January '20

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24 THE SHOP JANUARY 2020 The challenge at hand was developing a concept that was unique and would get other restylers to say, "I can reproduce that package, or my own version of that package, with success in my market." After introducing the builders, it was time to hear from the judges—Colby McLaughlin of Trim Illusion, Bill North from Katzkin Leather, Joey Johnston of Tops and Trends, Tony Hinton from Auto- plex Restyling Centers and, carrying the trophy, Amy Kirsner of AutoNation. After explaining the process for judging the four entries, Kirsner announced the winner—the Automotive Concepts 2020 Subaru Forester Basecamp Edition. COVERING ALL THE BASES The winning build had an identity that appeals to potential new car buyers. Base- camp Edition is much more than the starting point to a mountain climb, the company notes. Although the semi-aggressive tire design by Falken and the matte bronze Niche Road wheel choice give a more overland experience look, the additional package components tied the concept together. A Dometic slide-out fridge freezer unit is sure to be a hit between games at the weekend-long soccer tournament, while the retractable overhead awning attached to a crossbar system with a cargo basket will provide shade from the midday sun or shelter from an unexpected rain shower. The addition of four USB ports in the rear cargo area provides charging for mul- tiple phones at once and the Bluetooth speaker mounted overhead allows for music streaming from anyone's favorite playlist. The matte black and bronze Basecamp graphics provide curb appeal to entice a peek inside. The interior exposes the Katzkin premier Tuscany amaretto leather seat upgrade with matching door panels and contrasting stitching, with Basecamp Edition embroidered logos in the seat backs. For safer nighttime driving, a 30-inch LED light bar is fitted into the front bumper opening, along with upgraded LED fog lights and back-up bulbs. Finishing out the package identity are laser-etched beverage tumblers in the drink holders and a pair of Basecamp Edition rocking director chairs under the side awning. Add in tinted windows, an LED interior cargo light and hidden design trailer hitch and the package is complete. THE FANS HAVE THEIR SAY Two days later, after SEMA attendees had a chance to view the four custom builds, an award was presented for the Fan Favorite. 24 THE SHOP JANUARY 2020 The winner of the 2019 SEMA PRO Cup Challenge, this 2020 Subaru Forester Basecamp Edition was created by Automotive Concepts in New Hope, Minnesota. "The demographics for this vehicle really hit home with us on the type of activities the consumer is using this vehicle for. The growing increase in sales of Foresters intrigued us to hit the mark with our package idea," notes Catherine Juul of Automotive Concepts. Omaha, Nebraska's Altered Garage cre- ated a 2019 Jeep Gladiator build. "With the Jeep Wranglers having been one of the most highly accessorized vehicles on the market, the new Gladiator should follow suit, and right out of the gate it has proven to be a strong customizing candidate," notes Brandon McNew of Altered Garage. Challenge Accepted!

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