Ford Motor Company has had a huge presence at the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas for quite some time. One if the highlights of the event is the coveted Ford Design Awards, presented to the best Ford vehicles both in their main stage display and the SEMA Show in general. Like every year, this one saw some great new cars and trucks get the awards.
But first, the SEMA trade organization awarded its 2012 Hottest Car award to the Ford Mustang, and the Hottest Truck award went to the F-150, making a clean sweep for Ford in the SEMA awards. Then, Ford Design Director, Freeman Thomas, hosted the presentation of the Ford Design Awards in front of a packed crowd. Many different custom and hot rod shops, as well as aftermarket parts companies, modified brand new Ford cars and trucks to vie for the award.
In the Outstanding Achievement category, trophies went to the 3D Carbon Mustang, the Classic Design Concepts Fusion, Galpin Auto Sports’ (GAS) Focus, K Daddyz’s F-150 truck, the Ring Brothers Mustang, MRT’s Fusion, rally racer and TV personality Tanner Foust’s trick Focus, and the Bojix Design Focus. The car voted Best of Ford Display was the DWO-modified 2013 Mustang, a white and black hot rod that drew a crowd.
The Heritage Award winner is the beautiful 1932 Indy Speedster built by SoCal Speed Shop. Of the car, which is displayed with the highly coveted, 9-foot tall America’s Most Beautiful Roadster trophy that it won at the 2012 Grand National Roadster Show, Mr. Thomas said, “This car is done by holding a line between old and new, and it really blurs that line. This car is the perfect vehicle to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the legendary ’32 Ford. I think it’s showcasing a lot of things to come out of SoCal Speed Shop and DSR.”
The Best of Show was then presented to Steve Strope and his crew at Pure Vision Design, for their 1966 Mustang T5R, a modern pro touring muscle car with a glorious nod to the past. Covered in the famous Martini racing pattern of the 1960s, the T5R features a real 1960s-vintage, four-cam Indycar engine, the same type that powered Jimmy Clark’s car to the Indy 500 win in 1965. Shortly after it received the award, the car was unveiled in the ARP Fasteners booth where it is on display.
Freeman presented the award, saying, “Anyone who knows the heritage of the Mustang T5R in Europe knows about the special heritage that these cars bring in Monte Carlo and tracks around Europe. You have to see the movie ‘A Man and a Woman’ to get the feeling of this car. It abounds in detail from the inspiration of the Martini stripe to the four-spoke wheels cast to look just like the wheels on Jimmy Clarks’ race car.”
The 2012 SEMA Show is just getting started, so there will be a lot more to bring you over the few days. Keep checking back for more!
Rob Kinnan is a citizen journalist for Ford Social, providing coverage of the 2012 SEMA Show. He has work as an automotive journalist for multiple magazines and is a former editor of HOT ROD magazine.