SEMA Battle of the Builders® is a competition that recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of SEMA vehicle builders

Open to all customizers with a car or truck on display at the SEMA Show, the competition shines the spotlight on the amazing talents and craftsmanship of builders who have already proven themselves by being a part of the premier automotive trade event in the world. It allows enthusiasts and fans a chance to learn the stories behind the builds, get to know the builders and be inspired along the way.

All builders with a feature or booth vehicle on display at the 2017 SEMA Show are invited and encouraged to participate. (Note that your vehicle must NOT be under embargo at the time of entry)

Young, up-and-coming builders who are under the age of 27 (as of November 3, 2017) will receive special recognition as a ‘Young Gun’ in the competition, designed to spotlight and inspire future industry icons. Builders who meet the age requirements of a Young Gun but may not have a confirmed feature or booth vehicle for the 2017 SEMA Show may be awarded a ‘SEMA Prize Package’ from one of our regional partners and invited to compete in the competition in Las Vegas. Click Young Gun Info below for details.


For official Rules: Click Here

Each entrant must submit photos and a written description of the project vehicle Entrant is attempting to enter into SBOTB by 5:00PM PST on September 1, 2017.

How the Competition Works:

  • Submit vehicle details and THREE photos or renderings here (PRIOR to the September 1 Deadline). Or, win a SEMA Prize Package at one of the regional car shows to compete in the 2017 SEMA Battle of the Builders.
  • The day before the show, applicant vehicles are confirmed to be onsite at the 2017 SEMA Show. Remember, the competition is open to all cars and trucks on display at the SEMA Show. Applying for BOTB does not grant you placement.
  • The vehicle details and images provided in the application are reviewed and used to determine which cars and trucks advance to the next round, at which time the vehicles will be evaluated in person at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
  • Industry judges will select the Top 40 builds, representing each of the respected categories:
    • 10 Hot Rods
    • 10 Trucks/Off-Road
    • 10 Sport Compact
    • 10 Young Guns
  • The Top 40 will be announced on the opening day of the SEMA Show. The judges will then select the final Twelve which will be announced later in the week.
  • The Top Twelve vehicles will be re-located to a designated area where the twelve finalists will vote amongst themselves who will be named the winner.
  • The Top Twelve builds will lead the SEMA Cruise over to SEMA Ignited, the official after party of the SEMA Show, where the winner is announced.

Who Can Apply:

All feature and booth vehicles that have been accepted by SEMA for display at the 2017 SEMA Show and are not currently under embargo at the time of entry. Builders with vehicles from all market segments, including trucks, hot rods, street rods, off-road, motorsports, sport compacts, luxury exotics and the like are encouraged to enter.

Young Guns Recognition

Young, up-and-coming builders who are under the age of 27 (as of November 3rd, 2017) will receive special recognition as a 'Young Gun' in the competition, designed to spotlight and inspire future industry icons.

Young Guns SEMA Prize Package:

Builders age 27 or younger (as of November 3, 2017) who may not already have an approved feature or booth vehicle for the 2017 SEMA Show can still qualify to enter the competition through our regional partners who will be awarding a SEMA Young Guns Prize Package.

This prize package includes an all-expenses paid trip for two, transportation of the winner’s vehicle, a designated feature spot at the 2017 SEMA Show, and automatic entry into the 2017 SEMA Battle of the Builders competition!

*To qualify for the Young Gun designation at each of the regional shows, a builder must be 27 or younger by the final night of the SEMA Show, November 3, 2017, and must be designated as the winner of the promoter’s show, or achieve the highest overall finish within a group of the show’s young builders, or be designated as the winner of the category offered by the show. Click here for detailed rules and information.


Click the image for a list of upcoming events per category!

