We’re back from a jam-packed week in Las Vegas where we attended the 2017 SEMA Show and photographed Gray Baskerville’s Deuce roadster and Jon Wright’s ’36 Ford custom for an upcoming issue of TRJ. We figured what happened in Vegas doesn’t always need to stay in Vegas, so here’s a re-cap.
Jim Shelton has owned Gray Baskerville’s Deuce roadster since Gray’s passing in 2002. Jim lives in Vegas and we shot the perennial Deuce on the dry lakes just outside of town. Gray spent decades on the staff of Hot Rod Magazine and was as well known for being its champion of traditional hot rods and customs as he was for his shorts and flip flops. We tried to dress appropriately.
SEMA opening day is filled with builders unveiling their latest projects. Here’s our first look at Lokar owners Skip and Debbie Walls’ really trick, injected smallblock-powered ’40 Ford convertible recently completed at Goolsby Customs.
It’s funny how even covered up you can spot an Alloway build, thanks to its massive rake and gigantic rear tires. This ’40 Ford DeLuxe coupe is powered by a Jon Kaase Boss 429 and achieves its killer stance with a stretched wheelbase, a Morrison front clip and ET-III-style wheels.
Brookville Roadster’s “Lakester Pickup” combines partially sectioned rails (beneath the cab) and a big kick-up in the rear to establish this nicely raked profile. In the background is the Chip Foose-designed Tudor phaeton, the “Phanton.” It’s offered as a limited edition of just 32 bodies.
One of the most talked about cars at SEMA this year was Rob Ida’s completely handmade ’48 Tucker in Axalta’s booth. Powered by a transversely mounted twin-turbo Cadillac Northstar V8, the 550hp Tucker is truly a metalcrafting tour de force.
Another stunning handmade hot rod was the latest from Rick Dore and Luc De Ley, dubbed “Illusion.” The aluminum bodied, LS3-powered custom was displayed in Dynamat’s booth with author Tom Cotter’s extraordinarily rare Hemi-powered ’52 Cunningham C3, below.
It was a big week for Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop, who took home a host of awards. The Deuce sedan took a Ford Best of Show for Outstanding Design Achievement and second place in the Battle of the Builders. The quad-turbo-equipped diesel-powered ’54 Chevy truck took the GM/Chevy Design Award Truck of the Year. Both were finalists for the Mother’s Polish Shine award.
We capped off the week photographing Jon Wright’s gorgeous ’36 Ford roadster in the desert outside of Vegas. The roadster spent the week on display in the Meguiar’s booth at the SEMA show.