Okay, enough of my bad jokes about SEMA…
These are all pretty cool and could feasibly find buyers in various big-van segments: everything from limo-bus to mountain rafting companies would all love to get their hands on these new Transit custom concepts for SEMA.
Glad to see the Transit Skyliner made it over from the Paris show!
SEMA Ford Transit Vans
VANDEMONIUM: YOU WON’T BELIEVE HOW FIVE AFTERMARKET SHOPS DESIGNED THE FIRST FORD TRANSIT CUSTOM VANS FOR SEMA
- Custom-built project vehicles from five coachbuilders will showcase different expressions of Ford Transit van flexibility and capability
- The custom Transits will be on display at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas, Nov. 4-7
- A range of concepts will be represented, including Formula DRIFT, off-road adventure and high-end luxury versions
The first-ever all-new 2015 Ford Transit custom vans will debut at this year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas.
Five Transit project vehicles were crafted to showcase the van’s toughness and flexibility for customers looking for a vehicle that can fit a variety of needs – from high-tech luxury limo to sport exhibitions to off-road adventure.
“Ford Transit vans and passenger wagons are designed to be upfit-ready so customers have an easier time customizing the vehicle to work best for them,” said Yaroslav Hetman, brand manager for Ford Transit, Transit Connect and E-Series. “We are very excited about what our SEMA customizers have done with these vans. They preview the first of what is expected to be a renaissance in custom vans, led by the all-new Ford Transit.”
Customized Transit vehicles on display at the SEMA show Nov. 4-7 include:
Vegas Off-Road Experience Transit
Vegas Off-Road Experience in South Boulder City, Nevada, provides the ultimate adventure for those who have always wanted to drive an off-road desert race truck. The VORE group applied its expertise in preparing off-road trucks to the new Transit, creating a vehicle that provides luxury transportation with an off-road theme. This Transit, equipped with off-road wheels and tires, will be used for guest transportation at VORE events.
“Transit offered us so much capacity to work with that we were able to take our plans further than we could with a typical van,” said Mike Self, Vegas Off-Road Experience chief marketing officer. “It will be a great vehicle for taking guests out on course in high-end comfort.”
Off-road and premium features of the VORE Transit include:
- Custom LED interior lighting
- Five LED flat screens
- 60-inch LED flat-screen partition
- Large-screen TV for external viewing
- Video gaming station
- Touch-screen tablet controls
- LED light bars
- HID headlamps
- Extended fender flares
- Off-road wheels and tires
Designed Travel Transit
For long-distance road trips, Forest Lake, Minnesota-based Waldoch Crafts and 3dCarbon and Air Design of Newport Beach, California, customized a long-wheelbase, medium-roof Transit with a solid hickory wood floor and four reclining captain’s chairs with heating, cooling and massage functions, along with power headrests.
“The larger platform of Transit gives us room for creativity,” said Ernie Bunnell, vice president of sales for 3dCarbon and Air Design. “Transit provided us with a lot of capability, so we were able to include more technical features than the average conversion.”
Other features of the Designed Travel Transit include:
Formula DRIFT Transit
This Formula DRIFT Transit is more than a concept – it is a functional vehicle that will be used at series events in 2015. The Formula DRIFT series, based in Long Beach, California, has taken a medium-roof, short-wheelbase Transit and transformed it into the ultimate track safety and support vehicle. With high-horsepower vehicles sliding around at more than 100 mph in Formula DRIFT events, accidents do occur, and this custom Transit will be one of the first responders to help with fire and safety equipment at the accident site. Complete with a custom interior workspace with TV, LED lighting, a custom entertainment system from Clarion and a matching Kawasaki Mule support vehicle, this Transit will be a standout at the track.
”Track vehicles fulfill a lot of needs, and Transit is able to do it all,” said John Pangilinan, public relations director for Formula DRIFT. “The extra roof height Transit offers really adds a lot of usable space for all of our equipment, including the Kawasaki Mule.”
Formula DRIFT Transit highlights include:
- Matching Kawasaki Mule track support vehicle that will be housed inside Transit between events
- Storage bins for fire extinguishers, tools and cleanup equipment
- Fire suit and helmet racks
- Door-mounted flat panel monitor
- Performance air intake kit
- Performance exhaust system
- Performance suspension
Business Class Transit
This sleek, all-black Transit was created by Detroit Custom Coach of Oak Park, Michigan, and offers amenities for VIP travel, whether for business or a night out on the town. This long-wheelbase, high-roof Transit features seating for as many as eight people and a wide array of premium amenities, including cocktail stations.
“We are excited to show what the Ford brand can do when it comes to the VIP transportation industry,” said Detroit Custom Coach owner Chris Ramos. “We feel strongly that the new Ford Transit will give other vehicles in its class a run for their money.”
Premium and convenience features of the Business Class Transit include:
Galpin Auto Sports Transit Skyliner
Transit Skyliner, created jointly by Ford and Galpin Auto Sports of Van Nuys, California, embodies the spirit of premium motor coaches and builds on the heritage of custom vans. The custom vehicle shows how Ford Transit can be transformed to fit the needs of limousines and high-end transportation services, as well as commercial fleets, shuttle providers and small-business owners.
Transit Skyliner features custom-designed “throne” seats that are controlled by a smartphone or tablet.
“We are sincerely excited to work with Ford in creating the future of travel,” said Beau Boeckmann, president of Galpin Auto Sports. “Tapping our history of creating the conversion van segment in the 1960s and ’70s, as well as our recent high-tech work, together with Ford we have brought the modern ultra-premium van to life.”
Premium features of the Galpin Auto Sports Transit Skyliner include:
- 52-inch retractable movie screen
- Focal Utopia 7.2 surround sound with custom-made speakers
- Satellite TVKaleidescape media server
- Integrated bar
- Matching luggage
Remember the last article where we noted that some SEMA concepts are so wild you might not want to drive them?
One or more of these definitely applies in that category — but all are solid efforts overall. Ford is really showing GM and Chrysler how SEMA works this year! We love that Ford has various styles of many of its models, versus relying on one custom for each product line.
If we had to pick one… it would be the widebody by Tjin with the wheels from the DUB edition? All are pretty wild, in truth, with the Vaccar clearly the most adventure-oriented of the group. The others are definitely more Menace to Society type of drive-by rides….
Here is the 2015 Ford Expedition from the factory, for comparison.
SEMA Ford Expeditions
FORD UNLEASHES THREE NEW ECOBOOST EXPEDITIONS AT SEMA, TAKING THE FULL-SIZE UTILITY TO AWESOME AND BEYOND
2015 Ford Expedition by Tjin Edition
2015 Ford Expedition by DUB Magazine
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 189,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit corporate.ford.com.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.