LIVE Coverage: Rod Authority’s Top 5 Hot Rods Of The 2013 SEMA Show


Whether you’re a mover, a shaker or just an enthusiast in the industry, you know that last week was the week of the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas. And while we’ve been bringing you all kinds of content from the event like new product reviews, car reveals and interviews with some of the major players in the industry, we also wanted to spice things up a bit and give you a look at some of the fantastic hot rods and customs we found on the show floor this year.

Starting on Tuesday, we began revealing one of Rod Authority’s favorite hot rods every day from the show, and our series continues into early this week as we debut the last of our Top Five and a bonus car we just couldn’t help but include!

DSCN9497Bonus – TOP Pick: Fuller All-Wheel-Drive 1932 Roadster

While a good portion of the vehicles you find at the annual SEMA Show are complete,others are only part of the way through the process to greatness. This 1932 Roadster we found in the Jet-Hot booth is one such car, being built by Bryan Fuller of Fuller Hot Rods and on its way to breaking stereotypes of a traditional ’32.

DSCN9489Started some 18 months ago, the Fuller hot rod, nicknamed Double Down, is one unique ride. Not only is every body panel of the Brookville ’32 Roadster body customized significantly (or will be), the hot rod has also been set up as an all-wheel-drive racing competitor.

The reason behind the car is one of tribute and partnership. Not too long ago, Fuller met a man named Emmett Burton at a Cars and Coffee event.

Taking a trip to see Burton’s personal car collection, Fuller quickly fell in love with a ’32 project car originally having been prepped for the Cannonball Run prior to the movie being released. Unfortunately, the car hadn’t been touched for about 40 years. But Fuller was inspired and decided to build a tribute to the Burton Cannonball Run car, picking up the body in pieces and slowly but surely pulling together everything he needed to build a viable competitor. It took two years just to secure the correct, tribute-inspired wheels.


Following the beginning of Fuller’s quest, Jet-Hot contacted him to partner on a build to showcase their products, as well as eventually be driven hard in autocross, road course and open road competitions. Thus the story of Double Down as you see her today started. 

DSCN9485With a Tiger quick change rearend, Ridetech shocks and magnesium “wide five” Sprint Car wheels, Double Down is being prepped for competition on autocross courses, road courses and even the Salt Flats.

Of course, set to help the car make the most of its all-wheel-drive upgrades is a pretty stellar engine- a Jon Kaase Boss Nine crate engine rated at 750hp. Although the engine, let alone the car, isn’t finished, we do know that the roadster will be helped out by Jet-Hot High Performance 1300 premium ceramic coated headers.

Double Down has at least another 9 months to go before she’s ready for the road and the salt, but according to those that we talked to in the Jet Hot booth, we may get another look at the car before it goes full throttle at next year’s SEMA Show!


Monday’s Hot Rod of the Day: 1932 Ford Roadster


The 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most popular hot rods built in today’s industry, but leave it to the folks displaying their cars at the SEMA Show to prove once and for all that even the most popular hot rod model on the road can be done up in incredibly unique fashion.

DSCN9476This particular ’32 we found in the Centerforce booth was built, and is owned by Doug Dwyer of Fallbrook, California, and Larry Maddox of Hemet, CA, who builds his own cars with a dedicated crew, including Randy Davidson, Mark Perinsky and David Jacques, out of his personal garage. Having taken just about a year and a half to complete, the hot rod is a fresh build, one that was completed the Friday before the 2013 SEMA Show got underway.

Nicknamed Blue Steel, the ’32 has a definite color scheme throughout, featuring a custom blend of House of Kolor paint, as well as blue tinted glass from Shelby Auto Glass, customized blue Bilstein coilovers, a blue powder-coated undercarriage and frame thanks to Embee Performance Powder Coating, blue engine belts, wires and dress-up components, and blue Baer 6-piston caliper brakes. Even the lug nuts that hold the 18-inch front and 20-inch rear Mickey Thompson wheels and tires on the car are blue.

Additional components on the car include ARP fasteners, a Dan Fink grille and custom plating by Ogden Plating, and D&S Plating

DSCN9125Although it looks phenomenal, Maddox assured us he will never do a one-color car again, stating that its just too hard to make everything match perfectly.


While the blue color scheme is definitely an attention-getter, so too is the incredibly robust engine out front. Powering the ’32 is a Ford 427 SOHC engine, which originally had Hillborn injection but was converted for this project to electric using a Holley computer system, built by RD Performance. This rare engine sets Maddox’s hot rod even further apart from others than the color scheme.

