A wise man once described the process of having kids, raising them, and watching them grow as a painful joy. We use the same two words to describe every annual Specialty Equipment Market Association Show (better known simply as the SEMA Show) we’ve attended in Las Vegas. The 2016 SEMA Show was no different. We’re always as excited as a five-year-old running through Santa’s Village to see the new products and built vehicles at SEMA. However, after day two, our eyes glaze over and we concede that there is no possible way to see absolutely everything during the four-day show, at least not without wearing our feet down to the nubbins.
Having the opportunity to assemble one of the hundreds of show trucks may seem like a dream come true, but the ever-changing truck models and updates often lead to looming deadlines, long nights, and weekend wrenching. Coincidentally, many of the SEMA Show 4x4 builders probably feel like they've given birth by the time the wheels hit the carpet. Here are some of the trucks that were birthed for the 2016 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Some are wild, some are weird—all are intriguing.
Fab Fours has always gone above and beyond to show up with something original, yet still functional as an off-road 4x4. This year, the company introduced a ’15 Chevy Colorado known as Kymera. The truck features a twin-turbo 12-valve 6BT Cummins diesel engine and rolls on massive 405/70R20 tires and 5 1/2-ton MRAP axles.
Hauk Designs specializes in building show-stopper art cars that are a little over the top for regular use as a recreational 4x4. The Hauk .45 started as a ’48 Willys pickup and is a tribute to the old west and the guns from that era. It’s powered by a 12-valve Cummins 6BT and features a linked suspension. The interior and exterior are thoroughly decorated with a vintage vibe.
Older 4x4s on newer chassis have been extremely popular at the SEMA Show over the past several years. This four-door Dodge Power Wagon dualie incorporated the bodylines of old iron with modern LED lights and aluminum large-diameter wheels. It’s an oxymoron of a truck that many people admire.
How do you pull on the heartstrings of nearly every Jeep enthusiast? Simple: build one vehicle made from two of the most popular Jeeps ever built like this one from Unofficial Use Only. The XJ Cherokee front clip gives this JK Wrangler Unlimited a completely different and original look. And who could possibly turn away from Battleship Gray?
Pro Comp was one of the few companies that got their hands on a ’17 Ford Super Duty. The new Pro Comp suspension includes massive coilover front shocks and makes room for up to 40-inch tires.
Griffen Fab Works did a full front half and back half on this Ford F-100. The result is massive amounts of wheel travel at the BFG tires from the front center-mount A-arm setup and rear four-link suspension. Under the hood is a 900hp 427ci GM LS engine sporting a Whipple 4.0 supercharger.
Tracked vehicles always seem to attract more attention than their tire-shod counterparts. This JcrOffroad Jeep Cherokee XJ was sporting a horde of JcrOffroad body armor, Rigid LED lighting, a Warn winch, and American Track Truck Dominator tracks. Under the hood is a healthy 4.7L Titan stroker Jeep inline-six.
Did we mention we’re enamored by tracked vehicles? Besides, who could deny a military-themed up-armored Ram HD truck with aftermarket bumpers, a custom cargo rack, and what appears to be a bombproof bed?
Daystar brought this ’41 Dodge Power Wagon back to life in only 50 days. Under the hood you’ll find a supercharged 6.2L LS3 engine, which spins into 1-ton axles. It’s no show pony either. Within 48 hours of finishing the truck, it was out on the trail. We really liked the tasteful copper accoutrements found all around the Power Wagon known as The Bootlegger.
Some of you may remember Sgt. Rock from a 4x4 TV show featuring Stacy David. Well, the ’41 Power Wagon was finally finished and staged in the Painless Performance Products booth. It’s a cool showpiece rolling on Rockwell axles and massive Mickey Thompson tires.
Jeep brought out this pristine ’66 CJ-6 Tuxedo Park to help showcase the new Mopar Hemi crate engine. The Copper Canyon-painted CJ body was tossed onto a more modern TJ Wrangler chassis with a 2-inch lift. It rolls on Mopar axle assemblies and 35-inch BFG All-Terrain tires on Jeep Performance Parts 17-inch beadlock wheels.
The Jeep JK Wrangler M7 front conversion kit by Thaler Design offers a new look for the ’07-current Wrangler. The Jeep also features Maxxis Trepador tires, Bawarrion beadlock wheels, and Bawarrion skidplates among other components.
This color-matched Tacoma could be found in the ARB booth. It was fit with nearly everything ARB offers including front and rear BP-51 adjustable bypass shocks, bumpers, intake snorkel, rooftop tent, LED lights, and more.
BDS Suspension had enough time with its ’17 Ford F-250 to develop a 6-inch four-link conversion with 2 1/2-inch Fox DSC coilover front shocks. The new lift clears 38x13.50R20 Nitto tires. Other eye-catching components include a custom aluminum roof rack, a Bestop canvas bed top, Baja Designs LED lighting, a Warn Zeon winch, and more.
We’re ready for the low-profile mud tire fad to fade away. Any time now would be great. Unfortunately, there are still many parts of the U.S. where this is considered cool. We can certainly appreciate the attention to detail on this truck, but those tires diminish real off-road performance and functional day-to-day use.
This cool ’16 Nissan Titan XD was outfitted by ADD Offroad. It features Icon coilovers and bypass shocks, 37x13.50R17 General tires wrapped around 17x9 KMC wheels, and McNeil Racing fiberglass front fenders and bedsides among other mods.
If the Fall Guy were to pass through a time warp and show up in 2017, this GMC might be the truck he would put together and drive daily. We think it would look cool performing some Fall Guy–style sweet jumps.
Are you into skiing or snowboarding? Imagine a fully autonomous tracked 4x4 that takes you to the top of the mountain and then meets you at the bottom for another round. This KIA doesn’t even have a steering wheel or any other controls, just seats.
We’re all for well-built vintage 4x4s, but we’re not sure about the neon paint and overall appearance of this Power Wagon.
Even for a SEMA Show truck, it’s actually incredibly difficult to incorporate all of our least favorite modifications, but this older Ford F-series has done just that. It’s a total Stormtrooper whiteout, including the suspension, it’s rolling on low-profile mud tires, it’s lifted too high for the tires on it, and it’s stickered up and busier looking than the neighborhood ice cream truck. But, it appears to have a functional front driveshaft.