One of the most-exciting things about SEMA is Battle Of The Builders, a competition which quite simply recognises and celebrates the accomplishments of SEMA car builders every year. We’re talking about the absolute best of the best here, from paintwork and fabrication right through to innovation and parts used. It’s a real honor to have RJ De Vera from Meguiar’s USA on the judging panel, and as expected 2018 unearthed some absolute beasts!
If you’ve been to SEMA before – or even if you’re simply a fan of American Muscle Cars – Roadster Shop should need no introduction. We can’t think of a single build that hasn’t blown us away over the years, and this year they stepped up their game even further with the debut of ‘Road Rage’.
It’s a Camaro… but not like you know it! Visually it’s one of the most complete cars we’ve ever seen, thanks in part to the aero which was scanned and designed by Roadster Shop’s 3D artist Chris Gray. This means every single panel fits with absolute precision; no need for bolt-on overfenders or riveted arches, the entire exterior looks reminiscent of a manufacture concept than a tuner shop.
But don’t for a second think this is some kind of show queen. Those monster centre-lock Forgeline wheels & Baer brakes give a hint to this car’s true potential. Pop the hood and you’re greeted with a Texas Speed 454ci LSX V8 (that’s 7.4-litres to us Brits) developing 750bhp to the rear wheels.
Now American muscle cars and corners don’t usually mix well, but Roadster Shop have that covered. A bespoke ‘Fast Track’ front subframe converts the suspension to pushrod allowing proper geometry and articulation of the super-wide wheels, while the rear now boasts a cantilever inbound setup usually found on race cars.
Bit it’s no race car, either. Every panel has been reworked to give a modern interpretation of the stock Camaro interior, with trimming gods Avante Garde performing most of the work. It’s the perfect blend of old and new, utilizing modern CNC machining for the majority of parts to create a truly one-off interior unlike anything we’ve seen in a tuner car before.
It’s not hard to see why the Roadster Shop Camaro made it into the Battle Of The Builder finals, but our favourite part of the build is – despite the work involved – the owner fully intends to use the Camaro as much as possible in the future. That’s an attitude we can definitely get on board with.