For questions regarding Young Guns and/or the regional qualifiers contact: Project Coordinator Mike Robleto @ 213.595.4720 or mike@imwks.com

Upcoming Tuner Events


Upcoming HotRod Events


Upcoming Truck Events




Currently airing on the Velocity Network

Hosted by industry personalities Chris Jacobs and Adrienne “AJ” Janic, the program takes viewers behind the scenes of the 2016 SEMA Show, where more than 140,000 industry professionals gather to discover new products and trends. You’ll be able to watch and join the journey of top builders as they battle around the clock to create and finish one-of-a-kind vehicles to be displayed at the annual event in Las Vegas, NV. You’ll see legendary builders competing side-by-side with new, up-and-coming “Young Gun” builders, watch as one young builder gets a surprise visit from Chip Foose, and see the winner crowned at the official SEMA Show after party – SEMA Ignited.

Appearances by The Enthusiast Network Executive Producer David Freiburger, Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off Road Editor-at-Large Fred Williams, and Meguiar’s Customer Engagement Leader RJ de Vera -- all of whom served as judges of the competition and narrowed down the field to the Top 10 cars, before the finalists judged their fellow competitors in front of an audience at the SEMA Show.

Check your local cable and satellite providers for details.

Calendar Dates Time
10/16/17 6:00 pm (ET)
10/22/17 1:00 pm (ET)
10/28/17 10:00 pm (ET)
10/29/17 1:00 am (ET)
10/29/17 5:00 am (ET)
10/30/17 6:00 pm (ET)


Check out these behind-the-scenes videos of participants from past competitions



Why Compete:


Click the thumbnail to view the whole article

4 From The Battle of the Builders SEMA 2016

One of the things that makes the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association’s SEMA Show so much fun is active competition. Walking for miles looking at thousands of innovative new parts and products is cool, but hot rodders are competitive at heart.

Winnipeg native victorious at SEMA

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) held its new products showcase at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3. The largest automotive trade show in the world, the four-day event can best be described as "Disneyland for vehicle enthusiasts."

Speed Hunters: Setting The Honda Standard

Now in its third and ultimate evolution, the BB4 stood out at SEMA for all the right reasons, and Big Mike drove away with not only a Top 10 placing (out of around 260 entrants) in the show’s prestigious ‘Battle of the Builders’ competition, but received a ‘Young Gun’ award in the process.


  • Have your vehicle stand out to thousands of show-goers
  • Exposure through media coverage in top publications and online sites
  • Networking with top builders from around the globe
  • Generated content of your build, your products, your vehicle
  • On-site exposure at the 2017 SEMA Show
  • Featured in SEMA Publications
  • Part of the celebrated SEMA Cruise
  • Inclusion in 1-hour TV special






2016 Top 10 Builder Finalists

Jeremy & Phil Gerber - Mundelein, Illinois (Young Gun)

1967 Chevy Chevelle Onyx - Atech Motorsports, Booth #23613

Jeremy and Phil Gerber are co-owners of the Roadster Shop, a custom car build shop and chassis and suspension manufacturer located in Mundelein, Ill. The core focus is on performance pro-touring muscle cars, but have a passion for everything automotive. The Roadster Shop accolades include two cars in the Battle of the Builders Top 5 in 2015, two Good Guys Street Machine of the Year awards and multiple Top 5 finalists for this and other Good Guys Terrific 12 Awards, Detroit Autorama Great 8 Finalist, Multiple GM Design Awards, multiple Mothers Shine Award Finalists

The 1967 Chevelle "Onyx" is an extremely refined version of the original. This build took the lines of the best looking Chevelle ever produced and subtly enhanced them with a sharp eye for detail. A Roadster Shop chassis provides the low aggressive stance and performance handling. An 860-horsepower supercharged Wegner Motorsports LS3 sits under the hood. Advanced Plating handled the chrome and polish work on the custom tucked bumpers and refined original factory trim. A set of RS-designed Forgeline RS6 period inspired wheels and redline tires complete the exterior package. Jeremy Carlson of Extreme Performance handled the incredibly detailed interior that further blends today's level of refinement and attention to detail with the iconic style of the 1967 Chevelle.

Kyle Tucker - Mooresville, North Carolina

1941 Willys 2-Door Coupe | Baer Brakes, Booth #23719

I have been building cars and designing parts for the automotive aftermarket industry for over 15 years. We specialize in making parts that transform older cars into modern day super cars. Our custom car builds feature state-of-the-art technology blended with the iconic body styles of years past. I expect our cars to not only sit right, look right but drive and perform at a level that is uncompromised.

