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Speed Racer dream car becomes real

Every fan who dreamed of building a car like Speed Racer's Mach 5 will beinterested to know that Speed's ultra-cool car is finally being built byLong Beach, California-based Focus on Cars, an automotive fabricationcompany that caters to the entertainment and advertising industry. The carwill be used to promote a nation-wide safety tour conducted by The ChildSafety Network (CSN) called CHILD SAFETY DAY AT THE RACES. The Mach 5 willprivately debut at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show -ITE '99, November 2-5, 1999, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The SEMA Show - ITE isthe automotive aftermarket's largest trade show held yearly at the LasVegas Convention Center. SEMA is the top advocacy group representing the$21.3 billion automotive aftermarket industry. The Mach 5 will include muchof the specialty "equipment" found on the animated Mach 5 including the(dangerous looking) saw blade cutters at the front of the car, the abilityto jump through a special hydraulics system and even such animatronics asinteractive voice responses to steering wheel mounted buttons. "We arehaving a lot of fun building the car," said Ron Kasumi, owner of Focus onCars. "When you have a car that is supposed to have 50,000 horse power, flythrough the air, drive under water and jump over great distances, you haveto use a lot of imagination." Total cost to build the Mach 5 is estimatedto be between $175,000 and $200,000. The SPEED RACER television series, anEnglish dubbed version of a Japanese series about the adventures of a racecar driver and his friends, debuted in the US in 1967.