Exploring the Best Vettes at the 2019 SEMA Show
Explore the world of Corvettes at the 2019 SEMA event through Vette Vues Magazine’s coverage. The SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show, held annually at the Las Vegas Convention Center, brings together top players in the automotive specialty equipment industry. While not open to the general public, this event draws professionals and enthusiasts alike.
For Corvette enthusiasts, SEMA Ignited 2019 was an exciting extension of the main show. It featured Formula Drift exhibitions, the live filming of “SEMA Battle of the Builders,” celebrity appearances, live music, and food trucks. This post-SEMA event was open to the public and offered a taste of the show’s energy and innovation.
Wayne Ellwood’s coverage of the SEMA 2019 Corvettes spans two detailed articles, sourcing social media and firsthand accounts. In this e-version, we’ve focused on visuals, mirroring the original piece from Vette Vues Magazine.
In this article:
- 1957 – FAMILY AFFAIR – KINDIGIT DESIGN
- 1958 Cyber Gray SPECVET by Heartland Customs
- 1959 VIVACIOUS by MARC McCRAE, FAST COMPANY CANADA
- 1960 TURQUOISE – MIKE WALKER – STREET RODS ONLY
- 1963 Silver – Jeff Montgomery
- 1967 – B-Rod or Custom
- Copperhead C7 Widebodie Corvette by Ivan Tampi
- GM Display at SEMA 2019
- Conclusion: Exploring the Future of Corvettes at SEMA 2019
Our initial focus zeroes in on KINDIGIT’s remarkable display at SEMA 2019, showcasing its unique take on Corvettes. So let’s div in.
By: Wayne Ellwood
1957 – FAMILY AFFAIR – KINDIGIT DESIGN
Dave Kindig brought several cars to SEMA. One was known as “Family Affair,” a car built for his father-in-law back in 2016-17. The car was originally shown at the 2017 SEMA on the Meguiars indoor display.
The engine is a Lingenfelter LS7 with LS3 heads and Borla Injection. The transmission is a 4L80E by Bowler Transmission. All of this rides on an Art Morrison chassis with an independent front suspension and a triangulated 4-link rear suspension. Steering is via an Ididit steering column with a power rack. The brakes are by Wilwood with 6 pistons 14″ front and rear.
Other features include a Ron Davis Radiator, a stainless fuel tank with a built-in fuel pump sourced from Rick’s Tanks. The Billet Specialties one-off custom wheels are 19×8.5″ and 20×10.5″ with Michelin Pilot Sport tires 245/40/19 front and 285/35/20 rear. The exhaust is a 3″ Pro-XS by Borla Exhaust. Finally, the wiper components by Rain Gear.
On the interior, the car features Vintage Air, Dakota Digital HDX custom one-off gauges. Modified original seats are wrapped in Crest Leather with China Red leather. All panels are custom-built and leather-wrapped by JS Custom Interiors. Power windows by Nu-Relics have been added, and the whole thing is wired by Team Kindig-it using an American Autowire kit. All chrome was performed by Ogden Chrome.
CONTACT INFO: KINDIG-IT DESIGN, 164 E. Hill Ave., Salt Lake City, UT. 84107-1533 email@example.com
1958 Cyber Gray SPECVET by Heartland Customs
Heartland’s SPECVET packages are offered in Stage 1, 2, and Spec-V trim levels. Owners can choose and/or mix features while having their modernized classic Corvette built at a set price. The SPECVET by Heartland Customs won a GM Design Award for Car of the Year at the 2018 SEMA.
This car is the first SPEC-V to be unveiled. It is a true classic Corvette with modern supercar performance. This 1958 carries a modified 525hp LS3 engine, updated with a more aggressive cam. The SPECVET chassis is the result of a partnership with the Roadster Shop.
In technical terms, the chassis carries a 58.75″ wide track for performance gains yet narrowed considerably from the stock Corvette to allow for proper and more appealing wheel offsets. While still minimizing the scrub radius. Large-diameter control arms are provided for strength and performance. (1-1/4″ upper and 1-5/8″ lower control arms). They carry Delrin bushings with 660 bronze oiled sleeves for maximum performance and 4041 pre-hardened control arm mounts.
Exclusive “Fast Track” geometry shares the ZO6 spindle.
As with all C1 Corvettes, this one is a roadster. The narrowed IRS system permits the retention of a folding convertible top, which is, in this case, a modern cloth material convertible top instead of the original vinyl. The car’s exterior features Cyber Grey with Carbon flash coves and a Kalahari tan interior.
