It's finally catching on... Three years ago, RJ de Vera of Meguiar's and I pulled our heads together to create something called the pbskids SEMA Awards. We didn't have any sponsors or big budgets to work with; we were just two car guys who loved our industry and wanted to do something about bringing recognition to the builders who go unnoticed at the SEMA Show every year. These individuals don't have a huge team of workers or deep pockets on their side, but they have a dream, they bust their asses, and they embody what it means to be a standout car builder in our community. A big congrats goes out to Sam Morris, Jason Pham, and Ryan Basseri.
Eye on the Prize
While a carbon-fiber trophy and sexy photo with me and RJ are nice, we upped our prize game this year with custom Belgium-made metal cases for each winner. Inside, you'll find limited-edition pbskids Garage gear. Not too shabby, right?
Best of Show
'93 Mazda RX-7 (FD3S)
"Well, with a name like Sam, how could you not like this car? But in all seriousness, right when I walked up to Mr. Morris' RX-7, I knew right away this was something special. First of all, it's a car that makes you want to say, 'F*ck yeah.' With a turbocharged V-8 in a shaved bay and things like titanium piping, a Mil-spec harness, Haltech ECU, and V-mount cooling setup, it's no wonder it was 'whoa' at first sight. The exterior has a style of its own with a familiar Rocket Bunny widebody conversion, however, the paint is a one-of-a-kind color, hence its nickname: 'Pistachio FD.' There are also wicked carbon accents from the seats and panels, plus so many other small details I don't have room to list here. For me, the car is a prime example of how our scene has evolved, using not just only JDM parts like the old days, not conforming to what's trending on social media, but having a unique vision that's going to knock people off their feet." -Sam
"The Gooichi Motors FD3S RX-7 by Sam Morris was simply bonkers! It's super aggressive in all the right places. It's a car many people will love and many people will hate, but that's what's so cool about it. To me, the car comes together really well from an insane build point of view. It just looks badass with the Rocket Bunny kit, ludicrous LS motor, and Tiffany-blue-like color. I can't wait to see this car running... It's going to be a monster!" -RJ
'01 Nissan Silvia (S15)
"Of our three winners, this Nissan S15 Silvia by Atlantic Motorsports and Team Emotion most embodies classic pbskids DNA. It looked like it jumped right out of a Japanese magazine and onto the SEMA show floor! I was drooling over this car all week as I have always dreamed of having an S15 in the U.S. Who wouldn't want this RB26-powered right-hander in GT-R purple!? Yes, please!" -RJ
"One, it's a Silvia, and you just don't see Silvias every day, let alone at SEMA. Most folks were probably tripping out to see one or had no idea what an S15 really was. Two, there was nothing left untouched on this car. It checked all the boxes and more, even dipping back into the old-school car show days of having ICE-that's 'In Car Entertainment' for you youngins. And three, the use of JDM and Nissan flair is spot on. The RB26DETT swap and R34 Midnight Purple paint couldn't have flowed any better, not to mention the long list of authentic parts from ARC, GReddy, Vertex, M Sport, RAYS, Bride, NISMO, and Cusco. This is a car that would've been hot 15 years ago but still feels so fresh 'n' clean today." -Sam
'00 Honda S2000 (AP2)
"It means a lot when you've received our award twice! Ryan won the inaugural pbskids SEMA Best of Show Award in '15, and this time around he took home top honors with this S2000. The AP2 isn't as loud as his GT3 RS-inspired Integra Type R, but one look closer and the details will hypnotize you. A widened Mugen kit, built F-Series, sick ITB setup, motorsport plumbing and electronics all around, and immaculate body and paintwork are just some of the things that blew me away." -Sam
"This Honda S2000 by Rywire Motorsport is as clean as they get. First of all, it takes really big cajones to cut up a Mugen kit, make it wider, and have it come out as clean and smooth as it did. Simply amazing. Whether people know it or not, many of today's top tuner builds are being influenced by what Ryan does. Just look at everyone's engine bays and wiring, among other things. He has the golden touch! Another fantastic Honda build from our 2015 Best of Show champion!" -RJ