It was a heavy metal scene at the Scion booth as Toyota’s sporty youth brand revealed the winners of its 10th annual Scion Tuner Challenge during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
The tone was actually more than a bit retro, members of the 1980s thrash band Slayer firing up the amps they built into their entry, the Slayer tC to get the audience worked up in anticipation. But it was the Speedhunters FR-S that took home the grand prize, a $10,000 check.
“Speedhunters presented an FR-S that was not only creative and labor-intensive, but stood out to the judges as something fans would love to see at the SEMA show,” proclaimed Landy Joe, Scion auto shows and special events manager, as he revealed the winner. “Each team took the Scion FR-S Series 1.0 to new heights and proved that just about anything is possible when it comes to this vehicle.”
The Scion Tuner Challenge gave entrants a stock Scion FR-S and $15,000 to bring their concepts to life – with just 90 days to pull off the transformation.
The Speedhunters added new overfenders to the stock FR-S, along with custom louvres and other appearance modifications that had a bit of a retro feel.
“My goal was to customize the FR-S with a 1970s, IMSA style look to it, and I’m incredibly pleased with what we were able to produce,” said Keith Charvonia, technical editor at Speedhunters, an online collective that covers car culture. “It feels awesome to take home this victory for the Speedhunters team.”
Second place went to Super Street, a magazine that covers high-performance customized cars and lifestyle, while the video network, the GT channel took third with a modified FR-S that emphasized its focus on drifting and racing.
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The winners of the Scion Tuner Challenge weren’t the only ones looking forward into the past. The brand’s stand was filled with retro-influenced concepts, including the Slayer Mobile Amp tC, which started out as a stock Scion coupe before getting the heavy metal treatment. Designed by Mike Vu of MV DESIGNZ, it featured built-in Marshall aps – with Marshall logos on the seats – and massive speakers built into the rear doors. There was also a 32-inch video monitor in the rear.
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Riley Hawk arguably stepped furthest into the past with his Retro Rolling Riley Hawk xB. It took the maker’s box-on-wheels and transformed it into a sort of oversized skateboard, complete with a pop-up roof that concealed an expansive skateboard storage compartment. That’s probably no surprise considering he’s the son of skateboard legend Tony Hawk and himself an accomplished boarder.
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Suggesting it looked “straight from 1975,” with its shag carpeting, wood dash and 8-track player, Hawk said in a statement, “it’s the perfect mix between modern and vintage.”