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The Real and Raw Vehicles of SEMA

[dropcap style=”style1″]S[/dropcap]EMA certainly brings out the show cars to display everything fancy about the automotive lifestyle. Hidden among all of the flashy show queens though, are legit race vehicles.

These are exactly what gets my motor running. Parts and vehicles that have been beaten and battered for their intended purposes. Its the rawness of these vehicles that attracts me to them. The way I see it myself and others are more likely to purchase something from a manufacturer that shows parts and vehicles that has been out there in the real world getting pushed to their limits rather than it being perfect and polished. I enjoy seeing dirty, dented, and scratched vehicles and parts and there were a few of these that stood out to me today.
I was able to speak with a representative from Mishimoto today about a picture in their brochure of an older rally car in the Xgames. When I questioned why they still had an older picture in their 2016 brochure I received an amazing answer. The representative explained that in this picture the rally car did a nose dive off the jump which impacted right onto the radiator, but the radiator never leaked. In fact they left that radiator in for the next race the vehicle had to be in that very same day, which proves how durable their product really is.
I managed to locate one of Brian Deegan’s Short Course Race Trucks. One that I have seen him race in several times. Even crashing on occasion, but there it was sitting there waiting for me to admire it, in its post race glory.
When I made my way to the Toyota booth I was also pleasantly surprised and shocked that they had a rally car on display over there as well. Ryan Millens 2015 Rav4 rally car was still covered in dirt from racing in Rally America. It had that raw appeal that drew me closer.
The biggest highlight in my quest for Real and Raw Vehicles was finding the Richard Petty Plymouth Super Bird. A championship winning car driven by “The King of NASCAR” himself. It may have been cleaned up quite a bit since he has driven it but if you look close enough, you will discover little bits and pieces of it that show its battle scars from the days on the track.
There were countless other vehicles that I encountered today that had that raw edgy race appeal as well. Each and everyone of them had their own story to tell.

Photography by Matthew Harris

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