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Custom car competes in Battle of the Builders

Posted on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 2:06 pm

SEMA Battle of the Builders is the Superbowl of car customizers. “It’s a big deal to have the car in the competition,” said Tommy Perkins owner of Seams Ridiculous Upholstery in Montross.

SEMA, Specialty Equipment Market Association has hosted a large trade show for professional car restorers and suppliers in Las Vegas, Nevada for two years running. Battle of the Builders is a competition that recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of SEMA vehicle builders.

Four Virginia professionals who specialize in custom car restoration will attend the third SEMA Battle of the Builders in October. Their entry a 1972 Chevy Nova is a result of years of work by four men.

Builder/Owner, Randy Clark purchased the Chevy Nova for $600.00 in 1983 from a local mechanic who had planned to flip the car. Clark owns Ace Dustless Blasting in Fairfax.

When Clark got the car running for the first time he took his wife out in it on her birthday. Despite it having no glass she enjoyed the ride. Since then the car has had many modifications. Clark says in a youtube video “The only thing that is original is the roof.”

Clark worked on wire assembly, engine and mechanical work. Metal fabrication was completed by Billy Wood who owns Good Wood Customs in Sterling. Brent Gatton, of Gatton’s Garage in Montross completed body work and paint.

Perkins is completing the last detail work on the vehicle before it goes to Vegas for the competition.

Perkins encouraged Clark to enter the hot rod in the competition.

Perkins said the opportunity to be recognized by SEMA will give them national and international recognition among professional builders. The competition has only been going on for three years.

Gatton said, “It’s an honor to be chosen to compete against the biggest professional builders in the country.”

The SEMA Battle of the Builders competition showcases talented craftsmen in the world of car restoration and building. Competitors have already proven themselves by being a part of the trade show. The competition allows fans and car enthusiasts to get an up close look at the cars and trucks, learn about their build stories and get inspired for new ideas.

The car has already been showcased in a YouTube video by SEMA and will possibly be featured on an upcoming Velocity Channel T.V. show.

The car will need to be transported to Las Vegas by the end of the month for the show ,which runs October 31 through November 3.

We will continue to follow the competition through Tommy Perkins. If you see Tommy or Brent around Montross, be sure to congratulate them.

See more photos of the car in the September 20 issue of the Westmoreland News.