I won the inaugural 2015 SEMA BOTB with a 1969 Camaro. Awards include GG Street Machine of the Year and numerous show awards from across the country.

Mike & Jim Ring - Spring Green, Wisconsin

1969 Chevy Camaro | Royal Purple, Booth #23057

Based in Spring Green, WI, Ringbrothers has rocketed into the top ranks of American car builders over the past decade, winning numerous design awards, including the GM Design Award for “Best Chevrolet of Show” at the 2014 SEMA Show, several Goodguys Gold Awards, back-to-back Goodguys Street Machine of the Year awards, multiple Mothers Shine awards, countless magazine covers and several builds commissioned by OEMs. Ringbrothers made it to the Top 3 in the initial Battle of the Builders in 2014 and made it to the Top 10 in last year’s BOTB competition.

The 1969 Camaro project has an incredible level of detail and by far surpasses the custom machining detail of any Ringbrothers build, thus the name G-Code. Some of the custom machined pieces include front and rear bumpers, taillight panel, taillight bezels, gas door, front grill, air intake scoops, headlight bezels and excessive interior machining.

Mike & Jim Ring - Spring Green, Wisconsin

1948 Cadillac | Flowmaster, Booth #22351

Based in Spring Green, WI, Ringbrothers has rocketed into the top ranks of American car builders over the past decade, winning numerous design awards, including the GM Design Award for “Best Chevrolet of Show” at the 2014 SEMA Show, several Goodguys Gold Awards, back-to-back Goodguys Street Machine of the Year awards, multiple Mothers Shine awards, countless magazine covers and several builds commissioned by OEMs. Ringbrothers made it to the Top 3 in the initial Battle of the Builders in 2014 and made it to the Top 10 in last year’s BOTB competition.

The 1948 Cadillac project is a custom car for Wes Rydell to drive and enjoy. By combining the classic look of the '48 Cadillac Fastback with the performance and technology of the 2016 ATS-V Cadillac, it would be exactly how GM would build that car today. The car will have ATS-V twin-turbo V6 with 464 hp engine and eight-speed automatic. All engine controls will be maintained with the conversion. Interior gauge cluster will have components from the ATS-V. Under the hood and engine bay will consist of the OEM look of the ATS-V.

Brad DeBerti - Arroyo Grande, California (Young Gun)

2017 Ford Raptor | Ford Motor Company, Booth #22200

I am a young builder who has been influenced by my dad from a super young age to now at 21 years old. I am very mechanical and I love to build and design. This is my first big build and I am going after a design or best of show award from Ford Motor Company.

This is the only 2017 Ford Raptor that will be at the 2016 SEMA show. This truck is completely stripped down to the cab. All of the factory frame has been removed and a new complete suspension 3" wider per side is being built. I am taking the factory geometry on the stock fenders and stretching them out 4" per side and machining them out of foam to make new molds. The interior has a complete roll cage installed. When this truck is at SEMA it will appear to be stock until you are about 10 feet from it. There will be no details missed on this Raptor from front to rear.

Jesse Greening - Wilmington, Delaware

1961 Chevy 2-Door Sedan | BASF/Glasurit, Booth #20367

In the GREAT 8 2016; Gene Winfield SELECT SIX 2016; Builder Pick Goodguys Columbus, Ohio; Builders Pick Goodguys Nashville, Tenn.; Street Rodder Magazine Top 100.

1961 Chevy 2-door ht. converted into a station wagon (double bubble) chopped 3", channeled 4", front end lengthened 4", and wedged down 3", 409/473ci., 8 stack fuel injection, Tremec 5 speed, Morrision Chassis, flush-mounted glass AM Hot Rod Glass.

