros, and we’re all familiar with the work of Liberty Walk. What happens when the two combine? A delicious widebody Chevrolet that proves even muscle cars can visually benefit from the wide treatment.