That Ain’t Right Photo Gallery – SEMA Show: Vegas is all about extravagance, making it the perfect venue for the SEMA Show. But with that comes the desire to outstyle, outdesign, and simply outdo thousands of other exhibitors. The results are always stunning, but not necessarily in a good way. A few of the questionable creations pictured here deserve credit for the creative thought they represent, and in some cases kudos go out for exceptional build quality. However, even the best craftsmen can only do so much, especially when the core idea, such as a Rolls-Royce front end grafted onto a Hummer, just ain’t right.
by Thom Blackett
MyRide Senior Road Test Editor
Photo credit: Staff
Only within the confines of the outrageous SEMA Show do you come across vehicles like this Hummer. The brand has made claims of moving upscale, but this is a bit ridiculous. As you can see from the graphics on the windshield, this is not a Hummer corporate-sponsored project, so don’t head to your local dealer in search of a Rolls-type off-road roller. Still, for those folks out there with an otherwise-perfect H2 sporting a wrecked front end, consider this fodder for your rebuilding plans.
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class/Honda Ridgeline Offspring
Breaking news!! Mercedes-Benz and Honda have joined forces to create a new high-end pickup truck! Watch out Cadillac Escalade EXT! At first glance, that’s exactly what we guessed this creation to be – a Mercedes-Benz GL-Class welded to the tail end of a Honda Ridgeline. When asked, let’s just say that the creators were less than pleased with that assumption. Turns out a lot of work went into putting a new grille on a GL, hacking off the body work rear of the B-pillar and creating a pickup bed trimmed with teak wood.
Right. It’s a Mercedes-Benz Ridgeline, dude.
High-Rise Buick Riveria
After clotting our bleeding eyes, we spent a few minutes reluctantly gazing upon this monstrosity to absorb all of its horrid details. It’s not right on so many levels. It’s a Buick…on old Buick…that’s green, subtly named the Donkey Frog, features about 12 feet of ground clearance, and rolls on wheels that would oversized on a Freightliner. The picture here shows last year’s SEMA hit, clear rims, but fitted to the side you can’t see are equally laughable spinners. Get those massive parts rotating at a decent velocity and you just might affect local weather patterns.
Peeled Tangerine Toyota Camry
Mix in other flavors or a variety of ingredients and you can transform vanilla ice cream into something that even the most experienced taste tester couldn’t pinpoint. Unfortunately, the same approach doesn’t work for vanilla cars, those rides that sell in mass quantities not because of style but rather practicality. A valiant effort, this Toyota Camry probably represents months of painstaking work, yet even with suicide front doors, a lowrider stance, metal flake paint, and an over-the-top orange interior, you can still taste the vanilla in this four-door sedan, albeit with sour overtones.max
Old military planes are cool. Muscle cars are cool, especially those created thirty or forty years ago. What’s not cool is a modern muscle car done up to look like an old military plane, especially when the vehicle in question is a Pontiac Trans-Am and the aircraft is a P-51 Mustang. If those big gnarly incisors decorated the front of a Ford, this might make more sense, but either way you wouldn’t catch up cruising in this clipped-winged bird.
A Different Kind of Exotic
We’re not sure why this one qualifies for a That Ain’t Right award. Spicing up wheelchairs seems like a great idea, but with a leopard paint scheme? At least it’s not authentic leopard skin. But, c’mon, this is SEMA – if you’re gonna take on this project, incorporate some sweet rims, fat rubber, maybe a finely-tuned and chromed-out crate engine, and for crying out loud, where’s the adjustable and ventilated sport seat with massage?
This is sooo not what the designers in Stuttgart had in mind…
Mercedes-Benz is usually associated with terms such as luxury, refinement, class, and sophistication. Add on an AMG badge and the list grows to include power, and lots of it. Wrap it all together and you’ve got the ingredients for an amazing package…unless you lose all sense of reason and dip this fine German motoring machine in pink paint. That’s just what happened to this unfortunate E-Class Mercedes housed within the ropes of Dub at the 2007 SEMA Show. Hopefully, there’s someone out there with enough heart, and cash, who can stage a rescue effort for this poor four-door and free it from its undeserved shame.
