LAS VEGAS — For the second year in a row a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro took home top honors in the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition, beating out a pair of vintage Chevy pickups and a rare Iso Rivolta sport compact.
The winning entry came from Mike and Jim Ring, owners of Ringbrothers L.L.C. a Spring Green, Wis.-based car customizing business focused primarily on 1960s and '70s-era muscle cars.
This is the Rings' second win at SEMA, having taken "Best in Show" in 2011, along with numerous other design awards and magazine covers over the years.
Industry experts RJ DeVera (Meguiar's Inc.), Cam Miller (HS Customs) and Jeremiah Proffitt (Proffitt's Resurrection Land Cruisers) were the judges for the competition, responsible for narrowing the field to 12 finalists from nearly 300 entries.
The 12 finalists then took over judging duties and named the Ring brothers the overall winners, according to SEMA.
The Rings' '69 Camaro — dubbed "Valkyrja" and commissioned for an anonymous buyer in Belgium — features a custom carbon-fiber body and is powered by a 6.8-liter LS3 V8 with a 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger, rated at 890 horsepower.
It rolls on Michelin Pilot 4S tires (19- and 20-inch rim diameters, front/rear) mounted on 10-spoke HRE wheels.
The other finalists were Randy Borcherding/Painthouse (Cypress, Texas) with a 1955 Chevrolet truck (Truck/Off-Road category), Louie Shefchik/J&L Fabricating (Puyallup, Wash.) and his 1968 Iso Rivolta (Sport Compact) and Young Guns winner Brad Swaney (Uniontown, Pa.) with his 1971 Chevrolet C-10.
The four finalists will be highlighted along with other featured builders in a new TV special — "SEMA: Battle of the Builders" — scheduled to run on A+E Networks' FYI and HISTORY's DRIVE block in January.
For more information about the 2019 Battle of the Builders competition or the SEMA Young Guns program, visit sema.org/botb or SEMA's YouTube channel.