Cam Miller - North Logan, Utah

1969 Chevy Camaro | Mothers, Booth #61008

HS Customs/Cam Miller has been building custom cars and trucks full time for six years. In that time we have qualified for Custom Rod of the Year Goodguys with a ‘58 T-Bird. The Camaro you see here we unveiled at the Detroit Auto Rama, took Utah's Finest and 1st in class pro touring at the Salt Lake City Auto Rama. Competed for Street Machine of the Year at Goodguys Columbus and made the top five. Competed for the Reno Cup at Hot August Nights and made top 5 with a 4th overall finish and also took Best in Show at Atlantis Casino. We are located in small-town Logan, Utah, and are just so excited to be a part of such a great industry. We are really excited to be a part of SEMA 2016 with this being our first time having a car in SEMA. Battle of the Builders, to be a part of that is just huge!

The ‘69 Camaro is a legend for so many reasons and there are so many awesome examples of these cars in this world. Probably one of the hardest cars to build and stand out. This is what we came up with trying to be different, innovative and creative, yet maintain what makes the Camaro so legendary. We hope you enjoy Under Pressure by HS Customs.

Big Mike - Garden Grove, California (Young Gun)

1992 Honda Prelude | Torco Oils, Booth #24843

My Prelude build is a culmination of many years of studying and interpreting all forms of motorsport and automotive cultures. Growing up as an avid automotive enthusiast, I became interested in the import tuner culture specifically, with a strong emphasis on Japanese street and Grand Touring vehicles. As I grew, so did my appreciation for all types of cars and the cultures surrounding their modification and restoration.

Attending SEMA many times over the years has provided me the invaluable opportunity to see up-close and personal some of the greatest (automotive) builds in the world. From high-level race cars and hot rods to completely outside-the-box visions, I've found inspiration from vehicles that the prototypical import enthusiast would not. This build was created to be the perfect balance between a street, track, and show car, incorporating functional, aesthetic styling combined with modern-day race car technology.

Gordon Ting - Irvine, California

2016 Prius | Toyota, Booth #24800

This is the first time I’m working on a Toyota build, and there’s some fun adventure in this. Because of where I’ve worked, I’ve been fortunate to work on Japanese and European imports, as well as domestic, from a marketing standpoint. I’m very grateful to have the chance to be able to design, build, and show cars in a new light.

There is something very unexpected about doing a performance build Prius. The concept for this build is inspired by the Japanese Prius GT300 that is racing in the Okayama International Circuit. While Prius has a reputation for fuel efficiency and as a reliable mode of transportation, I wanted to challenge that perception and turn it on its head. So I designed a Prius that performs.

Mark Turner - Phoenix, Arizona

1958 Jeep FC170 | Optima Alley

I am the CEO of Daystar Products and have been a garage builder my whole life. I have built off-road race vehicles, crazy concept vehicles, and even motorcycles. Everything that I have learned has been hands-on with advice from industry experts. They have always been willing to point me in the right direction; all I had to do was be open-minded. Building OEM parts for the last 11 years is cool but being able to take that information from Stability control testing and use it in the aftermarket and builds is to key to amazing vehicles.

My entry is a 1958 Jeep FC170. I purchased the Jeep at auction and stripped it down. It was in such bad shape I was going to part it out, but the employees at Daystar (an injection and cast polyurethane company) asked if they could build it with me after hours. I said yes and the five-month build was on.


*Not Photographed: Kenny Hauk, Mark Turner, Dominic Le


BUILDERS Name Vehicle Sponsor
Cris Payne, Taft, CA 2016 Chevy Colorado Diesel American Force
Brad DeBerti, Arroyo Grande, CA 2017 Ford Raptor Ford Motor Company
Kenny Hauk, Chambersburg, PA 1948 Kaiser Willys Pickup Tire Mart
Greg Higgs, Lancaster, SC 2015 Chevy Colorado Fab Fours
Randy Weaver, Sandy, UT 1938 Diamond T Hauler Premier Performace Products
John Cole, El Cajon, CA 1966 Ford Bronco Baja Designs
Mark Turner, Phoenix, AZ 1958 Jeep FC170 Daystar Products

