The 2013 SEMA Show is a massive weeklong trade show happening November 5-8, 2013, and already there’s a ton of buzz surrounding Ford! The 2014 Mustang and F-Series were named Hottest Car and Hottest Truck, respectively, an honor bestowed annually on the vehicles the specialty equipment manufacturers believe are the best platforms and trend-setting vehicles, based on their popularity in exhibitor booths. In other words, the Mustang and F-Series were on display more than any other vehicles!
This is the second year in a row that the Mustang was named Hottest Car, and the fourth consecutive year for the F-Series as Hottest Truck.
Custom vehicles are a big element of the SEMA Show. The Ford indoor exhibit is 27,000 square feet and has 57 custom Ford vehicles! This includes Snakebit, a customized 1956 Ford F-100 with a nod to the Shelby Mustang. Snakebit is part of a fundraising effort to build a children’s hospital in Saskatoon, in the province of Saskatchewan, one of only two Canadian provinces without a dedicated children’s hospital. It will be auctioned off in 2014 by Barrett-Jackson.
There’s also the Hot Wheels® 2104 Ford Transit Connect. Some of us are still kicking ourselves for unloading our Hot Wheels® collection from childhood at a garage sale or worse. Many of us excitedly entered the world of pint-size cool cars and trucks at some point in our youth, although we really never outgrow the fondness for the spot-on re-creations. So, imagine the thrill we got upon seeing a Ford Transit Connect get the Hot Wheels® treatment! This is one of 10 custom Transit Connect vehicles Ford is featuring in their display at the 2013 SEMA show. This is actually a full-size concept collaboration between Ford and Hot Wheels®, of which Felix Host, the Vice President of Creative for Mattel Wheels Division, said, “The Hot Wheels® design team jumped at the chance to hot rod a Transit Connect van. The idea was to create a race-inspired support vehicle for the average guy to spend a weekend at the track testing his Hot Wheels® race car.” Custom builder Ice Nine Group worked with designers from Ford and Hot Wheels®, taking a Transit Connect down to its basic elements and rebuilding it from the ground up, creating a one-of-a-kind dream machine.
Among its unique features are sleeping quarters and tool storage – even slide-out drawers! There’s also a 55-inch TV screen, two 18-inch tablets in the rear doors, gullwing doors instead of sliding doors and orange tracks in the bed that should give you a flashback to those days of playing with your Hot Wheels® on the toy dragstrip.
Other components in this Transit Connect include a 2.5-liter Ti-VCT four-cylinder engine, Recaro seats from a Ford Focus ST and a custom trailer hitched up to carry a Rip Rod™, powered by a 1.0-liter EcoBoost. Rip Rod™ was designed and built by Hot Wheels® in 2012.
And this may be the hottest part of all: Fans will get a chance to have their own Hot Wheels® Transit Connect in the form of a 1:64 die-cast scale model when it arrives on store shelves in fall 2014.
You can click here to see the behind-the-scenes video of the buildup of this Ford Transit Connect. You can also click here to see more Ford action from the 2013 SEMA Show on Ford Social.