The 2016 SEMA Show is almost upon us and with it a week of hot rods, resto mods, custom kits and concept cars from some of the world's wackiest, most original and eccentric independent builders as well as the best that mainstream car companies themselves can muster. All of which means it's the perfect moment to take a look back at some of the most breathtaking, head scratching and unusual cars to have made their debut at the show this decade.
The Scion xB Limousine 2010
Toyota's now defunct youth brand Scion was a marque that took SEMA incredibly seriously and its stand was always guaranteed to stand out. Never was this more so than in 2010 with the All Stretched Out xB. Developed by Cartel, it started out life as a compact box-shaped hatchback but was stretched over four feet into a luxury ride with a huge suicide doors, flatscreen TV, leather interior, mood lighting and a stereo system powerful enough for use at an outdoor festival.
Mechatronik Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 2011
Not all SEMA show cars are crazy creations. This resto-mod 280 SE was considered one of the finest sedans of its day and, thanks to a company called Mechatronik, will be able to keep pace with anything in the current Mercedes-Benz lineup. And that's because, under that beautifully restored body beats a bang up-to-date AMG 5.5-liter V8 with 555hp on tap. Thankfully the suspension and brakes are equally modern.
Hyundai Elantra Coupe Zombie Survival Machine 2012
Popular culture as much as technical innovations in the field of car customization can be a top driver when it comes to the creations appearing at SEMA. And it's the US obsession with "The Walking Dead" that led Hyundai to dream up this particular creation, an Elantra Coupe reconfigured for the school run once the Zombie apocalypse is in full swing. As well as a locomotive-inspired front plough and spinning wheel spikes, the car has flood lights and a paint finish that's easy to wipe down, no matter what got it dirty.
Ford Mustang 50th Anniversary Golf Cart 2013
Mustangs are so popular as the base car for custom creations at every SEMA show that they have their own award category. But even the most carbon-fiber drenched, turbocharged pony car has nothing on this. Built to mark the model's 50th anniversary, this officially sanctioned golf cart boasts Shelby racing stripes, custom rims, embroidered leather seats and even a limited slip differential.
JC Autostyles Chrysler 300 Convertible 2013
If it weren't for the description, it would be impossible to tell that this car is actually a Chrysler 300. It looks more like a Rolls Royce that has been accidentally given LSD rather than unleaded, thanks to that Phantom grille and huge suicide doors. But the green paint finish hides some serious workmanship. The 300C is a four-door, hard-top sedan but the fit and finish of the two-door soft-top conversion is remarkable.
Toyota Camry Dragster 2014
Taking the concept of the sleeper car to the edge of physics, this is actually an 850hp drag car, cunningly disguised as a Toyota Camry. The V8 engine is out of a Toyota pickup but is force fed air via supercharging and nitrous oxide too for good measure.
Bisimoto Mustang 2015
This car makes the list not just because it boasts 900hp but also because of how Bisimoto managed to find all of those extra horses. Rather than starting with a V8 block, the company decided to go with the 2-liter, four-cylinder Mustang option and then essentially rebuild or replace every element of it, adding a huge turbo along the way.