In the past, only the top car builders like Chip Foose, Dave Kindig, Boyd Coddington, and the Ring Brothers were ever considered for the lauded SEMA show in Las Vegas. However, as the show grew and more vendors wanted cars in their booths to lure in passersby, builds steadily declined in quality. Between “Bluetooth driveshafts” [think about that one for a second –Ed.], poor weld jobs, and simply unfinished cars, the rushed results of a last minute “SEMA thrash” have become a bit of a meme.
However, when it came the Mopars at the show, the builds on display ranged from flawless masterpieces to surprising bouts of engineering; making it incredibly hard for us to pick just 10 cars that we would rank as our “Top 10.” Many you might’ve seen already in previous articles or elsewhere online, others were kept tightly underwraps prior to the show. So in no specific order, we present to you our list of favorite Mopar cars of the 2023 SEMA show:
Ring Brothers’ ’69 Dodge Charger “Tusk” The Ring Brothers’ attention to detail and engineering finesse shine in their ’69 Dodge Charger “Tusk.” Beyond the custom Roadster Shop chassis and Hellephant engine, the curious exterior modifications are both striking and polarizing. Its Baer brakes, suspension setup, and meticulous craftsmanship redefine what’s achievable in automotive customization. The Ring Brothers brought not 1 but 2 cars this year. The other was a Mustang.
Kevin Hart’s ’70 Dodge Challenger by Kindig It Designs Parked in the PPG booth Kindig It Designs, Kevin Hart’s ’70 Challenger is a testament to blending modern technology with classic design. Its Roadster Shop IRS suspension and Hellephant engine represent a fusion of power and finesse. The flawless paint job exemplifies the level of precision and attention to detail Kindig It Designs is known for.
Finale Speed’s ’70 Dodge Charger Finale Speed’s all carbon fiber ’70 Charger stands out as a blend of modern technology and classic muscle. The team brought out a vehicle that captures attention with its lightweight yet powerful essence with its complete carbon fiber body. This Charger embodies the epitome of marrying contemporary comfort with raw muscle car strength with a Hellcat under the hood.
Magnuson Supercharger’s ’68 Dodge Coronet “Cornet” Built in memory to Mr. Norm Grand Spaulding’s legacy in this Coronet is remarkable. Featuring a Magnuson supercharger and the aluminum Gen 3 Hemi, it encapsulates the spirit of innovation and homage to classic muscle car roots showing off a 440-cubic-inch all aluminum Gen3 Hemi with Magnusons first Hemi-swap supercharger kit installed.
Trent Carter’s 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Rides by Kam’s work on Trent Carter’s ’70 Barracuda is a testament to high-quality builds. The integration of the NASCAR R5P7 V8 engine with an air ride suspension, along with meticulous fabrication, showcases a balanced blend of power, aesthetics, and performance engineering. This car made the trip all the way from Zimbo way
Robert Ellsworth’s 1970 Dodge Challenger “Highway Star” This Challenger integrates a Viper chassis onto a 1970 body. Its blend of classic aesthetics with modern performance exemplifies the endless possibilities in the world of customization. We have seen this car in action at Holley’s Moparty and Optima’s search for the ultimate streetcar at Road America and Daytona.
Ken Kelley’s ’70 Plymouth ‘Cuda AAR by Speedtech Performance Kelley’s Cuda – with its Hellcat engine and Speedtech Performance suspension – stands as an example of performance upgrades while retaining the classic charm. The meticulous attention to detail ensures it’s ready for high-performance racing events. Yes, this is a real AAR ‘Cuda fully converted with a Speedtech Performance ExtReme Chassis under it. In the back is Speedtech’s IRS suspension, which was putting in some work around the parking lot race course outside of SEMA show. Ken’s car also has a Hellcat and tucks 315 tire all around.
Reggie Jackson’s 1970 Dodge Challenger at the Classic Industries booth Reggie Jackson’s painstakingly-restored Challenger, featuring a numbers-matching 426 Hemi and 4-speed transmission encapsulates what a Hemi E-body should be and reminds us why these are some of the most desired classic Mopars to ever cross the auction block.
Dustin Hacker’s ’69 Plymouth Road Runner “Roidrunner” Dustin Hacker’s Road Runner signifies automotive artistry with a custom NHR chassis, 6.2 Hemi power, and handcrafted details throughout. Its pursuit of perfection and craftsmanship raises the bar in automotive excellence. With all the work that was put in to this show stopper was over a million dollars.
1948 Power Wagon in Venom Tire Booth This custom Power Wagon – equipped with a Cummins engine and a custom set of rear suicide doors – demonstrates the blend of robust engineering and unique modifications, showcasing innovation in the realm of custom-built trucks. There’s no doubt that vintage trucks are becoming the go-to for many builders, but this vintage Power Wagon takes the cake with some serious craftsmanship.