Missing out on the action at this year's Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas this week? No need to worry, Jonathan Ward from ICON 4x4 gave us the scoop on some of the coolest custom rides on the floor at this year's event.
Goodwin Assist Hybrid Electric-Kit
"There's really some aggressive technology (at SEMA) that can change the future," says Ward, referring to the Goodwin Assist Hybrid Electric Kit, a stopgap solution hybrid kit that can be installed in any application, even as big as an H2 Hummer.
"We currently get 60 miles to a gallon (on an H2 Hummer) on the assist program," says company founder Jonathan Goodwin. "Once you go outside that range it goes into hybrid mode where you pick up an additional 15 to 30 percent increase in fuel efficiency."
"Ford is starting to make commitments to their heritage by coming out with complete new body assemblies," says Ward. That commitment was on display at SEMA with a 1940 Deluxe Coupe body shell that gives folks the chance to customize the vehicle to their preference. "If you start with this and go to some of the top suppliers in the aftermarket and add the chassis of choice, perhaps the Ford 5.0 Coyote Motor from the 2012 Mustang, you can build a serious car," says Ward.
Jeep Wrangler JK…with Third Row Seating?
The "JK Six Pak," created by Michigan-based Quality Metalcraft, has made it possible to take five of your closest friends as far into the wilderness as you dare.
"This (Jeep) started life as an AEV JK Double Cab Chassis," says Michael Chetcuti with Quality Metalcraft Inc., a Michigan-based low-volume custom parts and vehicle fabricator. "We took that chassis and were able to marry a two-door body to a four-door body…and we stretched the vehicle about 23 inches."
Ward says "this seems to make a lot of sense," and wonders why original equipment manufacturers aren't doing stuff like this.
This vehicle comes from Ward's ICON 4x4 company, but we'll let the conflict of interest slide because it's pretty fantastic. The one-of-a-kind 1965 customized pickup includes a mix of old and new parts, such as the original seat frames covered in American Indian Reservation-sourced bison hide upholstery.
"Everything on this truck is U.S. made, so we're excited and proud to have it here at (SEMA) to show everyone," says Ward.