Guess the car this interior belongs to
Given the image seen here, you can surmise that the ride in question is a sport-utility or crossover vehicle of some sort, though it surely had to be one of the less desirable varieties for someone to feel that the Barbie-pink treatment would serve as an improvement. Nope – it’s a 2008 Porsche Cayenne. The rather bold color is used as accent on the seats, blankets the entire headliner, and even sparkles in the form of studs on the shift knob. The license plate indicates that this violation of all things sacred comes from the garages of West Coast Customs. And they claim to be car lovers…
The watered-down-red phenomenon has even spread to Japan
Apparently, the sick idea of dolling cars up with the color pink goes beyond Germany. This Scion tC sat loud and proud in the parking lot just outside the halls of the 2007 SEMA Show. There’s been ongoing discussion among vehicle junkies regarding the tC’s possible status as a chic car. Well, this pretty much settles that debate now doesn’t it?
2008 Scion xB L-Con City Safari
You’ve heard of urban assault vehicles, but this might be your introduction to the urban safari vehicle. Here’s hoping it’s the last time any of us see this type of creation. Decked out for a day of sneaking up on the homeless and drinking in the scents of city congestion, this hacked-up Scion xB has a front push bar for battling those wild cabbies, multiple spot lights for some nighttime poaching of sewer rats, and aggressive tires and TRD wheels granting you and your hunting party a well-maneuvered getaway when roadragers become incensed with the xB’s rubbernecking pace.
The seldom seen fun side of Nurse Hatchet
You’ve gotta love Jack Nicholson – the dude’s cool at any age, and even though this strip-dragging Oldsmobile ambulance represents an abomination of the automotive type, it too delivers a certain coolness. Dubbed Nurse Ratchet, Jack’s prim and proper nemesis in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, one run in this old dog will surely leave you smiling like whacked-out Jack in The Shining. Mounted mid-ship is a 496 Chevy juiced with nitrous and a three-speed automatic pushes power to Mickey Thompson rubber with the help of a nine-inch rear end. Designed to traveling a quarter-mile at a time, this Oldsmobile would do little good for suburban 911 callers.
Breaking all Boundaries of Good Taste – Donked Limo
Some would suggest that limousines are inherently tacky, so any customizing could do no harm, and might even improve things a bit. After seeing this thing, we’d disagree. Riding high on modern-day wagon wheels, the elongated Caddy was decked out in special paint and, curiously, was relegated to the far side of an outside parking lot. There was an empty bottle of Black Velvet – no word on whether it was consumed before construction began (appearing likely) or after the creator gazed upon the horror that was his final masterpiece (equally likely).
SEMA Girls=Good. SEMA Girls with dogs=That Ain’t Right
For all the non-industry folks out there, meaning the people who aren’t allowed to attend the SEMA Show, the cars and accessories are only outshined by what are fondly referred to as the booth babes. As if the dazzling chrome, exquisitely resorted muscle cars, and sheer magnitude of parts filling the halls weren’t enough, exhibitors add in scantily-clad ladies who are always wearing a smile. But do they really need to bring their dogs? It’s a battleground with all the people milling about – a Pomeranian wouldn’t stand a chance.
Then again, maybe we’re just mad ‘cuz we had to leave our four-legged friends at home.
Hey, there were cars here, too!
Everyone who’s familiar with SEMA knows that the show is about cars. Those same people may also realize that SEMA’s about celebrities such as Jay Leno, Chip Foose, Boyd Coddington, and Danica Patrick. These are the recognizable folks spending their days building, racing, or cracking jokes to finance obsessions with cars. But this year we saw more of the non-gearhead celebrity types, like rapper 50 Cent. It’s great publicity for the show, the automakers, and we even enjoyed a little one-on-one time with the man ourselves. But the gloves are off if we’re battling Perez Hilton for prime photo spots next year.
C’mon baby light my…wheel?
Just when it looks like we’ve hit the limits for automotive personalization, another idea comes along to break a new barrier. There are countless paint, body, and powertrain modifications, wheel and tire packages, interior upgrades, and even vinyl wraps that could theoretically change a car’s appearance every day. One of the newer concepts is a rim that displays downloaded images. We’ve seen lit rollers before, and in our minds they still qualify as parts that just ain’t right. Yeah, part of it’s because we don’t have at least $20,000 to lay down on a set of wheels, but more than that – is anyone so attention-deprived that they need these?