Reverse Engineering a Hot Rod – for a Rock Star

billy-gibbons-2-web-300x300In one scanning job earlier this month, API demonstrated its versatility and ease-of-use in collecting data for custom automotive parts, while also enjoying a brush with rock n’ roll fame.

API project engineer Robb Rudluff scanned a ’33 Ford three-window coupe that has been chopped and customized by the world-famous So-Cal Speed Shop for ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons. One of the car’s many features is a jagged accent line that runs from front to back. The line is currently painted on, but So-Cal designers planned to make a 3D piece. To do that, Rudluff scanned the vehicle with an API IMAGER Scanner and Radian Laser Tracker.

The data collected by the IMAGER was processed though 3D Systems software to create a CAD file that showed the curvature of the car and the exact shape of the trim design. This will allow the So-Cal designers to easily fabricate the 3D trim piece they need.

The car model was shared with Billy Gibbons at the newly opened SEMA Garage – Industry Innovations Center in Southern California. When the car is complete, it will be on display at the 2014 SEMA Show, taking place from November 4-7 in Las Vegas.

“The IMAGER working with the Radian made scanning the car a quick and easy process,” Rudluff said. “For custom autos, it can be a handy reverse engineering solution that can help pros and hobbyists easily mock up parts.”
For more information on API’s scanning solutions, contact Andrew Martel, API marketing manager at

For more information about the SEMA Innovations Garage, contact Mike Spagnola at