Sport Compact

BUILDERS Name Vehicle Sponsor
Ernie Manansala, Newport Beach, CA 2014 Nissan GTR Spyder Auto
Big Mike, Garden Grove, CA 1992 Honda Prelude Torco Oils
Dominic Le, Santa Ana, CA 1974 Datsun 260Z Toyo Tires
Gordon Ting, Irvine, CA 2016 Prius Toyota
Jeremy Lookofsky, Simi Valley, CA 2017 Toyota Corolla Toyota
Igor Polishchuk, Sacramento, CA 1989 BMW 325is Toyo Tires
Anthony De Guzman, Winnipeg, MB, Canada 1993 Toyota Supra Air Lift

Hot Rod

BUILDERS Name Vehicle Sponsor
Jeremy & Phil Gerber, Mundelein, IL 1967 Chevy Chevelle Onyx Atech Motorsports
Kyle Tucker, Mooresville, NC 1941 Willys 2-Door Coupe Baer Brakes
Mike & Jim Ring, Spring Green, WI 1969 Chevy Camaro Royal Purple
Jessie Greening, Wilmington, DE 1961 Chevy 2-Door Sedan BASF/Glasurit
Cam Miller, North Logan, UT 1969 Chevy Camaro Mothers
Mike & Jim Ring, Spring Green, WI 1948 Cadillac Flowmaster
Jason Pecikonis, Camarillo, CA 1965 Ford Mustang Magnaflow


First, all builders with a vehicle displaying at the 2017 SEMA Show may enter the competition at >www.semashow.com/botb

The second way builders may participate in the 2017 SEMA BOTB competition is through the Young Guns program. Preselected regional auto shows will award a limited number of BOTB entries to builders age 27 or younger (as of Nov. 3, 2017), who may not already have an approved vehicle for the 2017 SEMA Show. The entries will then be included in the SEMA BOTB and compete among all other participants in the competition. For more information on the Young Guns regional venues, please visit semashow.com/botb.

Submitting an application for the SEMA Battle of the Builders® competition does not guarantee space for a vehicle to be on display at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV. All vehicles at the SEMA Show must be sponsored by an exhibiting manufacturer. Exhibitors may choose to display vehicles in their booths, or they may purchase a feature vehicle spot. However, the spot may only be reserved by an exhibitor.

SEMA BOTB applications for vehicles that are not on display at the SEMA Show will not qualify to advance in the BOTB competition. Only vehicles on display will advance in the competition.

Builders under the age of 27 who do not have a confirmed SEMA Show feature or booth vehicle may be able to compete in the SEMA BOTB through a participating consumer auto show.

SEMA partnered with AutoCon, 4 Wheel Jamboree, Street Machine Nationals, and Goodguys to award six regional Young Guns winners a prize package that includes an all-expense paid trip for two to the 2017 SEMA Show, transportation of the winner’s vehicle, a designated feature spot at the SEMA Show and automatic entry into the SEMA Battle of the Builders® competition.

Each regional partner will select its own winner and may have its own rules and criteria. Entries competing from a regional auto show partner are then included in the SEMA BOTB and will compete among all other participants in the competition.

Regional Qualifying Events Are:

  • March 26: AutoCon, Los Angeles, CA
  • May 19-21: 4Wheel Jamboree, Lima, OH
  • June 3-4: Goodguys Summer Get-Together, Pleasanton, CA
  • June 9-11: Goodguys East Coast Nationals, Rhinebeck, NY
  • June 17: Goodguys Speedway Motors, Lincoln, NE
  • June 30-July 2: Goodguys Heartland Nationals, Des Moines, IA
  • July 7-9: Goodguys PPG Nationals, Columbus, OH
  • July 28-30: Goodguys Pacific Northwest Nationals, Puyallup, WA
  • August 18-20: Goodguys Great Northwest Nationals, Spokane, WA
  • August 25-27: Goodguys West Coast Nationals, Pleasanton, CA
  • September 8-10: Goodguys Colorado Nationals, Loveland, CO

Supporting and inspiring young builders is crucial to the future of the automotive specialty equipment market. The Young Guns category is designed to encourage young builders to pursue their passions and shines the light on the up-and-coming builders.

