Replicas and Kits of SEMA ’19

Posted November 19, 2019

By Dean Larson

Photos by Dean Larson and Steve Temple

Read it on the cover of our magazine or across the header on our site: Continuation, Reproduction and Replica Automobiles, that’s our main focus on here at RCN. So we would be remiss to not dedicate some space to the cars of this flavor that we found at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. We’ll be sure to get you up to speed on what we found there, but we won’t be telling all, as we’re tracking down some of these cars for upcoming features in the magazine. So if I gloss over something, just hang in there for a few months!

Tucci Hot Rods ’32 Ford

One car that caught our eye early on Monday, before the show technically opened, was this radical ’32 Ford. This neo hot rod really shows off what’s great about the reproduction car hobby, as the fiberglass body allows builders to take a car to a whole new dimension without dicing up a valuable original.

The car was built an outfit called Tucci Hot Rods and commissioned by the Syracuse Nationals organization as a 20th anniversary giveaway vehicle. It’s powered by a twin-turbo, 3.5-liter Ford EcoBoost and boasts inboard coilover suspension up front. With big name sponsors involved, like Wilwood, Falken, Rotiform, Lokar and Currie, the car has some coin in its construction and should be a lightweight, potent performer as well.

Aluminum Shelby 427 S/C

The replica and continuation car industry continues to soar to new heights, but it seems nothing will stop people dead in their tracks like a beautiful Cobra roadster. Hidden in a back lot, this CSX4000-series 427 from our friends at DenBeste Motorsports still managed to draw a crowd, likely thanks to the glimmer of its polished aluminum body in the Vegas sun.

4000-series cars reflect the 427 S/C cars to a high degree, while incorporating a few improvements in the chassis, fluid systems and metal alloys. This car made an especially strong statement thanks to its twin Paxton superchargers and dual four-barrel carburetors. The induction additions were complemented by a Super Snake-style hood bulge, but we were pleased to find a manual transmission in the cockpit, unlike the original Super Snake’s automatic.

As an aside, I was pretty displeased to witness the familiar knock-on-the-fender, or feel-the-inside-fender-lip treatment while taking these photos. In fact, the whole car showed signs of fingerprints from the show attendees. It’s polished aluminum, for God’s sake, just leave it be!

Speedmaster FFR Roadster

Last year, our friends at Speedmaster were displaying a custom Factory Five ’33 Hot Rod, and we were pleased to find another FFR build there this year. Their Mk4 Roadster was finished in an eye-popping blue, complemented by black stripes and accents with a tan interior. The combination was off the beaten path, and the car showed really well.

Its different than what I usually go for, but I found myself digging the black finish on the wheels and aggressive tire fitment (215/40ZR18 front and 315/30ZR18 rear). The car was fitted with a full Bluetooth sound system that was completely concealed, and the interior was well appointed with AutoMeter Gauges and even a pair of cup holders. The FFR was a great rolling promo for the company’s parts, as the intake, air cleaner, front belt drive, and numerous other parts were off-the-shelf items at Speedmaster. Built for a customer, the car certainly highlights what you can get in a build from them.

S-Klub/Slang500 550 Spyders

Tucked in the Toyo Tires tent was this pair of highly customized Porsche 550 Spyder replicas done by a builder known as S Klub Slang500. The two Spyders are finished differently from one another but in complementing styles. They feature wild interiors and some serious plating and flash in the engine bays.

The car wearing the metallic root-beer shade was converted to a center-steer configuration, and sported an air-cooled VW with some Weber jewelry under the hatch. The gray car on the other hand, was powered by a turbocharged, water-cooled Subaru engine with a huge intercooler.

Factory Five Racing

As we’ve come to expect, Factory Five Racing had a ton going on in their outdoor and indoor displays. The company said we’d be getting a first look at a couple new products, so we made it our first stop when the show opened Tuesday morning.

Expanding the red-hot Hot Rod segment is the new Speedstar coupe. It’s based on FFR’s successful Hot Rod chassis, but incorporates streamlined elements acquired in the purchase of the Rat’s Glass company. We were also impressed by the array of ’35 Hot Rod trucks, especially Mark Gearhart’s 1,000+ hp Drift Rod and Joey Logano’s drift truck.

Logano’s truck in particular was a cool mix of influences, as it blended NASCAR influences seamlessly with the truck’s hot rod flavor. The huge NASCAR slicks made for a dramatic presentation, and the additional cage work made the truck appear well suited for more than just tire-smoking antics. The engine was actually sourced from one of Joey’s previous race cars, and the Ford mill has actually landed him in the winner’s circle previous to its installation in the truck. The interior had some cool racy bits, including the aluminum seats and QuickCar switch panel, but there were some fun items included as well, like the hydraulic drift brake and full door cards.

What really grabbed our attention was the company’s upcoming front-engine hyper car. The bronze powder-coated chassis in the booth showed off FFR’s technical excellence, and a V12 LS engine to boot. Carbon fiber body panels are coming, and we can’t wait to hear more on the project in early 2020.

Superformance

Superformance also came with several replicas, including a GT40 in Gulf colors, a Custom Series roadster and a traditional slabside Cobra with wires. We also spotted another roadster on the opposite side of the hall with a disguised Chevrolet powerplant under the hood, and a freshly overhauled Daytona Coupe from Chip Foose.

The burnout experience in the Ford Out Front display was not quite as exciting this year without the Cobra sessions that we’ve enjoyed in the past courtesy of Superformance, Hillbank Motor Corp and V’s Performance. Word is that new personnel in charge of the event for Ford dictated that only Ford production vehicles be allowed to take part, making the event a bit more monochromatic.

In the Superformance booth in central hall, we found one of their MKIII-CS (Custom Series) roadsters with a sinister appearance. A contemporary finish of slate gray, black and red on the body sheds convention, and pairs well with the black accents for a more modern look. An upgraded interior with diamond-stitched upholstery completes the transformation.

Vaydor Supercar

Displayed in the Universal Air Suspension Company booth, this Vaydor Supercar made a pretty dramatic statement. The car was absolutely dumped to the ground and wore huge wheels with color-matched barrels. It’s pretty wild to think that this thing is based on a run-of-the-mill Infinity G35, and few people on the show floor made that connection.

We stopped by the booth on two occasions, and had interesting experiences each time. The first time, I was taking photos of the car and pair of show goers approached me and asked if I knew what the heck the car was. A separate time, two people were arguing whether the car was a Lamborghini or not. Given the taillight orientation, you can see where they were coming from.

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SEMA 2019 The SEMA Show