The SEMA Show is an annual spectacle of all things automotive, as the world’s top auto manufacturers (both OEM and aftermarket) overtake the Las Vegas Convention Center for a week. And while the SEMA Show features hundreds of cars, trucks and other performance vehicles, it added another level of excellence by starting the SEMA Battle of the Builders. This competition is available for any display vehicle as the SEMA Show, and all participants are narrowed down to the Top 40, then the Top 12 by a selection of judges. Then, the Top 12 builders vote among themselves to determine the Top 3. The winner of the SEMA Battle of the Builders is crowned during the SEMA Ignited event on Friday evening, after the show closes. The SEMA Ignited event is open to the public, allowing car enthusiasts of all ages to check out the awesome vehicles. This year, the SEMA Battle of the Builders event came down to three awesome hot rods, all of which roll on Coker Tire products. Continue reading to check them out!
Coming out on top of the 2017 SEMA Battle of the Builders competition was Rad Rods by Troy, a Manteno, Illinois-based shop, operated by Troy Trepanier. The car, a highly customized 1929 Ford Model A Tudor, is a one-of-a-kind creation, boasting a beautiful Bronze paint job, Italian leather interior and countless custom details. Owned by Dennis Mariani, the Model A rolls on a set of one-off wheels, wrapped in 5.50R18 and 7.00R19 Excelsior Stahl Sport Radial tires. Coker Tire designed and built Excelsior radials for pre-WWII hot rods, blending period correct sizing with radial ride quality.
The Battle of the Builders Runner Up is the “Mulholland Speedster”, a hand-crafted 1936 Packard roadster that won the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award at the 2017 Grand National Roadster Show. Troy Ladd and his crew at Hollywood Hot Rods is responsible for the coach-built masterpiece, which took six years to complete for owner Bruce Wanta. The art deco design is complemented by a set of Firestone 6.50-16 wide whitewalls from Coker Tire. The Firestone piecrust sidewall and embossed lettering offers the right look for this high-end custom.
Rounding out the Top Three is the Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop-built 1932 Ford Tudor, owned by George Poteet. The sleek sedan has already racked up some hardware on the show circuit this year, and the Top Three nomination adds to its list of accolades. A set of magnesium wheels and Firestone Dirt Track tires add to the car’s race-inspired appearance. Coker Tire expanded upon Firestone’s famous Dirt Track tires from the ‘60s to accommodate popular hot rod sizes, including 5.00-16 and 8.20-18, as shown on George Poteet’s Deuce sedan.
–Photo credit: SEMA