The 2016 SEMA Show was by far the most successful show in our 22 years of business. The quality and caliber of the customer cars, as well as the introduction of the new steel body ’33 Hot Rod and Gen 3 Type 65 Coupe, made the show great, but so many other things contributed to make it the very best. Here is the play-by-play with photos and videos of an exceptional week in the life of Factory Five Racing.
Factory Five Tech Leader Tony Zullo headed out early with Freddy Simmons to unload the truck and set-up the booth. One of the cool cars we was the half-mobile Factory Five Mk4 (above with the 289 USRRC Replica) that was sporting a BluePrint Engines’ crate engine package.
The new Gen 3 Type 65 Coupe was unloaded from the Factory Five truck Friday morning alongside Factory Five customer Mike Rosa’s absolutely perfect ’33 Hot Rod.
On Monday night, before the show, we filmed a sequence for Powernation’s new show “On the Road” where I got to drive up and down Las Vegas Boulevard with host Katie Osborne. All of the Factory Five cars were already loaded into the show and locked down.
I called Factory Five customer Karen Salvaggio who saved the day with Factory Five customer TC McNett. They brought two Factory Five Challenge Cars (street legal!) to the valet parking area of the West Gate Hotel in Vegas. It would be these two cars that I would get to use for the video shoot.
We filmed for about 4 hours driving all over Vegas. The highlight was drag racing Elvis in a Corvette! Seriously, only in Vegas this white 70s Corvette pulls up next to us in traffic with The King behind the steering wheel!
Another highlight was roll-starting the Roadster in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard. We had pulled to the side of the road to check microphones and cameras, so I shut off the car. What I didn’t know is that the car has a small cell racing battery AND had sat in TC’s garage for the last 6 months. When I went to start it… nothing. Good news to report is that Katie Osborne (who happens to be dating Tanner Faust) is an Indiana girl, and is comfortable with a stick shift. We bump started the car in 2nd gear with the help of a guy from Alaska who happened to be walking by. Only in Vegas.
Early Tuesday morning, SEMA staff were busy still setting up.
Above & Below: Ford always has the most dominant and impressive display, and this year was no different. In addition to the many Mustangs, Focuses, and other Ford vehicles were these two stunning cars. The new F-150 Raptor looks great and the Ford GT fresh from the track with oil and dirt all over it.
Our booth was centrally located between Ford and GM. We increased the size of our booth this year so that our footprint would match the effect our brand is having on the industry. We brought 8 cars in total!
The new Type 65 Coupe and its matching 289 little cuz were 2 of the 8 vehicles in our booth this year.
Customer Mike Rosa’s really impressive Factory Five ’33 Hot Rod with full fenders, hard top, crank windows, and just superior craftsmanship stole the show and showed people how good a Factory Five Hot Rod can be.
The all-new Gen 3 Type 65 Coupe was available for customers to sit in (yes, it’s huge inside and big enough for everyone except for Shaquille O’Neal). Next to the Coupe was a rolling chassis of the new Coupe with a 731 HP Edlebrock supercharged 5.0L Coyote!
Twin-turbo 1,200 HP GTM caused quite a stir.
This Hot Rod was featured by Street Rodder Magazine in an article entitled “Steampunk”. The car belonged to customer Greg Clouse and the workmanship on it was also spectacular. Dig on that custom-made brass-ringed mechanical gauge.
Above & Below: The new Coupe chassis showed off every single piece of steel… all-new! The all-steel ’33 Hot Rod body was mounted on our ’33 chassis with period-correct wheels and even a vintage flathead V8.
Factory Five customer Wayne Presley (left) helped the Factory Five guys Tony and Jesper.
Customer Mike Rosa (left) with the Build School’s Doris and Jim.
Factory Five customer Ron Everitt and Freddy Simmons worked the show all 4 days!
Factory Five customer Stacy and Ryan Valin from Canada flew in to help out.
Ryan explains details of the Factory Five Coupe to a perspective customer.
Factory Five Director of Engineering Jesper Ingerslev worked for more than a year with our supplier Charlie Paglee to develop the tooling and parts for the new all-steel ’33 Hot Rod body.
The new Coupe chassis proved to everyone that it truly is a big and tall capable car.
Steve M. from Power Automedia interviews Mike Rosa and Dave Smith on Mike’s Hot Rod.
Above: Power Automedia produced this great video on the all-steel ’33 Hot Rod body.
Power Automedia also produced this great video on the new Factory Five Gen 3 Type 65 Coupe.
The crew at KONI used the Factory Five 818C in their booth to show off their fantastic shocks.
Pete and Chris from BluePrint Engines had the half-mobile Factory Five Mk4 Roadster with a brand-new crate engine/transmission package on display.
BluePrint talks about the engine packages they have developed for Factory Five customers in this video.
Courtney Hansen was on hand in Factory Five’s booth to sign autographs for customers and to make me look cool.
Courtney Hansen and Adrienne Janic from Overhaulin’ with Dave Smith
One of the many highlights of this year’s show was giving a personal tour of the new Gen 3 Coupe to the legendary World Champion driver Bob Bondurant and his wife Pat.
Christy Lee from “All Girl’s Garage” stopped by to say hello. Photo above with Jo Coddington.
Mark Gearhart (right) did a fantastic job building this high-tech Factory Five Challenge Car. The car has received a ton of press and was surrounded by people every day of the show.
On Wednesday night, Factory Five customer Erik Hansen arranged for a customer dinner at Vince Neil’s Bar in the Circus Circus casino.
PowerNation’s show “On the Road” that we filmed on Monday night just aired on NBC Sports. They had this cool 360 degree that you can look around The Strip with as we drive.
Every year we offer SEMA Show attendees some cool discounts, and this year we extended that offer to everybody. It’s been a busy week, and we’ve sold a ton of cars with this special, and it’s still available right now. Click here for full details on the Huge SEMA Show Sale.