SEMA-Hottest-THUMB-11-5-13This year’s SEMA Award for the top trending vehicle models in four categories were announced today at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The Ford Mustang was named Hottest Car, the Scion FR-S took the Hottest Sport Compact honors, the Ford F-Series won Hottest Truck and the Jeep Wrangler received the Hottest 4×4-SUV award.

“The SEMA Show has always been the annual event where the newest and most innovative products are seen first,” said Chris J. Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “The SEMA Award celebrates the industry’s unique ability to identify and set the trends that influence consumers worldwide.”

The SEMA Award recognizes vehicle models that specialty-equipment manufacturers believe are the best platforms for accessorization and that showcase the year’s coolest products. It also underscores the cooperative relationship between the automakers and SEMA-member companies.

THUMB-Photos-SEMA-2013-11-4-13If you love anything automotive, SEMA is a wonderland. The problem is that the general public can’t just buy tickets and stroll in. Nope, the Special Equipment Manufacturers Association Show is for the automotive industry, so unless you know someone or work within the industry in some capacity, chances are you’re not getting in. The good news is that the media is allowed in, so we can show the general public all the cools things they wouldn’t otherwise see at the show.

From concept vehicles to new product unveils, celebrity appearances and booth girls, there’s eye candy in every direction at the Las Vegas Convention Center this week. Check out our photo highlights of the show for all of the coolest off-road vehicles and gear. We’ll update the gallery throughout the week of the show, so be sure to check back and drool a little at all the cool stuff.

SEMA-Thumb-2013-WD40-Truck-Sketch-11-4-13LAS VEGAS – Chip Foose and WD-40 Company are heading back to the SEMA Show, this time to debut a one-of-a-kind, custom off-road truck that will eventually be raffled off to one lucky winner, with proceeds benefitting three SEMA Cares charities.

The Foose-inspired vehicle, dubbed the WD-40®/SEMA Cares Foose Ford F-150, was the first vehicle built inside the new state-of-the-art SEMA Garage – a facility that allows SEMA member companies to test and prototype parts, try its 3D modeling and printing, and use its full-scale photo studio, among other things. Through a partnership with the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts (AXC), underprivileged teens and young adults worked alongside leading SEMA manufacturers to install parts and equipment on the special project vehicle.

RK-Motors-Bronco-10-31-13CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Oct. 31, 2013 – RK Motors Charlotte, one of the nation’s premier restorers, re-sellers and builders of classic, muscle and high-performance cars, spearheaded a project to restore and customize a classic Ford Bronco in honor of fallen hero, US Navy SEAL  Chief Adam Brown. The truck  was part of a “Give Forward” campaign where the public donated $65,319,660, while RKMC and other corporate sponsors including 5-Hour Energy, RoushYates, BDS Suspension and ESAB provided parts, services and additional funds for “Project Fearless.” The 1991 Bronco was recently completed in the RK Motors Performance Center, located in Mooresville, NC, and unveiled to Chief Brown’s family.

“When I first heard of Chief Brown’s incredible bravery, I was moved by his sacrifice,” said Rob Kauffman, Owner and Chairman, RK Motors, LLC. “While his service as a Navy SEAL was admirable, his battle to overcome personal demons to reach the U.S. military’s top tier was inspiring. We felt compelled to help rebuild Chief Brown’s Bronco as a tribute to him and his family. It was just the right thing to do.”

Danny-Beauchamp-TORC-Crandon-9-5-13Escanaba, MI – The battle for the TORC Super Stock Championship came down the final lap of the season and for the second year in a row Danny Beauchamp handled the pressure to claim his second consecutive championship. The Labor Day Weekend event in Crandon not only saw Beauchamp compete in the final two rounds of the TORC Sportsman season, but the team competed in Friday evening’s B & L SAND TOYS Sportsman Trophy Race. Needless to say the Upper Peninsula crew rose to the occasion every time Beauchamp hit the track.

The weekend of racing for Danny Beauchamp and the #826 Coplan’s Iron & Metal/Hill Top RV Superstore/JC’s Mobile Wash/Splash of Color/Pike Distributors Ford F-150 began with the B & L SAND TOYS Sportsman Trophy Race. The race was similar the weekend ending AMSOIL CUP, but this race put nearly thirty Sportsman race trucks representing four truck classes, starting at three separate times, out on the track for over $13,000 in cash and product. Beauchamp at one point led the middle stages of the race, but two racers from the quicker classes were able to make clean passes around the Coplan’s Iron & Metal Super Stock Truck. Even with that said, Beauchamp kept charging and finished third overall, taking home over $2,000 for his efforts.

Warn-Industries-Logo-5-29-13CLACKAMAS, OR – Warn Industries, Inc. has been chosen by Ford Motor Company as a Gold winner in its World Excellence Awards, an honor that puts Warn in the elite class of only 14 companies worldwide.

Warn President John Stransky was presented the award at Ford’s annual celebration on Thursday, May 23 at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.

A total of 35 companies internationally were given the honor by Ford in two categories – Gold and Silver – in recognition as one of Ford’s top-performing global suppliers.

Bilstein-Sweeps-Truck-4-17-13Poway, Calif. – BILSTEIN, the world’s leading manufacturer of monotube gas pressure shock absorbers, is proud to announce an exciting new contest. Starting April 15, enthusiasts can enter to win one of three customized vehicles and a trip to the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas where they’ll pick up their new ride. Once they vote, participants will also have the chance to select the parts to be installed on the vehicle, which will come from the leading aftermarket brands in the industry.

In this one-of-a-kind sweepstakes, enthusiasts will be able to vote for the ride of their choice from now until August 1 and enter to win until October 7. BILSTEIN will tally the votes and build the fan favorite for the sweepstakes winner. The choices include the classic Ford Mustang GT, an off-road worthy Ford F-150 truck or a sporty BMW 335i.

dB-Air-Intake-Ford-Raptor-3-19-13BEREA, Ohio – dB Performance by CORSA offers a new line of Air Intakes designed for late-model Jeeps and trucks.

The dB Performance Air Intakes feature filters with PowerCore Filtration Technology by Donaldson, which optimize engine performance by directing air through specifically designed channels that allow clean air to efficiently enter the engine.  Made from injection-molded plastic, the dB Intakes contain an application-specific filter box that is engineering to minimize hot air from entering the engine for increased horsepower.

Sanderson Ford and partners built a 2012 Ford Raptor for the Special Olympics Arizona that was unveiled at SEMA this year and will be auctioned off at the 2013 Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson (with 100% of the sale price going to the AZ Special Olympics). The theme to this truck will be a heritage kickback to the “Ford Rough Riders” with its Red/White/Blue paint scheme.

Foutz Motorsports has agreed to partner with Sanderson Ford to produce this state of the art Raptor Pre-Runner. All sponsored products will be donated to Special Olympics and a letter will come directly from them so that you can write it off as a charitable contribution.

La Paz Racing took on the last and final round of the Best In The Desert (BITD) racing series in Jean, Nevada (15 miles north of the California/Nevada boarder) for the Transwest Ford Henderson 250.

Although the championship had already been decided for the La Paz Racing team for the third consecutive year, they made it a personal goal to go out and leave it all on the racecourse and leave no rock unturned.  They didn’t just want to win the championship; they wanted to win every race possible.  After three years and thirteen wins, they were looking to add number fourteen to the list at the BITD Transwest Ford Henderson 250.