Hey gang, Rod Authority and Power Automedia are on-the-ground at SEMA 2018, smack dab in the center of lovely Las Vegas. Situated in the middle of the Mojave desert, it’s a destination for not only the rich and famous, gamblers and convention attendees, but also reminds us of the bar scene from “Star Wars.”
It’s also where the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association touches down every year.
According to the powers that be, “The SEMA Show takes place October 30 – November 2, 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. It draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to one place: the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition, the SEMA Show provides attendees with educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events, networking opportunities and more.
“The 2017 SEMA Show drew more than 70,000 domestic and international buyers. The displays are segmented into 12 sections, and a New Products Showcase featured nearly 3,000 newly introduced parts, tools and components. In addition, the SEMA Show provides attendees with educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events, networking opportunities and more.”
Did we mention the show sprawls over one million square feet of mostly covered space? Indeed, and if you have any attention disorders, you’ve come to the wrong place. Also, bring a new pair of memory-foam shoes as you’re going to walk every single square foot.
There are so many bitchin’ builds, it hard to take all in, but one car hit us as especially cool. We brought you a story about Bruce Van Etten’s 1959 Edsel Ranger, “Redemption,” so we’ve had Ford’s colossal automotive flop on the brain recently. When we saw this 1958 Edsel Ranger, we about blew a gasket.
We were lucky to talk to Toby Caldwell of Alloway’s Rod Shop and he recounted the story of this killer, cranberry sled. He said. “We built the car for long-time customer George and Kathy Lange. Kathy always wanted an Edsel, so we found a nice, original 1958 Ranger and got to work.”
Toby was more than happy to list all the mechanical goodies baked into the build. “The car is running a supercharged, 700 horsepower Coyote motor, built and and blown by Roush Performance.
“We ditched the automatic transmission and old Tel-A-Touch hub mounted gear selector, and installed a Tremec five-speed by America Powertrain. We’re running an Art Morrison chassis with a Currie rearend, Wilwood brake components, and it all rolls on Billet Specialties wheels that we designed: 17×7’s up front and 20×10’s in the rear. We wrapped ’em up in Toyo rubber as they always have the right sizes we’re looking for.”
Toby continued, “We painted the car in a maroon and silver two-tone color combo and had Ted Holcomb at Pro Auto Custom do the interior in a matching burgundy leather with high-end German carpet. We used ’64 T-Bird seats and added a custom console, as well.
“We talked with head-honcho John McLeod over at Classic Instruments and not only did they do a great job on the gauges, they 3-D printed switches for the car, as well. They really are a one-stop-shop for instrumentation and if they don’t have it, they’ll make it. John has really been a big proponent of ours over the years and he’s our go-to.”
Speaking of John McLeod, we spoke to him and he loves this Edsel. He thinks it’s the top build here at SEMA 2018 — that’s quite an endorsement. We think he might be on the money here as this old Edsel could be the latest benchmark for a state-of-the-art restomod.
Stay tuned to Rod Authority for all the latest from SEMA 2018!