George Barris knows how to stay in step with the times. His shop kustomized this 2005 Prius for its owner, Satish Dharmaraj. Beyond the obvious scissor front doors, the hood is modified as are the wheel wells (to accommodate 19-inch wheels and tires). The two-inch drip moldings over the windows help reduced the Prius' "bubble" look, as does the paint scheme that ends with a double spoiler at the rear.
A Toyota Venza?
The stock Venza isn't really our cup of tea, but this Venza had presence. Toyota calls it the SportLux. It wears a complete body kit that sits on a lowered chassis fitted with 24-inch rims. The hood wasn't up, but the engine supposedly has a TRD supercharger, but no horsepower figures were offered. If all wagons looked like this, they'd be cool in the U.S. like they are in Europe.
Rat Rod Perfection
This Rat Rod represents a wide variety of beautifully built and highly original hot rods that bowed at SEMA 2008. Instead of showcasing yet another take on a 1932 Ford decked out in perfect paint and chrome, we chose this car from Hell. The idea of the Rat Rod is pragmatic minimalism in a package that performs. The V-8 (it could be a Cadillac motor) sports a blower topped by two four-barrel carburetors. That should get the job done nicely. There were two details we especially liked; the repeated skulls (one at the leading edge of the raked grille) and the second atop the extra long shifter, and the rough hash marks in the passenger door, perhaps signifying bygone street racing victories (you may have to blow up the image to see them).