CAR magazine isn’t really about modified motors, but when we stumbled upon the Aftermarket Hall at the Los Angeles motor show, we found ourselves being inexorably drawn in.
Located on the floor below the main exhibition halls, this area – we won’t call it a basement – is home to an extraordinary selection of American excess. The LA show’s own personal SEMA, if you like, albeit it on much smaller scale. Here are a few of our favourites from the exhibit.
Don’t blame us; we just took the photos.
It might be wrong, but there is something about this E36 BMW 3 Series that we really rather like. With its bolted-on Rocket Bunny arches, extreme camber and carpet flattening splitter, it’s certainly not shy.
We wish we could explain this paint job. We really do.
Truckosaurous. Nice shopping list on the door. Fails to compensate for that fact that this was one of the smaller trucks in the hall… as you’ll see.
We know it’s wrong Part Deux: love, love, love the red anodising on the alloy wheels of this Ferrari 458 Italia. We’ve spared you the less encouraging splitter attached to the front.
Nothing so unusual about this camo-painted truck, you might think.
Except that the pattern appears to be painted in the tough, scratch resistant paint usually applied to load beds rather than exterior bodywork.
Liberty Walk-kitted BMW M4. Yes, that is a wrap. And a somewhat less than subtle set of tailpipes – but perhaps this is exactly what’s needed to make M Division’s turbo six sound at least moderately interesting.
Fact: Chris Chilton professed admiration for the look of this Rolls-Royce Wraith. Try not to hold it against him in future.
Well, that didn’t take long. No less than two Lamborghini Huracans on this particular stand. Mods fortunately limited to the wheels as far as we could tell.
We have not Photoshopped this picture; that really is a matt metallic red Rolls-Royce.
Astonishingly intricate set of wheels on this Lamborghini Aventador.
That is not an insignificantly large motorcycle. Just to give you a sense of the scale of this truck.
A classic Mini van? With brass fittings? Wait a minute…
…oh, right. It’s got a 500bhp Honda engine, mounted in the back.
Although, if it’s small and metal you’re after, try this Smart. Madness indeed.
The same firm has a nice line in modified Abarth 500s, too.
Monster set of arches on this brand new C7 Corvette convertible.
And this brand new Ford Mustang.
More red anodised alloy wheels, this time on… an S-Class. Where can I get some for my MX-5?
The L’il Redd Wrecker – as created by none other than famous Hollywood car customiser, George Barris.
Barris did a lot of cars for television and movies, but this particular oddball was built for actor Redd Foxx, who starred in the 1970s sitcom Sanford and Son.
You don’t see these very often. It’s a Galpin GTR1, which as you can probably guess is based on the Ford GT. However, in addition to the bodywork modification (reminiscent to these eyes of the Ford GT90 concept), the GTR1 packs a supercharger that takes the 4.0-litre V8 engine up to 1058bhp and 992lb ft of torque. 0-60mph was claimed at 2.9 seconds, top speed estimated in excess of 225mph. Like it? Galpin will be more than happy to build you one.
Say what you like about Hummers. But there aren’t many cars that will take a 34-inch wheel. Dear god, etc.
This might look silly from a distance…
…but up close the engineering is quite remarkable.
Porsche 911 Cup racing car by appearance. Complete with sequential gearbox and a sneaking suspicion that it’s been converted for road use. Nuff said.
Acceptable in the 80s. And still pretty cool now.
Faintly bizarre brushed aluminium-look paint finish on this second-gen Porsche Boxster.
Of course, the wildest modified car at the 2014 LA motor show wasn’t in the Aftermarket Hall, it was on the Toyota stand. Yep, it’s the ultimate sleeper funny-car dragster Camry from SEMA proper. Absolutely outstanding.
And finally a touch of class from Metallic frontman James Hetfield. It’s called the Black Pearl. And it’s gorgeous. It’s also based – rather improbably – on a 1948 Jaguar saloon, and features a 375bhp Ford V8 under the bonnet.