2019 SEMA Corvette Showcase: Part 2 – Unforgettable Highlights

Today on our blog, we are excited to present Part 2 of Wayne Ellwood’s coverage of 2019 SEMA, originally featured in the March 2020 issue of Vette Vues Magazine. Due to health issues, Wayne’s coverage was enriched with photos from various on-site contributors, alongside insights from social media sources and the shops involved in each build. We hope you enjoy the article and extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who graciously provided their photos!

You can check out SEMA 2019 Part 1 Here.

1963 FAMILY TRADITION by Eddies Rod & Custom

Eddie Pettus’s 1963 Chevrolet Corvette coupe definitely turned heads at SEMA. The dazzling Hermosa Blue color is a custom mix from BASF Glasurit. The wheels are a natural complement and add the bling along with the custom front and rear bumpers.

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The stainless surround for the gas cap door, body emblems, and grille have been removed.

The build is powered by a supercharged LT4 crate engine backed by a Tremec six-speed transmission. The vehicle rides on Detroit Speed suspension, and the engine exhales through a custom stainless exhaust.

The engine compartment visually benefits from a custom cover. Cooling is through GC Cooling electric fans and a custom radiator. The interior was custom-made by Gabe’s Upholstery, and included overwhelmingly beautiful custom leather work and a top-of-the-line Kicker Q-class stereo.

Finish it off with an Ididit tilt steering column and Vintage Air (air conditioning), and you have a place you’d love to live.

1963 Ballistic Beige – Kyle Kuhnhausen

The owner of Ballistic Beige previously owned a saddle-tan painted 1963 Corvette in the 80s as one of his early hot-rods. He commissioned Kuhnhausen Metal Concepts to give him back a piece of his youth by recreating that original look on the exterior and interior.

His direction was to never stray too far (aesthetically) from the archetypal American C2 Vette. However, this Vette has a twist. The beige becomes ballistic as you pop the hood or peer underneath this ride.

Sitting on a heavily modified Art Morrison IRS chassis featuring JRI Double adjustable coil-overs, six-piston 14″ Wilwood brakes, a Woodward Road Race Rack, and massive Michelin tires all around 345/19 rear 295/19 front atop Forgeline LS3 3-piece wheels with real knockoff tri-bars. This beast is ready to annihilate corners.

Propelling the chassis is a G.M. Performance LT4 Crate engine with dry sump oiling stuffed 4″ back with a bespoke firewall mated to a 4l75E transmission, a QA1 Carbon Fiber driveshaft and Strange S60 IRS Differential.

The star of the engine bay is the massive C&R cooling package horizontally mounted like a modern super car. The car keeps its 1960s charm while everything unseen from afar is living well into 2020. This project was completed in October 2019, which was in time for the 2019 SEMA show reveal.

1964 Corvette Widebody – Tony Arme, American Legends

This 1964 widebody Corvette, with the 1963 split window feature added, hides a very large number of modifications. It was built by Tony Arme at American Legends for owner Tim Kirby. The “widebody” nomenclature comes from the widened front and rear fenders. The body has been “smoothed,” the wiper vents removed, and the 1963 split window feature added. The car carries carbon fiber bumpers, flush-mount glass, shaved locks, and electric door handles. The exterior paint is a BASF Glasurit product in a mid-gray called Cyber Gray.

The car rides on a (narrow) Roadster Shop chassis to permit wider rear wheels. The engine is a Texas Speed LS7, yielding 640 HP. A Tremec TR6060 6-speed transmission provides a good range of gears to fully utilize the available power. Other features include custom-built headers, a Speartech harness, BeCool radiator, Holly Sniper intake, and a serpentine belt arrangement from Vintage Air. Of course, the battery is an ODYSSEY Extreme Series PC1200 with hold down. Wilwood brakes hide behind the Avant Garde 20 x 12.5″ rear and 19 x 10.5″ front carbon wheels.

The interior is well-dressed with Dakota digital gauges, Vintage Air controller and vents, 3-D printed door panels, and dash components. A Rockford Fosgate Bluetooth system connects the electronics. There is LED lighting and a set of Schroth racing harnesses provide the safety element.

C6 Valarra Body Kit – Custom Crafted Cars at SEMA 2019

The Valarra body kit for C6 Corvettes is another sleek hand-crafted design from the mind of Matthew McEntegart of Mattao Concepts in Pinellas Park (F.L.).

Matt previously designed such other kits as the Vaydor exotic body kit that was featured as the Joker’s car in the Suicide Squad movie. Naturally, the model shown at SEMA is fully loaded with quite a range of accessories and custom pieces that are not included in the basic kit. But, as presented, a person was hard-pressed even to recognize the brand of the donor car.

The Valarra, as it is known, can be built on any 2005-2013 Corvette. A donor car is needed for the Valarra rebody. At around $ 30,000 (U.S.), the price of the kit does not include the donor car or any of the other features shown on the display vehicle at SEMA.