The Young Guns is a designation within the overall BOTB competition to recognize builders at the SEMA Show who are under the age of 27 (as of Nov. 3, 2017). Those who have selected the Young Guns category on the online application, as well as young builders who were awarded a Young Guns prize package from a regional partner are eligible to participate. All competitors in the Young Guns category will be competing against the overall field of builders, regardless of how they entered the competition.

With more than 300 participants, industry experts will review all qualifying applications, including vehicle descriptions and photos. Judges will also walk the SEMA Show floor to review individual builds in person before selecting the Top 40 finalists in the competition. (Ten builds will represent the hot rod category, 10 will represent the trucks/off-road category, 10 will represent the sport compact category and another 10 will be from Young Guns.)

After the Top 40 finalists are announced on the opening day of the SEMA Show, the judges then narrow the finalists down to the Top 12, regardless of the category.

The Top 12 finalists then become the judges, and select from amongst themselves who is ultimately named the Top Builder of the SEMA BOTB.

The field of entries is narrowed down in six steps to get to the winner:

  • Step 1: Anyone who has booth or feature vehicle at the SEMA Show is welcome to enter the competition
  • Step 2: Applicants that were not able to secure a booth or feature vehicle spot at the SEMA Show will be cut from the competition
  • Step 3: Industry experts and our panel of judges review all applications and their submitted pictures to determine which are of interest to see during the visual walk-through judging process on the Show floor (about 70-80 vehicles)
  • Step 4: From the 70-80 vehicles that are seen on the Show floor, the Top 40 are determined (10 hot rod/10 truck/10 sport compact/10 Young Gun)
  • Step 5: The Top 40 are reviewed again by images, discussion and possible subsequent walk-through inspection and narrowed to the Top 12, regardless of the category
  • Step 6: The builders of the Top 12 will become the judges and select who will be named the winner.

The Top 40 finalists will be announced on the first day of the SEMA Show (Tuesday, October 31). The Top 12 are announced later during the week at the SEMA Show.

On the last day of the SEMA Show (Friday, Nov. 3), the Top 12 participants will evaluate and judge each other’s entry at the SEMA Show, before leading the SEMA Cruise to the official SEMA Show after party, SEMA Ignited. At SEMA Ignited, consumers, media and industry professionals will watch as the winner is announced and a television production team films for a television special that will air on the Velocity Network.

Each vehicle at the SEMA Show is a unique, one-of-a-kind creation. Personal tastes may vary and opinions will differ. Industry experts with years of experience serve as judges and narrow the entries down to finalists. However, it is the Top 12 finalists themselves who will be judging, voting and selecting the ultimate winner.

As builders, the finalists know and understand the challenges and complexity involved with a vehicle build. They are able to asses and determine the creativity, craftsmanship and skill that went into each vehicle, before selecting the winner.

The gates open for SEMA Ignited at 3:00p on Friday, November 3rd.

For more information on inquiring about a feature vehicle spot at the 2017 SEMA Show, please visit: www.semashow.com/feature-vehicle-application

A vehicle will be in one category. If a builder’s vehicle is identified as one that is in consideration of either the Hot Rod, Tuner, or Truck categories, it will be listed in those categories as top 10 of that category. Otherwise, if the vehicle builder is a Young Gun (age 27 or younger on November 3rd, 2017) and does not earn a spot in the top ten of the Hot Rod, Tuner, or Truck category, the vehicle may still be considered for the Young Guns category. A vehicle can only be in one category.

Winners of the regional Young Guns competitions will be placed at the 2017 SEMA Show in a feature vehicle location within the property of the SEMA Show.

While we cannot connect you to a specific manufacturer, you can find a list of companies that will be exhibiting at the SEMA Show by visiting www.semashow.com

While it is certainly possible that the judges may be viewing your vehicle during hours that you are there, it is not possible to schedule a time, nor coordinate when the judges will be viewing your vehicle. Vehicles will be viewed throughout all hours of Sunday and Monday. It is not a requirement that you are present when the judges will be viewing your vehicle.

Vehicles are not permitted to be under any embargo prior to the start of the 2017 SEMA Show. Any vehicle that cannot be available for public display prior to the opening of the show will not be considered for the 2017 SEMA Show Battle of the Builders®.