NASCAR Star’s Camry is Equal Parts Track-Ready and Night-on-the-Town Classy
PLANO, Texas, Oct. 31, 2017 — Debuting at Toyota’s 2017 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show display, Denny Hamlin’s 2018 Camry SEMA project car that can run hot laps at the track and then drive to a special night on the town.
“The all-new 2018 Camry was built to offer the best of both worlds: aggressive style and performance, with the refined reliability that Camry has become known for,” said Steve Curtis, vice president of media and engagement marketing of Toyota Division Marketing, Toyota Motor North America. “Denny’s Camry scores big on both points.”
“The first question the builder asked me, since this is a SEMA build and there are other drivers involved, was whether this was a competition,” said Hamlin. “My response was simple: It’s always a competition.”
To help with the build, Hamlin called on Stephen Klitzsch of GMP Performance in Charlotte, North Carolina. The pair aimed to capitalize on the all-new model’s duality of nature.
“Denny wanted something that stood out in a tasteful way,” Klitzsch said. “He wanted to do something that felt race-ready yet classy; something he can take around Virginia International Raceway. So we knew the direction had to include it be suitable for the track.”
An upgraded wheel/tire package with 20×10-inch American Racing wheels and 275-width tires adds roughly three inches to either side. The wheels were forged specifically for this build and were polished to a bright chrome-like finish, then coated with racy Candy Apple Red paint.
The Camry sports fender flares re-formed to fit the all-new 2018 body lines. Performance mods include an AEM intake and exhaust, and a Tein coil-over suspension. Massive StopTech brakes mount behind the custom wheels to give it stopping power to begin to rival Hamlin’s NASCAR sled.
The interior remains comfortable enough to be suitable for street driving, but the racing influence can’t be overlooked. A set of Recaro racing buckets with four-point harnesses hold the driver and a lucky passenger. The seats were re-upholstered in smooth leather to retain the all-new 2018 Camry’s refined look and feel.
Denny Hamlin’s Custom Camry—along with numerous other Toyota specialty vehicles—can be found in the Toyota display booth (#24800) in Central Hall and on the Patio Annex of the Las Vegas Convention Center, October 31 to November 3, 2017.