There are additional options/add-ons (Performance, Rim/tire, Carbon Chop, etc.) to kit for an additional charge. Pricing for the kit includes “rough” installation at our facility.

Matt offers installations only at his shop. Additional bodywork and paint must be arranged separately. Installs will start after the first of the year 2020.

C7 – Carbon Competition Body Kit – Khoa Nguyen

Another new entrant to the field of custom panels for the C7 is Khoa Nguyen, a designer and manufacturer linked to Signature Wheels and with manufacturing facilities in Taiwan (China).

The front-end body kit comprises one piece for the front and fenders and (optional) a hood with a large opening for any enhanced engine add-ons. There are minor panels for the rear bumper and a rear splitter, too.

All-in-all, it is difficult to offer much detail as the whole thing is fairly new, and the owner’s response seems limited to one Corvette Forum member who indicates that he has very good service from Taiwan (China) regarding the signature wheels he has ordered.

C7 – the Foose Custom C7

Chip Foose’s major entry to the 2019 SEMA was a 1974 Jaguar. This is not covered here. As far as Corvettes were concerned, there was also one custom C7 on the Magnaflow stage on the Monday before SEMA officially opened. The appearance of that Corvette was incidental to the main feature, which as an important media announcement hosted by the MOTOR TREND GROUP.

So, the C7, which was modified as part of the new OVERHAULIN’ T.V. series, was primarily a “pr” item. At best we can guess, at this time, that the main features are going to be something of a repeat of a video for the customization of the C5 Corvette, which Chip made available on Facebook.

He briefly indicated that the front grill area and the rear valance (not visible in the photos) required limited modification. For the C5 (not the C7), Foose modified the rear quarter (and bumper) to lower the overall bulk. The rear spoiler is built-in rather than an add-on.

The wheels are by Foose and the wheel/tire sizing appears slightly modified. The interior and motor are going to be roughly stock with color and texture mods for the interior.

The major impact comes from the paint job. This combination of a champagne (sparkling beige) lower with a black upper, separated by an orange stripe, is almost a “signature” design. The owner (seen in the photo) has to be thrilled…. and if this were an Overhaulin’ special, the price would probably thrill him too.

Foose Custom C7 Overhaulin TV PR Corvette at SEMA 2019

Gas Monkey – The Midas Monkey

This is the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Hot Wheels commissioned and built by Gas Monkey Garage. When Mattel approached Richard Rawlings about doing a line of Gas Monkey Garage Hot Wheels cars, he responded with a 427, 4-speed 1968 Corvette with a radical, blown big block, custom metal-flake paint riding on custom 20X12″ and 18X8″ U.S. Mags with a one-off set of custom M.T. Sportsman wheels, complete with the signature red line custom-molded into the tires.

Gas Monkey Garage started with a very solid 1968 Coupe that was originally ordered with a 427 and 4-speed manual transmission. The Monkeys then went through the entire car, replacing all of the suspension, brakes and steering components with brand-new components and replacing the complete interior to like-new specifications.

The original 427 was completely gone through to ensure it would be up to the task of receiving the air/fuel mixture a Weiand 871 blower and dual Holley 750s would deliver.

A custom one-off exhaust was fabricated to dump straight through the side gills. Attention was then focused on the exterior, with a set of L88 rear flares integrated into the body before it was covered with a custom House of Kolor metal-flake fade paint job. The entire build was documented on the hit show “Fast N’ Loud.”

The car was sold to a businessman from Calgary (Alta), CANADA, at the Barrett-Jackson auction. It has made subsequent appearances at SEMA under the HOT WHEELS banner.

1968 Corvette Hot Wheels built by Gas Monkey Garage

PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS FROM SEMA 2019:

  • Christophe Dumeix (Stingfast)
  • Stephane Supermot
  • Stephane Gouwy
  • Ray Gads
  • ZIP Corvette
  • Dan Takerer 
  • Alan Kohler – ODYSSEY Battery
  • Ron Agasar
  • Frank Banyai
  • Hany Hafez
  • John Sherman
  • Rusty McClintock
  • Thomas McLachlan
  • Charles Beck

Wayne Ellwood’s article in Vette Vues Magazine provides a detailed overview of the standout Corvettes at SEMA 2019, showcasing impressive builds such as Eddie Pettus’s custom 1963 Corvette, Kyle Kuhnhausen’s Ballistic Bronze Corvette, Tony Arme’s 1964 Widebody Corvette, and more. Each vehicle features unique modifications and expert craftsmanship, highlighting the creativity and innovation present at the show. Despite health challenges, the coverage was made possible through contributions from on-site photographers and additional sources.

For more in-depth coverage of events like SEMA, exclusive insights, and stunning photography, consider subscribing to Vette Vues Magazine. Stay connected with the Corvette community and never miss an issue!

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