Owning an actual show car is a dream of many. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe SEMA Tucson could be that dream fulfilled. That is, unless it comes with a totally nightmare of a price.
I noted at the outset on Friday that nobody gives two shits about the second generation Range Rover. Non-iconic but just as finicky as the first, the P38’s saving grace was an appreciably short model run, meaning there are relatively few actually out there.
We looked at one of those—a 1997 edition—on Friday. That only occurred because the truck sported a factory-approved aftermarket supercharger on its old-school all-alloy V8. The blower wasn’t enough to overcome the Range Rover’s bad reputation however. At $12,999, it couldn’t weather the voting either, losing in a hefty 85 percent Crack Pipe loss.
Hey, have you ever been to a SEMA show? It’s crazy—like a 6ix9ine concert only with cars. The whole thing is an orgy of excess mostly marked by manufacturers’ attempts to one up their competitors in how outrageous their cars and trucks can be. Having a SMEA show car in your driveway is an act akin to putting a neon sign announcing “Live Nude Girls!” on your front porch. Imagine how pissed your mom would be.
It’s not that aftermarket mods are on the whole tacky and déclassé. After all, almost anything is okay in moderation. It’s just that at SEMA nothing is ever done in moderation. Everything is in fact done to excess.
Well, not everything. Case in point, this 2017 Hyundai Tucson Sport which made its debut at that year’s show in the Pennzoil pen. This is not your typical SEMA shoutfest. How so? Let’s do the math. First off, it’s a Tucson Sport, one of the second string of small crossovers clogging every avenue and parking lot across this great nation. Yawn-o-rama in stock form, this TJIN-modded edition might just stand out.
We’ll get to that in a sec, but first let’s get past the stock bits.
One element of that is the engine. That’s a 175 horsepower 1.6-litre turbo four, and that drives the front wheels through a 7-speed “EcoShift” dual clutch automatic transmission. You can boo-hoo the presence of an automatic here, but keep in mind that you can manu-matic that bad boy all day if the mood hits you.
The exterior features Ruby Wine paint with custom gloss black accents where brightwork normally lies. That’s just one visual clue of this being a TJIN Edition. That, by the way is named or Neil Tjin, the guy that turned his car mod hobby into an advocation and eventually, into this Tucson.
The other TJIN updates here include Bear six piston calipers gripping cross-drilled rotors up front, as well as Eilbach springs. Those are all wrapped behind 18-inch TSW wheels and Falken rubber. Everything looks neat as a pin and righteous, save for the sickly yellow fog lamp tints and the TJIN Edition decal under each mirror. Maybe that tattoo-esque decal means the car killed a dude while in prison.
The interior is updated with a custom color-matched leather treatment, and that looks pretty swank. It does have the unfortunate feature of the leather maker’s name—Katzkin—embroidered on the backrest, but that could easily be masked by snapping in place one of those Hello Kitty pillows or something. The rest of the interior is the stock beige and black, which all seems to work with the deep red seats just fine.
There’s 26,500 miles on this Tucson and that’s hardly a toe into Hyundai’s lengthy warranty. It arrives with the claim of both a clean title, and an accident-free history. It’s also the perfect choice for you Pennzoil fans out there, as it carries the brandname across its forehead.
For the rest of us, it’s just a ubiquitous small-scale crossover, the kind that no one dreams of owning, but seemingly sells in huge numbers. This one is unique enough to make you feel like you stand out—maybe if just a little.
The asking price is $20,999, and that’s a pretty low asking for a car that once held court at a SEMA show. Normally SEMA show cars start out with a more emotive base and then build on that to a wild and crazy climax. This Tucson, on the other hand, is downright tasteful. The question for you is whether that taste is worth that $20,999 asking? Would a normal non-SEMA Tucson without the show car accoutrements be a better deal at less?
What do you think, is this SEMA surviver worth that $20,999 asking now that it’s living in the real world? Or, does that price make this a show car that’s a total diva?
H/T to Neil G for the hookup!
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