CONTACT INFO: Heartland Customs, 128 N. Canadian St., Purcell, OK, 73080. 405-527-452 firstname.lastname@example.org
1959 VIVACIOUS by MARC McCRAE, FAST COMPANY CANADA
The builder for this modern interpretation of a 1959 roadster is Marc McCrae from FAST COMPANY CANADA, in Fergus (ON), near Toronto. The car was built for Viv and Travis Agresti. Design drawings were created by Murray Pfaff from Pfaff Design in the Detroit area.
The large number of custom-built aluminum pieces draw the eye. Each of the major elements of the car is delicately designed, CNC scanned, and milled. Some of the larger pieces (wheels and steering wheel) are from the Mike Curtis shop, Curtis Speed, in California.
As for the basics, the car is built on a Roadster Shop chassis and carries a crate LT4 with a Procharger. The suspension features a JRI J-Ride system for computer-controlled coil-over shocks. This system is designed to raise and lower the vehicle at the push of a button. The car becomes fully adjustable for street, track, driveways, or trailer ramps.
The other amenities (the Resto-Mod Air HVAC and sound system are controlled by a separate iPad console higher on the dash area. Yet another digital display screen replaces the standard instrument cluster in front of the driver. This cluster is a one-off built especially for this car.
More billet aluminum pieces abound…but at the risk of insulting other builders…. these are much more delicate than we normally associate with billet. Walking around the car, starting with the grille, you’ll see the whole grille bar was CNC-milled from one piece of billet. The rear bumpers comprise two separate elements.
The central pieces are taken from a 1957 Corvette. These were shortened (width), and the bumper and Nerf bars were welded into one-piece units. The outers were molded on a wooden buck, scanned, and CNC-milled. The rear deck lid was scanned, and a custom Corvette badge was designed to fit the trunk lid’s profile exactly. All other Corvette emblems are from the C7.
The brake pedals are Wilwood pieces, and the footbox has been extended about one foot by virtue of the design for the Roadster Shop chassis. Marc and Tom Bedo (Bodymotive) applied the stunning white paint using Akoya Pearl and Rossa Red from PPG. This is complemented by the contrasting (but luxurious) red leather interior.
CONTACT INFO: FAST COMPANY CANADA, 640 Gartshore St., Fergus, ON. N1M 2W7, Canada. 519-987-2422 email@example.com
1960 TURQUOISE – MIKE WALKER – STREET RODS ONLY
This 1960 Tasco Turquoise Corvette is a very special custom design, coming from the mind of Mike Walker at “Street Rods Only” in Macon, IL. Mike has built custom cars of some considerable note in his small shop for over 20 years.
Mike’s creation, as presented at the 2019 SEMA, is yet another example of a world-class pro-touring Corvette. The body panels appear stock, but, in reality, almost every panel on this car has been modified. The car is wider than stock and cast from the molds that Mike built for the pro-touring application.
This car features a 430 HP LS3 powerplant and 4L65E transmission nestled into a specially built chassis, using C4 suspension pieces like the A-arms and spindles. The engine provides ample “go,” and current-style Z06 brakes provide more than enough stopping power. Cooling is via a Performance Rod & Custom radiator. The car rides on Bonspeed wheels that are 18×8 in front and 18×12 in rear.
The CON2R custom gauges are faced in white with black lettering. This is the reverse of the normal gauge cluster. LED lighting is standard. The paint is specially mixed by “Color by Design Paint” out of Kansas.
CONTACT INFO: STREET RODS ONLY, 11091 Woodcock Rd., Macon, IL 62544. 217-764-3838 firstname.lastname@example.org
1963 Silver – Jeff Montgomery
Jeff Montgomery has been written up twice before. In 2002, his story of buying this 1963 for college transportation was described by Bob Wallace. 2014 the car was again covered as a competitor in the Optima Challenge series. At that time, the car was running strong and still racking up the miles. On Tuesday, November 5, Jeff re-introduced his car to SEMA’s attendees under the auspices of the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO), SEMA Show booth #23393.
The ‘Vette is powered by a 480hp LS3 crate engine coupled with a five-speed Borg Warner transmission. It rests on a Vansteel coil-over suspension chassis, gets its stopping power from Corvette Z06 brakes, and was painted by Millers Paint and Body.
Montgomery has owned the car for 49 years, driving it more than 300,000 miles across the lower 48 states, Canada, and Mexico. He raced it in the Optima Street Car Challenge when a mechanical failure sent him into the fence at the National Corvette Museum racetrack, engulfing it in flames.
The following vendors are among those who helped Montgomery put the car back together: American Racing Wheels; Al Knock Interiors; ACC Carpet; Corvette Rubber Co.; Ecklers Industries; Hotwire Auto; Lectric Limited; Repops Automotive Reproductions; Retro Sound; and Vintage Air.
