Las Vegas, Nevada -- November 9, 2015 -- You can talk about the educational and networking opportunities at other shows until you’re blue in the face, but when it comes to pure, high-octane cool, SEMA has them all beat hands down. In addition to the hot cars on the show floor, displayed as eye candy to attract attendees to the numerous booths, SEMA also hosts the Battle of the Builders, a massive head-to-head competition between some of the top custom builders in the business.
The competition was intense, but in the end Bobby Alloway and his 1933 Ford Roadster were announced as the winners of this year’s Battle of the Builders at SEMA Ignited.
Now in its 48th year, SEMA has been a customizer’s Mecca since it began. The Las Vegas Convention Center plays host to some of the sleekest, hottest and just plain wild cars in North America and from around the world.
SEMA has always been about custom culture, but last year the relationship was formalized with the launch of the first annual Battle of the Builders. Kyle Tucker won that competition, with his ’69 Chevy Camaro. Tucker won out against more than 125 other vehicle customizers.
Last year’s competition definitely attracted top talent, but Battle of the Builders has only grown in the last year. The 2015 version saw over 200 custom builders, entering over 260 custom vehicles, give it their all in pursuit of the title.
The competition takes place over several rounds, with only a few builders and their creations advancing to the next round. The first round of elimination lies in selecting the Top Ten. No matter what else you say about these vehicles and their builders, it’s certain that they are among the best:
• Bobby Alloway, 1933 Ford Roadster
• Ryan Basseri, Honda Integra Type R
• Chip Foose, 1965 Impala
• Jeremy Gerber, 1973 Camaro
• Phil/Jeremy Gerber, 2015 Chevy Colorado
• Alan Johnson, 1953 Studebaker
• Eric Kozeluh, 1995 Toyota Supra
• Andy Leach, 1962 Chevy Bubble Top
• Jim and Mike Ring, Mustang Fastback
• Kyle Tucker, 1970 Chevy Chevelle
Determining the Top Ten from a packed field is no easy task. It fell to three judges, Hot Rod and Roadkill‘s David Freiburger, freelance auto writer R.J. deVera, and Fred Williams of 4-Wheel and Off-Road‘s Fred Williams, to select the finalists.
According to an official release from SEMA, the Top Ten represent the most skilled in their trade, modifying cars, trucks and SUVs and inspiring the aftermarket community with their ingenuity and expertise. In an interesting twist, it is the Top Ten finalists who determine which of them will named Top Builder.
The Top Ten also took part in the SEMA Cruise, a parade of some of the hottest vehicles at SEMA. The SEMA Cruise wends its way through Las Vegas before arriving at SEMA Ignited, the official after show party, and the only part of SEMA that offers public access. The rest of the show is limited to professionals only.
For more information on SEMA's Battle of the Builders, please visit semashow.com/botb.