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Event Report

The 13th Annual GT Award Goes to the “1973 Datsun 240Z”

Every fall, the masses of the world automotive industry gather in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the SEMA show. SEMA, which stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association, isn’t just about aftermarket parts, but about car enthusiasm in general, with many wonderful and exciting automobiles of all types on display. Every year, a few special cars are chosen to receive the Gran Turismo Awards SEMA—to the vehicles that best embody the spirit of Gran Turismo. This year, a wonderfully modified 1973 Datsun 240Z took the top honors when it was named Best in Show.

This car is the dream child of actor and avid car enthusiast Sung Kang. After purchasing the car, which sat in a garage for 15 years, from a couple who wanted to renovate their house, Kang expressed an interest to customize his newfound toy. Once news of his plans hit social media, volunteers such as Greddy, TRA Kyoto and HiTech jumped on board. And before long, the 240Z was in a workshop, getting stripped down to its frame.
Kang wanted to keep the car as sporty as possible, so only the essentials occupy the interior. Custom seats and a roll cage were installed, and the trim pieces were all swapped for carbon-fiber ones. Providing the power is a naturally-aspirated RB26 Engine, while high-tech suspension system ensures excellent handling. The car is easy to spot in a crowd, thanks to the wild Rocket Bunny fender flares made by TRA Kyoto. While the car features numerous enhancements, the soul of the original 240Z remains intact, resulting in a car with classic looks, but with a very modern driving quality.

The 1973 Datsun 240Z will be featured in a future edition of Gran Turismo (part of the prize for winning Best in Show). The five class winners that were nominees for the top prize were as follows:

- Best Truck/SUV: 1968 Chevrolet C10 Pro Touring (Owner: Terry Rose)
- Best Domestic: 1970 Dodge Charger (Owner: David Salvaggio)
- Best Asian Import: 1973 Datsun 240Z (Owner: Sung Kang)
- Best European Import: 1985 BMW 535i (Owner: Michael Burroughs)
- Best Hot Rod: 1978 Ford Mustang Hard Top (Owner: Brett Behrens)

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2004 HPA Motorsports Stage II R32
2005 AEM S2000
2006 ArtMorrison Corvette '60
2007 HPA TT
2008 Infiniti G37
2009 Ford Mustang Trans-Cammer
2010 1969 Chevloret Camaro
2011 1971 Chevrolet Camaro
2012 Custom Ford Mach 40
2013 1967 Chevy Nova
2014 GoPro “Rampage” 1970 Chevrolet Camaro
2015 Datsun 240Z “Fugu Z”