CONTACT INFO: Repops Automotive Reproductions, 3183 Hwy 71 S, Mena, AR 71953. 479-394-4500 email@example.com
1967 – B-Rod or Custom
This 1967 Corvette Sting Ray was built by “B Rod or Custom” in Knoxville (TN) and debuted at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Interestingly, B Rod’s 1967 Corvette widebody project didn’t start out with the intention to be a prototype to launch a line of 1963-67 Corvette C2 replacement bodies; it just turned out that way.
After stripping the donor car down to the bare body, it was discovered that everything about the car was very rough. Larry and the guys at B Rod or Custom took on restoring the ’67 by manufacturing a new Birdcage and body panels. The result was that the company now offers a complete replacement body and Birdcage for 1963-67 C2 Corvettes.
B Rod’s 1967 widebody Corvette Coupe features all-new, press-molded fiberglass panels, including the roof deck, hood surround, hood, firewall, exhaust panel, and taillight panel. Lee Bumb Composites, formally Sermersheim, manufactures these. The foundation forms a new frame with C7 suspension components, Flaming River rack, pinion steering, and QA1 double adjustable shocks w/ Hyper Coil springs. It was designed and fabricated by Street Shop Inc., Athens, Alabama.
The powertrain comprises a Chevrolet Performance crate LS7, twin throttle body assembly by LS Classics, Billet fuel rails, and breather CNC milled by Dan Baker with Alumicraft grilles.
CONTACT INFO: B-Rod or Custom, 372 Drummer Lane. Knoxville, TN 37924. 865-281-8821 firstname.lastname@example.org www.b-rodorcstom.com
Copperhead C7 Widebodie Corvette by Ivan Tampi
Ivan Tampi broke onto the scene at SEMA around 2015. That year, he presented a new C7 widebody at SEMA. The XIK (pronounced as “sick”) caught everyone by surprise. Ivan is working on elaborating the range of options for both XIK widebody and developing new variants.
For 2019, Ivan presented two cars; the first was Copperhead, which is a three-year-old version of the XIK that has been continuously updated. The original XIK Widebody comprised 15 pieces of carbon fiber. Optional are another five pieces, which include the trunk halo and roof. The most recent updates include a motor transplant of 1100HP Built by Billy Crawford Xcelerate and a “split window” rear hatch treatment.
The second car was called Orange Crush. It is a brightly colored yellow/orange car. It is a new variant of the widebody with many new features. These include a whole new look for the front end, including a larger splitter, winglets, and a new hood with a power bulge. Along the side are new skirts and scoops. At the rear, the car also carries the new split window hatch treatment and revised rear wing. The rear valance carries the new Series 2 diffuser treatment.
CONTACT INFO: Ivan Tampi Customs, 12359 Lithuania Dr., Granada Hills, CA. 91344 www.Ikenterprises.com
GM Display at SEMA 2019
General Motors has been rolling out one of the world’s longest reveals on the new C8 mid-engine Corvette. It’s a bit of a “pr” coup, but after nearly nine months of “coming soon,” the level of excitement may have peaked. Despite this, however, SEMA proved that new products always draw attention. The number of visitors at the GM display also proved that we seldom get enough of this stuff. For purposes of this article, we’ve probably all seen the cars or even signed onto GM’s “configurator” to build our own hypothetical mid-engine Corvette. The photos show the three models on display…standard Targa Top, hardtop convertible, and C8R IMSA race configuration…. many racings hopes ride on that one.
Conclusion: Exploring the Future of Corvettes at SEMA 2019
From innovative designs to breathtaking modifications, the Corvettes showcased at the 2019 SEMA event reflected the pinnacle of automotive ingenuity. Wayne Ellwood’s meticulous coverage has provided a glimpse into the evolution and innovation within the Corvettes’ world, encapsulating the spirit and craftsmanship that define this prestigious event.
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SEMA REVISITED SERIES:
- 2013: Corvettes at SEMA 2013 Overview and Photos
- 2014: Unveiling the Spectacular Corvettes: Sema 2014 Event Review with Stunning Photos
- 2015: Revisit The History Of Corvettes At SEMA 2015 In Las Vegas: 30+ Custom Vettes
- 2016: Sema 2016 Corvettes: Where Vettes are Put to the Test by Builders and Big Names
- 2017: SEMA 2017: Looking back at the Ultimate Corvette Showcase in Las Vegas
- 2018: Revving Up the Excitement: Corvette Highlights from SEMA 2018
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