SEMA Showstopper: 86’d The Competition

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Having three media houses go head-to-head building the best FR-S possible is a stroke of marketing genius and with pride, reputation, and the respect of their fanbase on the line it was guaranteed that GT Channel, Super Street, and Speedhunters would hold back nothing for 2014’s Scion Tuner Challenge.

As the days leading up to the event decreased, and the cars became more complete, the battle between the three brands really started to heat up, with Super Street taking an impressive lead in the on-line voting segment. Thought to damn near have the award in the bag things all changed when the judges began their on site scrutinization.

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The winning team Speedhunters entry drew inspiration from multiple sources, resulting in an FR-S unlike any of the others in the competition, and unlike any I’ve seen to date.

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The throwback livery designed by Andy Blackmore was a perfect fit for all of the Toyota racing heritage the ZN6 chassis embodies and the track day/IMSA vintage racer aesthetic couldn’t have been better executed.

The graphics paired with 17×9 and 17×11 Rotiform wheels and a smoothed KM4SH kit the car truly looked the part of a vintage race vehicle.

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Of course looking the part isn’t nearly enough, so Speedhunters went the distance and made sure the car could drive the part as well. Everything under the hood that you wouldn’t find in a proper race car was deleted, giving the powerful Cosworth supercharged motor a proper stage to be displayed.

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Forced induction alone wouldn’t be enough to win the competition, so any unsightly harnesses and hoses were tucked by Chasebays, the stock hardware was replaced and a few SH logos were strategically placed under the louvered hood.

Obviously the suspension and brakes couldn’t remain stock either and a Wilwood ‘Superlite’ brake kit sits behind the Rotiforms, while components from Raceseng, RS*R, and Superpro and SPC Performance all come together to make up the handling package.

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The interior too reflects that of a race car with brushed aluminium trim, custom JPM Coachworks leather trim, Cobra seat, custom half dash, custom engraved wheel… you get the idea custom, custom, custom. The number of one off pieces found throughout this car is seriously impressive, and it’s that acute eye for detail that really put it over the top.

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It’s the small details combined with the large ones that made this car the winner. Things like the tire pressure markings on the tires, the wind-shield retainers, the track day stickers, and the air jack/fuel ports come off completely authentic because, in addition to aesthetically fitting in, they are things real race cars have and given the opportunity will allow the car to perform like a real race car should.

The fact that this car was built predominately by one man in his garage just makes this build all that much more impressive, and the award it took home further deserved.

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Congrats Keith, Andy, and the Speedhunters team on the award and a phenomenal job well done!

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