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SEMA Convention: The Really Cool Cars I Found

Lexus IS-F
Source: Lexus.com
Lexus IS-F

If you go to as many auto shows as I do, you quickly realize that there are only a few times you see a car, truck or SUV that is truly cool. Once again, spending a couple days in Las Vegas convinced me that the WOW factor is at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturing Association) convention. Since 90 % of the models are 1 time builds that are tricked out, there's no way to pick just one. Thus, a few production models stand out.

Calloway's C16 Speedster: This modified Corvette is beyond gorgeous. Calloway built this 700 horsepower Speedster with no windshield, so you wear a helmet. Hidden cameras shoot images on to the video screen in the center counsel to serve as rear view mirrors, and the doors open from outside without handles (it's all done through sensors). At $305,000 a speedster, Calloway will find plenty of buyers for this topless beauty.

Lexus IS-F: The first Lexus sports performance car hits showrooms next spring. So why did this turn heads in Vegas? Lexus set up a test track outside the convention center so you could see first hand that this Lexus is built for performance. The automaker is also getting in to the aftermarket business by announcing it will sell a line a performance sports parts. Lexus wants the enthusiast car lover to take them seriously. They will with the IS-F.

Ford Mustang FR500S: If you have $75,000 and want to race, this is the Mustang for you. It's the first production model race car. Ford believes, and I think they are right, that there are enough "civilian racers" in the country to buy a true race car. This Mustang will be certified to race in the Ford Racing Mustang and challenge for the Miller Cup. It truly is the first racing car built and priced for the common man.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

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