From modified Mustangs to old school Camaro RSs to a four-wheel-drive Challenger - yes, really - here are our muscle car picks from SEMA’s vast floor.
You are here
Gallery: the tuned muscle cars from SEMA 2015
Includes a 3,000bhp quad-V8-engined Mustang dragster, and an orange Pantera
Mustang Mach IV
Leading the muscle car charge at SEMA 2015 was this vintage Mustang Mach IV from the Galpin Auto Sports collection. Proving that you can never have too much power, Gary Weckesser’s 1969 Ford Mustang funny car has not one but four 5.8-litre Windsor V8s putting out a combined 3,000bhp. That’s enough to propel it through the quarter-mile in a mere seven seconds and hit 180mph in the process. That’s not just funny – it’s hilarious.
Dutchboys Hotrods 71 Camaro RS
The latest creation of this father-and-son tuning shop based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, this 71 RS has been tastefully resurrected over the past two years.
As there was virtually nothing left of the original car other than some rust-encrusted panels and a frame, the shop decided to turn the Chevy into a proper vintage road race car instead of just taking it back to its somewhat puny standard spec. And the result is mighty convincing. The smoothed-over bodywork with flush-fitting rear bumper covers a chassis riding on a locally produced Detroit Speed Inc suspension system.
And the standard engine has been swapped for a Livernois Motorsports-sorted LS7 engine. The 71 Camaros were never the most sought-after of models, but this one definitely gets on our want list.
Ring Brothers widebody Mustang
One of SEMA’s most famous acts, having previously wowed us with cars such as Recoil and a super slick DeTomaso Pantera – the latter bought by Fast N Loud star Richard Rawlings – Ringbros had not one but three cars on show to the drooling public.
On its own stand was its gorgeous $37,000 full carbon fibre widebody kit for the ‘65 Mustang, making the car 4 inches broader…
Ring Brothers 'SPLITR' Mustang
…but the other two finished cars were arguably more impressive. The first, known as the Espionage, is finished in Spy Green and packs a conflict-ending 959bhp/858lb ft supercharged V8. The second fastback Stang, known as SPLITR (above), is a more track-focused weapon that features a completely smooth race car-like undertray, among many other deeply cool details.
Chip Foose DeTomaso Pantera
You have to look closely to see what’s been done to this Pantera, as it looks at first glance like a straight – albeit very nice – restoration.
Once you get your eye in, you can see where Foose has massaged the look and feel of the mid-engined Mustang-powered exotic. The wheels are bigger but retain the DeTomaso design, the ride height has been lowered and the door handles and sidelights have been swapped for Euro-spec items. The engine is a rebuilt 351 Cleveland while the interior is pretty much standard, other than a custom two-spoke steering wheel. Rumors continue to swirl in the industry about the DeTomaso brand making a comeback. Seeing cars like this makes us think it really wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
Camaro Black Concept
Doing what it says on the tin, Chevy’s factory concept, called the Camaro Black, takes the 2016 model and replaces all colour on the car with the tuning industry standard hue: black. And when we say all, we mean all the colour.
Other than the devilishly red-tinted headlights and silver stripes, the exterior is a riot of black, black and more black. The interior is the same. Taking a leaf out of Henry Ford’s book, you can have any of the parts as accessories – as long as they’re black, too.
Other Camaro concepts included the Krypton, which boasted electroluminescent paint.
Dodge Challenger GT
It’s still only a concept, but that surely won’t stop it from making production soon. This wide-bodied Challenger GT bristles with Mopar – FCA’s factory tuning division – bits, from the extended wheel arches to the flat-bottomed steering wheel, via a Scat Pack 3 performance kit which adds another 79bhp to the 5.7-litre HEMI’s already healthy output.
But the really trick bit is the AWD system that allows you to get all those ponies to the ground without grenading the rear tyres. The company isn’t saying much about the AWD system, but there’s a good chance it borrows heavily from the one fitted to the four-door Charger stablemate. With winter upon us already, bring it on.
DRAGG police Mustang
Ford showed no fewer than eight different tuned Mustangs on its stand, each with a story as unique as the tuners who built them. But one of the most interesting was the DRAGG cop car.
Rather than some kind of ‘we are just as fast as you’ brag from the local law, it’s actually a social science project on wheels. DRAGG stands for Drag Racing Against Gangs and Graffiti and is the brainchild of two cops from a force in Oxnard, just north of Los Angeles.
Instead of chasing the potential law breakers, they give them something fun to do instead – build and tune a cop car. The only thing they aren’t allowed to do with it is borrow it at weekends…