Boosting the engine’s performance is a Mattson radiator, MagnaFlow exhaust system, MSD ignition, starter and alternator, and an Optima battery.

Backing the Ford 427 is a Tremec 5-speed with a Centerforce clutch and flywheel. The car also features a 9-inch Currie rearend with 4.11 gears and a Flaming River rack and pinion. 


Inside the car, you’ll find a Dark Chocolate interior done by Armando’s Upholstery, which contrasts the car’s blue hue amazingly. The interior also features Lokar pedals and a modified shifter, as well as instruments from RacePak.

DSCN9477Special thanks goes to all the companies listed above, as well as Darren Weatherby Machinist, Dooley Enterprises, Eversion Performance, “Fat Jack” Robinson Hot Rods, Smitty’s Auto Paint, Ramona Tire, Techna-Fit, Kugel Komponents and Unland Machine.

Maddox’s car has already been chosen as part of the 2014 Grand National Roadster Show’s Top 10 and we wish Maddox luck in his quest for the ultimate honor of being the 2014 America’s Most Beautiful Roadster winner!

Friday’s Hot Rod Of the Day: 1934 Ford Coupe


Do you remember what we said about paint company booths being one of the prime locations to find killer rides? Well, that’s exactly where we found this amazing 1934 Ford Coupe owned by Christian Harker of New York, except this time it was PPG that played the gracious host.

DSCN9166Designed by Harker and built by Brian Mosbeck, as well as fabricated by Jake and Zach Mosbeck, and Tom Oostdik, the ’34 Ford is customization at its finest.

Over eight years of time, including six and a half years worth of labor, every bit of the car was hand-built, from the modified body panels to the suspension and billet components; the goal being that no one could buy the vast majority of the components featured on the car. Adding to that appeal is the fact that very few people were involved in the build, giving the hot rod one unique story.

Topping the car’s unique build is the performance components included in the customization you see here. Under the hood, you’ll find a Ford 427ci engine from Wheeler Racing Engines capable of producing 460hp. Backing that is a Tremec 5-speed, as well as a Winters quick-change rearend. And while this may all seem a bit silly for a show car, Harker is expected to eventually use the car as a driver. How’s that for a true show-quality streetable hot rod?  


Thursday’s Rod of the Day: 1957 “Quick Silver” Chevy Truck


So far we’ve featured a crazy Kaiser and one hell of a Tri-Five in our quest to bring you some of the top rods of the SEMA Show. And today, we’re moving to include another area of the hot rod world and that’s custom trucks. This one in particular, owned by Alan Beers and built by Hot Rod Garage of Oklahoma, and displayed in the SEMA HRIA/ARMO, Councils booth, was even a 2013 Ridler Great 8 finalist!

DSCN9083Nicknamed Quick Silver, this 1957 Chevy pickup has been upgraded in every possible area. To start out with, every body panel on the truck was either customized or hand-built by Hot Rod Garage, including the pancaked and re-shaped hood, 3-inch chopped top and the hand-built bed. Even components like the windshield, tailgate, grill and back glass were all custom made for this truck.

The truck is then topped off with a Tungsten/ Quicksilver paint job using Planet Color paint by Sherwin Williams, as well as custom plating from Jon Wright’s Custom Chrome Plating and pinstripe details compliments of Lil’ Toot Auto Art Works.

Inside the truck, you’ll find just as many interesting details, including a re-shaped dash with a one-off gauge panel created by Jimmy’s Hot Rod Design, which features custom gauges from Classic Instruments. For the custom upholstery, Chuck Rowland Upholstery was used. The interior even features a custom steering wheel, gas pedal and brake pedal machined by Greening Auto.

DSCN9082Adding even more appeal to the truck’s modified form is the potent but expertly concealed engine driving this beast. Pop the hood and you’ll find a monstrous 540ci big block Chevy engine, built by Chaz Rose of Tulsa, with Crower Intake stacks and converted to EFI. Evacuating the exhaust from the potent engine are custom headers built by Halloway Race Cars tied to custom 3-inch pipes, which help give the engine a healthy 650 hp rating.

DSCN9086Backing the engine is a Gearstar 4L60E automatic transmission with a Compu Shift controller. This is tied to a narrowed Ford 9-inch rearend with 3.70 gears, which is supported by a custom 4-link rear suspension with Bilstein coilovers and a custom panhard bar. Up front, you’ll find a Fatman Mustang II suspension also complimented by Bilstein coilovers.

