For many aftermarket performance enthusiasts, getting the chance to display a project vehicle at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada indeed is a right of passage.
The annual event, which takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, features 2,400 exhibiting companies all displaying their latest and most innovative new products for cars, trucks, ATV’s and UTV’s for the new year.
In 2018, Ford Motor Company had more than 50 unique vehicles on display in and around the convention center built by some of the hottest builders in the industry. But how does someone get selected to take part in one of these builds?
This month, the team at VMP Performance gives you an inside look at Ford’s Aftermarket Project Vehicle Program. Each year, Ford accepts applications for new model year vehicles that will be transformed into SEMA builds to be on display at the show.
But what many enthusiasts may not know is that anyone can apply to get a Ford project vehicle for just one dollar!
VMP Performance owners Justin and Rebecca Starkey walk us through this process and explain the two previous SEMA cars that Ford awarded them.
“We started this journey back in 2015, and it really all starts with a submission to Ford,” said Rebecca. “We earned cars in 2016 and 2017, and we wanted to take you through what the submission process looks like because in actuality anybody can submit their ideas to Ford.”
The twenty-four-minute video does a great job of explaining the entire process and goes into greater detail as to why VMP believed their submission fit into the ideal criteria for a display vehicle at the trade show.
The first car which debuted back in 2016 was called “Track Attack,” a brand-new 2017 Mustang GT and featured VMP Performance’s new Gen 2R supercharger. This S550 continues to be a potent R&D vehicle for the team and has since been outfitted with VMP’s popular Gen 3 TVS blower.
The second vehicle that VMP received and was built for the SEMA Show was a 2017 Ford Focus RS, which they named the “Triathlete.” VMP turned Ford’s hottest hatch into a triple threat performer that could hold its own on the drag strip, road course, and as an everyday street cruiser.
The team at VMP was quick to point out that although they were able to purchase these vehicles from Ford for only a dollar, building a SEMA booth vehicle that will meet or exceed the requirements that Ford puts in place is no easy task.
“The costs of building these cars is easily in the tens of thousands of dollars,” added Justin. “We did have a lot of great partners that helped offset those costs but labor and design time are all important factors when applying for this program.”
VMP Performance will be releasing an additional video later this month that showcases some of the company’s vehicle submissions that did not get picked up by Ford as well as one the team decided to build on their own.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 Ford Vehicle Project Program. The final proposal submission deadline is March 1, 2019, and all project vehicle requests must be submitted in two parts and meet the Ford Aftermarket Project Vehicle Program criteria. For more information, you can click on the official website here.