Going to the Sema Show has been a goal for mine for over 10 years since I started my company in 2011. All the big custom car shops and builders from around the country usually attend Sema and bring the craziest builds of the year. We had a customer promise us years back that he would take us with the build we were building for them but it never happened so it always stuck in the back of my mind as an unfulfilled goal. Over the last few years we have been working on two special projects for customers. One vehicle was a custom Toyota Landcruiser FJ40 Restomod and the other was a 1964 Kaiser Jeep M677 Restomod. Both vehicles had the potential to be top qualifiers at Sema, so we went to scope the show out in 2021 before we pulled the trigger.
After almost a year of planning and extreme overtime at the shop to finish the two custom builds it was time to make our 2700 mile journey across the Country to Las Vegas, Nevada. Since Covid all costs have gone up dramatically as everyone knows and were triple what I would have expensed from doing math the previous year but we were committed for the trip. Also having second doubts on the trip after talking with other shops and striking out deals with sponsors we were a little worried that we wouldn’t get the reward we were looking for or deserved.
Finally we reached Las Vegas and setup at the convention center. The show was scheduled from November 1st – 4th 2022 with over 1500 cars scattered around the facility. Sema is a new products display / automotive trade show with a twist. Every booth has a custom car or truck on display. We also planned ahead and entered our vehicles into the Battle of the Builders competition with over 300 of the top qualified shops that entered. But we never thought what was going to happen next.
Finally all our hard work had finally paid off! Our Toyota Landcruiser was chosen for the top 40 Battle of the Builders and making it all the way to the Top 12. Top 12 is broken down into 4 classes with three vehicles in each. Our Landcruiser was Top 3 Off-road and Top 12 overall.
The 4 classes were :
-Hot Rod & Hot Rod Truck
-Sport Compact & Import Performance
-Young Guns 29 Years and Younger
-Off-road & 4 Wheel Drive
Overall the experience was a once in a lifetime experience and a huge minestrone for Greg’s Restorations. The competition was 3 days from dawn to dusk and I have never worked so hard for something in my life that consisted of almost 15 hour days. We will be back to compete in the competition but we don’t know when, maybe in two years? The competition will be aired on:
Season 4; Ep. 11 of Driven
Watch Episode Now
January 28th @ 9AM EST