Sticking power for the truck comes compliments of BF Goodrich rubber wrapped around one-off 20×8-inch and 22×12-inch wheels. Stopping power, on the other hand, comes compliments of Baer six-piston calipers and 15-inch rotors. Quick Silver is an amazing truck in every facet. Of course, we still have two more amazing vehicles to show you before SEMA is done!

DSCN9085Wedneday’s Hot Rod of the Day: 1957 Chevy Bel Air


When looking for some of the most pristine cars on the SEMA Show floor, one place to start is in the many professional paint company’s booths. And that’s exactly where we found this gem, thanks to Axalta!

DSCN8965Owned by Jerry and Lorrie Jacobs, this mighty pro street Chevy has been kind of a Jack of all trades in the Jacobs’ possession. It was built before, but it wasn’t until just a couple days ago that it was officially transformed into the glorious beauty you see here. This build took about two and a half years and amazingly was finished up just three days before the SEMA Show opened.

Being proudly shown off in the Axalta booth, the classic Tri-Five sports a custom Cherry Brandywine paint scheme that Lorrie helped create with Axalta’s help.

Adding even more pizzazz to the car is the modified stainless steal trim, which was stripped of its sheen, run through the same kind of machine that gives light fixtures their brushed look and then painted with a translucent Charcoal color, another touch chosen by Lorrie.

DSCN8958As if the unique paint scheme isn’t enough, bubbling up under the hood you’ll find an all aluminum 573ci Keith Black engine that is both blown and injected, giving the car about 1,200hp and 1,000 lb-ft of torque. Backing the potent engine is a built Turbo 400 transmission, which connects the power to the pavement via a complete Chassisworks chassis with an IFS, 4-link rearend, built-in 12-point cage and coilovers on all four corners.

Underneath the car you’ll find a full set of Aerospace Components brakes as well as a differential from the same company. Tying the car’s power potential to the road are ginormous custom, single issued Performance Machine wheels wrapped in, believe it or not, 15×8-inch rubber in the front and 33×22-inch rubber in the rear. Topping it off, the Performance Machine wheels are the only set ever made by the famed motorcycle wheel company.

Narrowed 4 inches and lengthened by the same, the Bel Air also features an amazing custom, hand-stitched leather interior done by Bill’s Upholstery in colors to match the exterior. This is complimented with a set of Dakota Digital gauges.

Although she’s one heck of a show-quality, nasty beast, the Jacobs assure us that the car is a great driver. Of course, once you hit the gas pedal a bit too hard, that’s when things get hairy!  



Tuesday’s Rod of the Day: 1951 Kaiser Henry J


Our first hot rod was an easy choice, which we found representing the Painless booth quite well. Owned by “The Quarter Turn Fastener Man” Ted Dzus, this 1951 Henry J is anything but mundane while maintaining some of its classic curves. And unlike a majority of the cars you see at SEMA, it was built right in a two-car garage by Dzus and his friend.


Drawing attention immediately is the Kaiser’s PPG School Bus Yellow paint job. This is complimented by some of the car’s originalchrome work found in places like on the unique hood ornament.

While she’s as sleek as she was the day she rolled off the assembly line, this Henry J is sporting a lot more power than the factory powerplant could produce. That’s because under the hood, you’ll find a BMP aluminum 528ci HEMI engine fitted with Wiseco pistons, Kooks headers, a Hogan’s Racing intake manifold, COMP Cams camshaft and an MSD ignition.

Topping it all off is a Vortech supercharger. Backing the powerful engine is a TCI 4L80E transmission tied to a Dynotech drive shaft.


Riding atop a Ridetech air ride suspension system, the car also features such upgrades as a 9-inch rearend from S&W Race Cars, axles from Currie Enterprises, Baer brakes and Weld Racing wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson rubber.

DSCN8795Inside the car, you’ll find a custom interior done by Phoenix Interiors, which incorporates a Flaming River steering column, power windows, air conditioning from Vintage Air and a roll cage designed by S&W Race Cars. Of course, just like the body of the car, there are still odes to the vehicle’s past that can be found in the interior, including the Kaiser’s original steering wheel.

The 2013 SEMA Show is officially over, as is our Top 5, but don’t fret – we still have plenty more to share with you from the floor of the biggest aftermarket show in the country coming up!


About the author

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles - she's owned and driven it all. When she's not busy writing about them, she's out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn't love a tech-savy gal that knows her way around a garage?
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