SEMA 2011: Day 2 Wrap-Up
NASCAR's David Ragan talks best at show, top hot rods, the COPO Camaro and Gittin Jr.'s monster Mustang drifter.
NASCAR driver David Ragan walked the floor with MSN Autos' own James Tate to pick out his favorite rides of the show, including this California Custom Coach replica of an Auburn-manufactured 1935-'36 coupe that uses a modern 295-horsepower V8 engine and 4-wheel disc brakes, and it has a more-than-respectable 4.7-second sprint time to 60 mph.
Sam Smith looked at the history behind the COPO Camaro redux, pictured above. For the uninitiated, COPO stands for Central Office Production Order. It was a factory order form that originally was used for specialty vehicles, such as commercial trucks, but that enterprising dealers in the late 1960s used to create unholy combinations of road-going bodies and monster engines. Chevy's proof-of-concept vehicle is a acknowledgment by General Motors that Chevy will homologate the Camaro for sportsman drag racing.
Chuck Tannert talked to 2010 Formula Drift champ Vaughn Gittin Jr. about his '69 Mustang RTR-X, built in collaboration with Team Need for Speed. The drift vehicle combines the best of classic American muscle -- not to mention a modern Mustang Boss 302's 5.0-liter V8 engine -- with touches from Asian-influenced drifting culture and high-tech flourishes, and is "a blast to thrash around in," Gittin says. Plus, there's a quick, cool video about the building of the RTR-X thrown in.
Hot rods -- extreme body and performance mods well outside of factory spec -- are at the heart of the SEMA show, and that's why Tate scoured the show looking for the best hot rods on display, including this 1932 Ford coupe with metallic pumpkin-orange paint, a Chevy crate engine 350 Barry Grant 3x2's, and a GearStar 700R transmission with hidden shifter.
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