A Competition Built for Builders

SEMA News—January 2018


By John Santos

A Competition Built for Builders

For the fourth consecutive year, the prestigious SEMA Battle of the Builders competition experienced growth, featuring more participants and increased media coverage. The publications below are but a small sample of the many media outlets that informed their readers about the more than 300 builders who entered this year’s contest. The field included not only builders from the United States but also from other countries—some of whom were among the finalists—and aspiring builders 27 years and younger.

Marion Republican


It’s not every day that a young builder wins a trip to the SEMA Show, including a feature vehicle space, but this year’s Battle of the Builders contest included six young builders who did just that. Austin Haynes and his Chevy C-10 made local headlines in Marion, Illinois, where he shared his SEMA Show journey with the Marion Republican and showed the industry what the young builders have in store for the future.


Collision Repair


Media from all parts of the world were cheering for their local builders. With eight Canadians entered in the competition, Collision Repair magazine produced an article highlighting the Canadian participants who were vying for the top builder title at the 2017 SEMA Show.


Off Road Xtreme

Off Road

Steven Olsewski penned an article for Off Road Xtreme about Cris Payne’s ’95 Bronco, which was among the top 12 finalists in this year’s SEMA Battle of the Builders competition. The Dezert Lab build was the only truck among the finalists.


Heard in Social Media 

  • “SEMA gets bigger ever year! And such an honor to host the 4th annual Battle of the Builders.”Adrienne “AJ” Janic, via Facebook
  • “Congrats to the @SEMASHOW Young Gun Zach Johanson for making the Battle of the Builders Top 40 w/ his @DetroitSpeedInc Equipped 70 #Camaro.”Detroit Speed, via Twitter
  • “We are so proud to announce that our Retro Crawler is officially Top 40 in Battle of the Builders SEMA 2017! On to the Top 12 tomorrow!”Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers, via Facebook
  • “Taking home 2nd place for Battle of the Builders! Such an honor to be a part of such a great group of builders.”—Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop, via Facebook
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